Paul Gilbert: Fuzz Universe Tour - Tapper, Tallinn, Estonia, 23.11.2010

Event: Paul Gilbert: Fuzz Universe Tour
Written by: Ivor
Published: 04.12.2010


Paul Gilbert - Tapper, Tallinn, Estonia, 23.11.2010 by Ivor (24)

As talented as they may be, it is quite often the case that music and concert performances by guitar players similar to Paul Gilbert suffer from serious dose of one-sidedness. I'm not implying that their music or their performances suck. Far from it. But usually that streak of one-sidedness is enough of an excuse for me for not listening to their studio work. However, I do prefer to check them out live when possible. Sometimes even more than once, like it is with Paul Gilbert this time even though his last two shows here in Tallinn, one solo, second time with Mr. Big, did not impress me that much.

Due to the last-minute preparation, I wasn't really aware if and who was going to be the warm-up act. All the bigger was my surprise to discover something I hadn't ever heard of playing some pretty tripping instrumental stuff. This trio delivered somewhat droning, bit doomy, and psychedelic atmosphere which felt a bit out of context mood-wise given Gilbert's music. However, the drums, the bass, and the guitar, which at some points was exchanged for something that was almost but not quite like a cello, delivered changing music that was really enjoyable to listen to. Even though you could feel that it would have been more awesome if guitar playing wasn't so restrained. It was only much later that I found out that this trio was called Tolmunud Mesipuu which translates to a dusty beehive from Estonian.

I started out for the gig with a fairly reserved feeling for already stated reasons. However, and it well may have been due to the good warm-up act, when Paul Gilbert got on stage my feeling changed towards a more positive one. It may have also been the choice of opening songs as "The Last Rock And Roll Star" that was played second kind of really set the mood right with an excellent drive. And the crowd was enjoying it very much.

The touring line-up of the band appears to be almost the same as the last time Gilbert was here solo, that is consisting of himself on guitars and vocals, Craig Martini on bass, Jeff Bowders on drums, and joining them was Tony Spinner on guitars and vocals. His wife Emi Gilbert was absent with her keyboards this time around. I'm not sure how much this affected the song selection for the show (or tour) but presence of the second guitar player on stage definitely made room for some more interesting play. Forming guitar battles and soloing intermittently was more catching to watch and listen to than Gilbert on his own for a whole show would have been.

What I found interesting was the set list. It featured quite a numerous amount of covers. Either he didn't play that many of them last time, or I wasn't happy enough with the show to register them. This time, however, I did notice because it often put Gilbert's own material somewhat into perspective. Racer X and Mr. Big covers aside, it was cool to hear B.B. King, Yes' "Roundabout," Doors' "Light My Fire" with a long solo in the middle, and others. So, I think it was a good selection and it added some singing to the show, which might have gone one-sided if it focused only on instrumental tracks and Gilbert's shredding.

Set list:
1. Silence Followed By A Deafening Roar
2. The Last Rock And Roll Star
3. Fuzz Universe
4. Olympic
5. Guitar solo interlude + Rock Me Baby (BB King cover)
6. Paul Vs. Godzilla
7. Scarified (Racer X cover)
8. Guitar improvisation + Will My Screen Door Stop Neptune
9. Green-Tinted Sixties Mind (Mr. Big cover)
10. Technical Difficulties (Racer X cover)
11. Roundabout (Yes cover)
12. Batter Up + Jeff Bowders drum solo
13. Norwegian Cowbell
14. Light My Fire (Doors cover)
15. I Want to Be Loved (Muddy Waters cover)
16. Blue Train (Johnny Cash cover)
17. I'm Not Addicted
18. (Don't Fear) The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult cover)
19. Go Down (AC/DC cover)

Gilbert himself seemed to be in good mood and chatted humorously quite a bit in-between, overcoming technical difficulties with "Technical Difficulties" and praising various guitar tunes as best in the world. Too bad that this joy doesn't really vary the set list from show to show. The one above seems to correspond to some I found from a couple of other shows. Nevertheless, it must be said that more or less precisely 2 hour show was an enjoyable event this time.

Tolmunud Mesipuu: MySpace
Paul Gilbert: Homepage, MySpace


Written on 04.12.2010 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.

And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 31 users
09.12.2010 - 15:33
I saw him once on solo tour and I had a blast at that concert. That time he alternated songs with lyrics and instrumentals, and even if I did not know most of his catalog or Racer Xs I enjoyed the concert quite a bit.
Then I saw him again with the G3 tour and given that he had only like 45 minutes to play he did an awesome job again.
I would definitely like to see him again, and this show sounds like something I would enjoy.

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