Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Aristocrats-Live

 Yes indeed, Wednesday night I went to the concert of a lifetime! The Aristocrats Featuring Guthrie Govan came to Paris. Here is my photo essay/review,

Picture the scene, two teenage guys wait for 3 hours outside the venue. We have absurd fantasies of meeting Guthrie. Bryan Beller comes out at one point and we get to say hi but not much else. Later on Guthrie comes out. I whisper "Guthrie", he doesn't turn around, instead he kind of runs off. Yet after 3 hours of waiting outside, we are finally let into the venue. We are touching the stage, a little off to the left. Fists are bumped.

The opener was a jazz guitarist named Cyril Auchard. He was fairly good, but nothing compared to the show to come. He played 5 nice jazzy pieces featuring some nice rock n' roll and blues influences. He seemed kind of shy and did not want to hog the spotlight. His half hour setlist was decent and showed off some nice chops. It might have been cool if his performance had been a bit heavier, but otherwise it was fine.

And then the Aristocrats came on.

I screamed "Guthrie Govan is God", and scored a laugh from the master. Bryan Beller came and picked up his bass, literally touching me and my friend.Together we screamed "MURDERFACE ,MURDERFACE, MURDERFACE, MURDERFACE!" And won a laugh.

So the gig began.
 The setlist was high powered and flashy. Govan proved himself as the king of all with his solo on Sweaty Knockers. The band seemed to be having fun and was really grooving. Everybody in the audience was smiling. Guthrie seemed to be having the time of his life going into all sorts of crazy poses for bends.

The guitar playing in this concert was the best I have ever heard. Guthrie is just so on top of what he's doing and he has such a command of the instrument that he can not be beat. It's amazing the amount of stuff I learned just by watching him play. His solos blew my mind and his funky chords were great. The sheer musicianship radiating from his golden hands stopped everything. A few well placed bows in his direction made him laugh once more. In short, Guthrie Govan is indeed the god of the guitar and no one will ever be replace him in my mind. Especially not after that night.

 Now we move onto the bass of Bryan Beller, who looks suspiciously like John Petrucci. He's played with Dethklok and Steve Vai, and is universally recognized as a bass genius. His solos were all spot on and he traded some fantastic licks with Guthrie. The extended bass solo on Boing... I'm In the Back was great, my face was practically in the bass! All of the bass parts were killer, and I don't think I have ever gotten that much joy out of the bassist at a concert in my life! Bryan Beller killed that night, and later on we got a gift from him (more on that later).
 Marco Minneman, the German drummer. His drum work was sick that evening, in particular the 15 minute drum solo impressed me most.His crazy thrashing style combined with furious technicality lead to an amazing performance! The run from Blues Fuckers to the drum solo was seamless. And best of all the solo really seemed to get the crowd off, everybody was clapping by the end and begging for more!

 Here's what the others did during the drum solo....

So the pedalboard pic gives me a chance to talk about the mix. I found it to be quite good, if a bit bass heavy. (But then again, consider where I was standing). I still found the mix to be quite dynamic and it allowed the concertgoers to hear every nuance of Guthrie's soloing while simultaneously getting a full dose of bass and drums. Overall the mixing was very good and the band really got to shine brighter because of it. It kept the music heavy and blaring and made the concert feel like it could go on forever!

 In conclusion, The Aristocrats put on the gig of a lifetime, the sheer virtuosity of the performers was brilliant and I didn't want the night to end. Govan never ceased rocking and his solos took my mind apart and then put it back together. Bryan Beller's bass work was sick and showed me the instrument at it's extreme limit. Also he brought us the supreme prize of the night. He signed the setlist for me! (Pic further down). Minneman's drumming was spot on all night and kept the band pushing on and his solo spot was beautiful. The mixing was great too, it really helped to cap off the night! So, in conclusion, BEST GIG EVER, go see them!

The Ultimate Prize of the Night, A setlist signed by Bryan Beller himself!

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