On tour: Joe Satriani & Steve Vai | 04.30.24, The Factory

7:30pm | 17105 N. Outer 40 Rd., Chesterfield | All ages | $79.50 – $138

If you’re a dedicated devotee of the electric guitar, here’s all I have to say: Steve Vai and Joe Satriani are touring together, and they’re playing the Factory. I assume we’ll see you there? If you’re not a six-string obsessive, here’s why that’s such a big deal: these two are two of the most talented and most technically proficient players ever to pick up the instrument, and seeing the two of them play together is sure to be awe-inspiring.

Their résumés speak for themselves. Joe Satriani basically singlehandedly established a market for instrumental hard rock with a string of classic albums in the 1980s and early ‘90s—1987’s platinum-selling Surfing with the Alien (yes, an instrumental rock album that went platinum) and 1989’s Flying in a Blue Dream being particular highlights, while 1992’s The Extremist birthed “Summer Song,” his best-known song and a tune I can guarantee you’ve heard in a commercial or movie at some point in your life. He founded G3, an ongoing series of tours that saw Satriani share the stage with fellow guitar virtuosos like Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Steve Vai (hey, there’s that guy again!) and in the 2000s formed Chickenfoot with Van Halen ex-pats Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony plus Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. (Satriani will actually be back in St. Louis this summer, hitting the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on August 31 alongside Hagar, Anthony, and drummer Jason Bonham on the Best of All Worlds Tour.) And his influence goes beyond his own playing: he’s also been a guitar teacher to a shocking number of future rock gods, including Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Testament’s Alex Skolnick, Primus’ Larry “Ler” LaLonde, and, oh yeah, Steve Vai, back when the pair were still teenagers.

Vai, for his part, has had an equally storied career, recording a string of instrumental solo albums in addition to being a member of a number of storied bands and an in-demand session player. Vai started out in Frank Zappa’s band while he was still a teenager, recording eight albums with the rock iconoclast, and joined the all-star band for Public Image Ltd.’s 1986’s Album, where Vai and frontman/ex-Sex Pistol John Lydon were joined by the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Cream’s Ginger Baker. On the more mainstream side, Vai filled the giant Eddie Van Halen-shaped hole on David Lee Roth’s two biggest solo albums, and slung his lead guitar for Whitesnake during their late ‘80s heyday.

Now, there are a lot of skilled guitar players out there, but what sets Satriani and Vai apart from the pack is that they aren’t just technically proficient, they’re the whole package: they can wail through strings of sixty-fourth notes without ever losing their sense of melody and, most importantly, groove. These guys rock and they roll, and it will be a treat to see these two, friends and collaborators for 50 years, do both at the Factory this Tuesday. | Jason Green

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit thefactorystl.com.

Satch/Vai tour dates:

04.29.24 – Salina, KS – Stifel Theatre

04.30.24 – St. Louis, MO – The Factory

05.01.24 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater

05.03.24 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at The Moody Theater

05.04.24 – Dallas, TX – Music Hall at Fair Park

05.05.24 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall

05.07.24 – Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre – Denver

05.08.24 – Salt Lake City, UT – Delta Hall at Eccles Theater

05.10.24 – Valley Center, CA – Harrah’s Resort Southern California – The Events Center

05.11.24 -Wheatland, CA – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

05.12.24 – Santa Rosa, CA – Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

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