I found it odd that Joe Satriani's new Live In Paris: I Just Wanna Rock concert DVD was being offered at Amazon.com for only $7.99 when it first came out. Then came the customer reviews. After about 50 customer reviews, the DVD has a two star average rating. How could this be? Satriani's previous two concert DVDs are both outstanding and very well received. Well, as much as I thought that the video editing and special affects on some of the other concert DVDs I have simply could not get any worse, I Just Wanna Rock comes along and puts them to shame. "You call that special effects? I'll show you some special effects!" It's a good thing I only paid $7.99 for this thing, or I'd be really pissed-off.
Since I am such a big fan of Joe Satriani, I was just going to write "get the CD, skip the DVD," and leave it at that, but I have decided to take out my frustrations on a few paragraphs instead. When I first watched this monstrosity, I thought that surely there was no way that Joe could have actually seen and approved of this DVD, but in a recent Guitar World magazine interview, he actually sings the praises of his brilliant video director, Gunther Kutcsh, for presenting visually the emotional roller coaster that transforms his personality every time he hits the stage. If you think that watching a concert DVD through your kid's toy kaleidoscope succeeds at that, then you are going to just marvel at this new DVD. Just make sure you have a big bag of magic mushrooms to go with it.
I Just Wanna Rock was recorded at the Grand Rex Theatre, Paris, France, May 27th 2008 during Satriani's tour in support of his most recent, and most strangely named, Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock album — speaking of being on shrooms. Satriani plays seven of the album's ten songs, as well as the bonus track, "Ghosts," which is what really sets this DVD apart from his previous two offerings. Along with all of the expected classics like "Satch Boogie," "Flying In A Blue Dream," and "Ice 9," you also get a couple of deeper cuts like "Cryin'," and "Time Machine," that are not on his other DVDs.
Besides making the DVD unwatchable, the most frustrating thing about all of the video effects and rapid fire editing nonsense is that Satriani's performance this night appears to be (or should I say SOUNDS like) one of his best. In the same Guitar World interview I mentioned, Joe even discusses how special this particular performance was for him: "Once in a while on every tour you get those golden moments when it just seems that everything is right; your amp feedback is perfect, your performance of a particular song is the best its ever been, the band rocks harder than ever…That night in Paris was one of those nights".
The audio tracks were superb. Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and LPCM stereo mixes were offered and they both sounded damn near perfect to my ears. The production rating salvages a few stars only because of this. The only bonus feature is a 40-minute interview with Joe and some behind-the-scenes footage.
How about releasing a NON-Directors Cut edition of this DVD Joe? Until then it will sit in shame on my shelf beside your other excellent DVDs.
01. I Just Wanna Rock
03. Satch Boogie
04. Ice 9
06. Flying In A Blue Dream
09. Super Colossal
10. One Big Rush
12. Out of the Sunrise
13. Time Machine
14. Cool # 9
16. Bass Solo
18. Mystical Potato Head, Groove Thing
19. Always With Me, Always With You
20. Surfing With The Alien
21. Crowd Chant
22. Summer Song
Performance – Can't really tell, but it certainly sounds good.
Production – 4/10