You wanted the best, you got the best. 5 guitar legends performed at Massey Hall on this past Wednesday, and I use the word legends because as far as I am concerned, that is what they are. Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt, Zakk Wylde and Tosin Abasi came out one by one and the crowd went wild. Screaming guitars and good music were the on the agenda and that is exactly what everyone wanted and got. It isn’t very often you get to see that caliber of musicians playing all at the same time for one incredible performance, and for those that were at the sold out Generation Axe show got just that.
These 5 guitarists all had their portion of the evening starting with Tosin Abasi from instrumental act, Animals As Leaders. While maybe not as animated as the rest of the pack, Tosin demanded attention right from the beginning of his portion of the show and the audience was mesmerized right from the get go.
Next up was Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme, he was one of the highlights of the show for me. I have had the opportunity to watch him perform on numerous occasions, most recently at Monsters of Rock Cruise and he has never let me or his audience down. He threw into his set a few Extreme songs and exclaimed he is being put to shame by the others, but that isn’t how I see it. Nuno is right up there with them and I will go see him any chance I get.
Now Mr. Zakk Wylde joined Nuno on stage to take over and start wailing on the guitar and that is exactly what he did. The crowd seemed to be quite excited when Zakk took the stage and rightfully so. Zakk even managed to find himself in the aisles of Massey Hall getting up close and personal with the people in the back of the theatre, and no one seemed to mind one bit. Crowding around him trying to take cell phone videos and pictures of the iconic guitar player.
Next up was Yngwie Malmsteen, someone I have never had the opportunity to see live before but now that I have I will be looking forward to the next time he is in town. What a showman he is. Throwing his guitar in the air and at his guitar tech and swinging it around his body, which I found quite entertaining. His guitar seems to be an extension of his body, and every note he played seemed effortless. Yngwie took over the stage like this was his show and I believed him right from the get go.
Now it was Steve Vai’s turn to take the stage, and I have to note that I love Steve and Yngwie facial expressions when they play. Their sheer emotion is intoxicating, and I am pretty sure I could have watched all of them for 3 more hours. Steve joked around a bit in between songs and made a wise crack about Zakk’s c**k to the utter dismay of Nuno who just about fell on the floor when Steve said it. All joking aside Steve Vai is a guitar virtuoso without a doubt and if you think you play guitar, keep practising because he is the master.
All 5 guys joined each other on the stage to play together once again and take their final bows, each taking a turn playing once again to show us how great they really are, like we needed to be reminded. They took a final bow and shook the hands of the people who were lucky enough to be at the front. There are 26 dates on the Generation Axe tour keep your eyes open for a show near you because this is one not to be missed.
Once again thanks to the crew because without them there is no show!