Friday, November 5, 2010

Concert Review: Fans Experience Hendrix At The MGM Grand Theater

The music of Jimi Hendrix is alive and well as the latest ensemble of the Experience Hendrix tour stopped in Connecticut Thursday night. Experience Hendrix is an ongoing tour of some of today's elite guitarists performing the songs of the late-great Jimi Hendrix. The MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods was the place to be if you are a fan of Jimi Hendrix's music or just a fan of great guitar playing.

As a video montage showed on the screen, fans took to their seats for the beginning of 2 straight hours of some of Hendrix's most well-known songs as well a few obscure ones. The live music began with Billy Cox, the original bassist for Hendrix's Band of Gypsys, providing the vocals and bass duties for "Stone Free." The stage became like a rotating door for guitarists and musicians to grab the spotlight during some of their personal Hendrix favorites. Living Colour woke up the crowd with an energetic version of "Crosstown Traffic" as lead singer Corey Glover and bassist Doug Wimbish visited the audience. The two ran through the aisles encouraging everyone to shout out the song's chorus. Guitarist Eric Johnson performed a thunderous verison of "Are You Experienced?" with three drummers providing the song's rhythm.

The tempo picked up with Jonny Lang and Aerosmith's Brad Whitford providing the energetic solos on one of Hendrix's most covered songs "Fire." But, the evening definitely belonged to 33-year old Kenny Wayne Shepard. His jamming solo on "Voodoo Chile" channelled the spirit of Jimi Hendrix. The guitarist ran his fingers up and down the fret-board more times than one could count, also performing behind his head as if it was second nature for him. His well-deserved standing ovation was followed by the evening's final special guest, the guitar wizard Steve Vai. He displayed his talents on the Hendrix instrumental "Midnight" from the posthumos release "War Heroes." Living Colour returned to support Vai on "Foxy Lady" which once again had the audience in a pandemonium, shouting the chorus back to the performers.

The night's events finished with Billy Cox returning to the stage to provide the vocals to one of Hendrix's favorites "Red House." Guitar solos by Kenny Wayne Shepard, Mato Nanji of the band Indigenous and The Slide Brothers gave fans hope that Hendrix's influence is alive and well. A live recorded version of Jimi Hendrix performing "Wild Thing" played through the speakers as all the members of the 2010 Experience Hendrix tour collected onstage for one last bow. Only the music of Jimi Hendrix could gather guitar talents of this caliber year after year for the sole reason of celebrating Jimi's legacy.

Stone Free (Ernie Isley & Billy Cox)
Message To Love (Ernie Isley & Billy Cox)
Manic Depression (Ernie Isley)
Crosstown Traffic (Living Colour)
House Burning Down (Eric Johnson)
Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (Eric Johnson)
Are You Experienced? (Eric Johnson)
All Along The Watchtower (Jonny Lang, Brad Whitford, Mato Nanji)
Fire (Jonny Lang & Brad Whitford)
Spanish Castle Magic (Jonny Lang & Brad Whitford)
Come On (Let The Good Times Roll) (Kenny Wayne Shepard & Noah Hunt)
Voodoo Child (Kenny Wayne Shepard & Noah Hunt)
Voodoo Chile (Kenny Wayne Shepard & Noah Hunt)
Midnight (Steve Vai)
May This Be Love (Steve Vai)
Foxy Lady (Steve Vai & Living Colour)
Red House (Billy Cox, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Mato Nanji, The Slide Brothers)

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