“Benvenuto, bambini!” Roger Waters exclaims through his microphone to the line of children excitedly walking toward the stage inside Rome’s massive Stadio Olimpico. On this blistering afternoon in late July, the former Pink Floyd leader and his band are in the middle of the soundcheck for tonight’s show, at which they’ll perform Floyd’s classic 1979 double-album, The Wall, for 50,000 Italian fans.
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Red Rocks is a musical mecca, a natural amphitheater in the foothills of the Rockies renowned for its great sound and serene setting. On this summer night, afternoon storms have given way to sunshine. A rainbow spreads across the plains behind the stage, helping to make the place feel even more magical.
What a difference a year makes. In February 1969, the Grateful Dead recorded a series of shows at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore West in the hope of finally capturing on tape the psychedelic alchemy of their already legendary onstage interplay. The double album Live Dead, released in November that year, showcased the Dead at their adventurous and exploratory acid-peak best and cemented their reputation as the premier jamming band of the era.
The 46-year-old Petrucci certainly knows a thing or two about challenging one’s self. In more than a quarter century with Dream Theater, the native of New York’s Long Island has regularly raised the bar for six-string (and sometimes seven-string) fretboard wizardry.
The world needs more guitar heroes like Guthrie Govan. No mere notes-per-nanosecond noodler, Govan has musical tastes and a command of music history far more eclectic and adventurous than those of the average shred demon.
John Petrucci’s relationship with Music Man stretches back more than a dozen years and encompasses a variety of signature-model guitars. But in their long history together there’s never been anything quite like Petrucci and Music Man’s newest creation, the JP13.
Twenty years after Kurt Cobain suffered for the sins of corporate rock, Nirvana rise from the vault in a deluxe box-set reissue of their great grunge apotheosis, In Utero. GW delivers the gospel according to Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear.