Throughout his musical career as one of the best well-known neoclassical trained guitar sensations of the 80s, Yngwie Malmsteen certainly lives up to his extreme guitar technical greatness on his newly released effort entitled Parabellum, which to date now features the master still behind the guitar. The new spin to his talent as a musician with a tapestry of vocals throughout the new record is quite different as many of us guitar-crazed fans always just visually seen Malmsteen as a guitar icon in the metal world. What seemed to feel like the 80s all over again with Yngwie’s new tour that recently made its stop at the Keswick Theatre, it certainly was nothing short of spellbinding guitar decibel overload.
Many of us metal fanatics still see Malmsteen as an icon from 1985 with sheer talent. Decades later he can still wow audiences spanning a new generation of fans discovering him for the first time. While many tours still getting moved around, postponed or even cancelled, nothing beats sitting in the second row watching this individual go through several guitar changes during the first several songs, not to mention pivoting guitar picks like landing coins in a fountain for good luck. This has been his signature move for as long as anyone can from the early days can remember.
For a small, what I would call an intimate fan base who still reign metal in their veins, Malmsteen entertained fans with a long list of older favourites as well as a few new songs from Parabellum. It was a bit disappointing as he did leave out ‘Heaven Tonight’ from the Joe Lynn Turner era during his two-plus hours at the show. He did, however, pull out some vintage songs from his earlier catalogues of guitar heavenly decibels opening his set with ‘Rising Force’ from 1988’s Odyssey.
Malmsteen’s impressive guitar fury could often be a blazing visual spectacle throughout many of his earlier recordings of songs which featured ‘Trilogy Suite Op: 5’, ‘Wolves at the Door’, ‘Seventh Sign’ and his cover of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ with him on vocals – now that’s a brilliant throwback to add to the mix. An absolutely thrilling experience to almost be on the stage while watching him pull out ‘Far Beyond the Sun’ going right into Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ and reaching the pinnacle of his set with ‘You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget’ from 1986’s release of Trilogy.
Even with the lack of radio promotion of this show, it still did well fanwise for a small crowd who just can’t live without musical time travel that makes all of us feel like we just did a time warp for two hours. It was nothing short of greatness with what I would definitely call a million-decibel shred.
Photography credit to Steve Trager.