On a warm November evening, Tosin Abasi, Nuno Bettencourt, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai, known as, Generation Axe, brought their guitar wizardry to the Paramount Theater in Denver, CO. As the lights went down the Paramount crowd roared. These five great guitarists made their way to the front of the stage ready to showcase their skills. I never like to know ahead of time what songs are going to be played, I like to be surprised. Indeed it was a great surprise when Generation Axe opened the evening with the classic song, “Hocus Pocus”. A song by the Dutch band, Focus from their album, ‘Moving Waves’. Everyone in the theater was on their feet. I hadn’t heard this song in years and it brought back many fun memories.
Tosin Abasi was first to start the individual sets as the other guitarists left the stage. He started his set with the song, “Tempting Time” by the band that Abasi formed in 2007, Animals as Leaders from their self titled album, Animals as Leaders. As Abasi moved to his last song, he was joined on stage by Nuno Bettencourt and together the two preformed, “Physical Education” another song by, Animals as Leaders from their 2014 album, ‘The Joy of Motion‘.
Abasi took his bows and left the stage to Bettencourt who opened his set with, “Get The Funk Out” from the 1990 album, ‘Extreme ll: Pornograffitti’ from his band, Extreme. His next song, Bettencourt sat on a stool and broke into, “Midnight Express” (Chase theme) from the 1978 movie sound track of the same name. I really enjoyed the fact that Bettencourt took a song that was more electronic with keyboards being the strength and composed it with the guitar. It was great cover of an amazing song and everyone there applauded in agreement. Finishing his set with the song “Sideways” by Citizen Cope, Bettencourt was greeted by an applauding Zakk Wylde and Wylde took the mic and thanked Bettencourt as he left the stage.
Here from Tosin Abasi About The Tour:
Zakk Wylde started his set covering the Black Sabbath song, “Into the Void” from Sabbaths 3rd album, ‘Master of Reality’. To it, he adding his own heavy guitar sound. As the song ended, sirens sounded the intro to his next song. It was a cover of Black Sabbaths, “War Pigs” from their 2nd album, Paranoid. Moving through the song he began his very long, over the top solo as he moved about the stage hair going in every direction. He then moved off stage into the crowd while shredding and raising his guitar. After a few moments he left the crowd and returned to the stage. Before long, he left the stage again and headed up the center aisle.
Thrashing away, Wylde made his way into the lobby and up the stairs to the balcony. From the front of the balcony, he stood over the crowd below and continued shredding to the delight of fans. He returned to the stage and finished the song standing on platform guitar raised to his fans.
As Yngwie Malmsteen made his way out onto the stage, the crowd let out a roar welcoming him and he wasted no time exploding into, “Into Valhalla” from his 2010 album, ‘Relentless’, showing everyone his mastery of the guitar. With his hair flowing and his fingers creating magic, Malmsteen moved about the stage raising his guitar to the delight of everyone and without a break in stride, he continued with, “Baroque and Roll” from his 2002 album, ‘Attack’.
As he continued through his set, the crowd was on its feet and at times, Malmsteen would stop, lean towards the crowd, raise up his guitar and just shred, moving forward and back, side to side as to hypnotize those right in front of him. His energy on the stage moving everywhere was fun to watch. Finishing his set, he was joined by Steve Vai and together they wowed the crowd with, “Black Star” from Malmsteen‘s debut album, “Rising Force”, one of his most popular songs. Malmsteen left the stage to a cheering, applauding, appreciative crowd.
Here From Steve Vai About The Current Tour:
Steve Vai wasted no time starting off with, “There’s a Fire in the House” from his 1996 album, ‘Fire Garden’. He moved around the stage as he played stopping at times, facing the crowd his fingers danced up and down the neck of his guitar, then with a spring in his step he continued to move about the stage. Finishing his set, he turned to his 2001 album, ‘Alive in a Ultra World’ with, “Whispering A Prayer”, showcasing his amazing technical guitar skills.
Hocus Pocus (5 man jam)
The Woven Web
Physical Education (with Nuno)
Get the Funk Out Song
Into the Void
Still Got The Blues
Into Valhalla / Baroque & Roll
From a Thousand Cuts / Arpeggios from Hell
Far Beyond the Sun
Trilogy Suite Op: 5
Black Star (with Steve Vai)
There’s a Fire in the House
Whispering a Prayer
*We ran into a few issues during the show and had to reach back into our vault from the 2016 Generation Axe Tour for a few past photos. The gang’s all the same, but there’s some different gear this tour and longer hair for Vai as well.
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