G3 Brings Guitar Heaven to The Fox

Fox Theatre, Oakland
February 3, 2024

Photos by Raymond Ahner

Reuniting the original G3 Tour line-up of Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, and himself, guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani brought his G3 Reunion to a sold-out Fox Theater in Oakland last weekend, 28 years after sharing the stage together on the first tour. It didn’t take long for the three master guitarists to prove that time has been kind to them, as they all brought the house down individually, and then together as a group.

Up first was Steve Vai, who immediately mesmerized the crowd with an effortless version of “Avalancha.” From there he went through another five songs, highlighted by “Teeth of the Hydra,” played on his beyond insane triple neck guitar. Although Vai had already given the crowd more than their money’s worth in guitar, then evening was just getting started.

After a short intermission, it was Eric Johnson’s turn to show off his skills, and he most certainly did. His stage presence may have been a bit more subdued than his predecessor, but the fans didn’t seem to mind at all. Kicking off his set with a cover of R&B singer / songwriter Chris Kenner’s “Land of 1,000 Dances,” Johnson wowed the crowd with his intricate playing. Highlights from his set included both “Desert Rose,” and “Here With You Again.”

After a quick change over it was time for the master of ceremonies, Joe Satriani. He started his set with “Raspberry Jam Delta V,” and from there his set flowed and weaved in and out through “Surfing with the Alien,” “Satch Boogie,” and “Big Bad Moon,” all with not only plenty of guitar face, but also with the legendary Kenny Arnoff on drums. No Satriani set would be complete without “Summer Song,” which seemed to be the crowd favorite of the evening.

Of course no G3 show would be complete without a jam of all three guitarists, and Vai, Johson, and Satriani did not disappoint, ripping through “Crossroads” (Cream), Spanish Castle Magic” (Jimi Hendrix Experience), and “Born to Be Wild” (Steppenwolf). The evening wasn’t quite over yet though, as they brought out long-time Bay Area guitarist and former Satriani student Doug Doppler for “Foxy Lady” as well as Sammy Hager and the Wabonitas guitarist Vic Johnson for “Going Down.”

By the time the evening wrapped up the show was nothing short of a total success, with a night full of extraordinary guitarists. The G3 tour wraps up with two shows at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles on February 9th and 10th, and here’s hoping that it returns in 2025.

Here’s a slideshow with more photos of the G3 Tour by Raymond Ahner: