The Experience Hendrix 2010 , “West Coast Seattle Boy Tour” visited The Taft Theater in Cincinnati on Wednesday evening.The show began with a video presentation on the life of Jimi Hendrix, followed by a greeting by Janie Hendrix.
Early band mates Billy Cox, who joined with Hendrix while in the Army and later performed with him in Band of Gypsys, and Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers, who took Hendrix in as a guitarist in 1964, along with Chris Layton former Stevie Ray Vaughn drummer, began the musical portion of the show playing a hard driving version of “Stone Free” and “Message to Love”.
The show moved flawlessly, through Living Color featuring fiery solos by Vernon Reid , Eric Johnson’s impeccably clean guitar work and a three song combination of Susan Tedeschi, Brad Whitford and Mato Nanji of Indigenous.
As each performer rotated on and off the stage, it quickly became a guitar lover’s dream, performed by artists who clearly idolized the guitar god and performed at an intense level as if Hendrix himself was watching the performance.
The show was filled with highlights, Susan Tedeschi’s and Los Lobos version of “Little Wing” brought chills, Robert Randolph’s peddle steel guitar on “Purple Haze” and Jonny Lang with Brad Whitford jamming on “All Along the Watchtower” Every performance pushed the audience and musicians to a higher level.
It seemed the show could not reach a higher peak when Kenny Wayne Shepherd began “Voodoo Child” finishing with an outstanding long solo by that absolutely destroyed the audience and would have made Hendrix himself proud.
Steve Vai’s techno filled guitar clinic was hypnotic on “Midnight” playing with his arms, hands, head, and even his tongue. He was joined by Randolph, and Living Color for “Foxey Lady” to end the show.
A blistering encore of “Red House” by Mato, Isley, Randolph, Cox and Layton drew every last ounce of energy from everyone in the Taft including the artists.
2010 is a year filled with outstanding shows and this one is rates among the best of the year.
The artists shared the stage with a passion. The interaction and tight performances rose to a guitar drenched peak that left the audience drained and exhausted by night’s end. If you love guitar or Jimi Hendrix this show is a must see.