Marshall Amps 50th Anniversary
@ Wembley Arena
22nd September 2012
Review by Ashlinn Nash
Photography by Andre Purvis
Marshall Amplifiers have been the corner stone of many a practise room, live performance, studio and bedroom essential for many musicians over the last fifty years. Ranging from Jimi Hendrix right up to Lemmy Kilmister being well renowned users, the amps have become something of legendary status.
So what better way of celebrating the fact that these fantastic amps have been around for fifty years that showcasing the talent behind the airwaves, with a collage of talent here tonight all playing songs of their own, and many they made their own.
Wembley Arena is set for the sonic treat tonight as the evening’s arena fills with every generation to match the song listings. Segment one; the starter to such a prestigious line up is always a difficult one to choose, however “house band” AKA; Jaz Lochrie, Chris George, Brian Tichy, Adam Wakeman, opened the night playing an ‘Instrumental Jam’ which set up the anticipation for the night ahead. With a warmly welcomed appearance from Corey Taylor a cover of The Cult’s classics: ‘Lil’ Devil’ and ‘Love Removal Machine’ filled the air.
Al Murray took to the stage to welcome with lashings of banter the line-up change.
The Second segment kicked off with Tim "Ripper" Owens, joining the house band, playing the cult classics ‘Heaven And Hell’ by Black Sabbath and ‘Slide It In’ by whitesnake, as if their own.
With Owens’ vocals beaming like a soaring eagle above the fine tuned metallic orchestration the justice for Dio’s legacy had been done.
With some change to the line-up came with a new addition of Iron Maiden legend /co-host for the evening Nicko McBrain, for the stunning rendition of ‘Flight of Icarus’ by Iron maiden, with triumphant soars of vocal display and adrenaline pounding drumlines the classic song’s cover was sublime.
A warm welcome to Paul Gilbert [Racer x] who is a guitarist with little need for introductions as his playing speaks for itself delivered three sublime cover songs spanning the classic rock spectrum of the Marshall amps clients.
With “cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ top, ‘Manic Depression’ by Jimi Hendrix and concluding with ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ by Joe Walsh. With lashings of his own crazy effects work made interesting incremental changes to the songs, over all the songs chosen where given a modern twist making the classics more accessible to the younger crowd members who became more engrossed throughout the segment.
With more comedic styling’s of Al Murray came a attempt on being “very rock and roll” and jumping from the drum riser in true style…
Just before re-introducing Corey Taylor for more classic tunes from the back catalogues of Thin Lizzy during the Third Segment; by playing “Still in love with you” and “Ace of spades” by Motorhead, to which the mighty axe-weilder of Slayer; Kerry King joined the stage for.
The un-mistaken perfect matching between Corey Taylor’s voice and the cover of “ace of spades” was remarkable.
Kerry King continued to stay for a couple more before being joined by Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde, who as Al Murray put it is a man with "not one but two z’s in his name" prowled onto the stage with his knowledge, and span of experience and knowledge in conducting to create something remarkably delightful to the ears.
A career centralised around the rise to fame with Ozzy, and his own black label society.
The pair performed a very rare and beautifully distorted by effects pedals rendition of ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ by Black Sabbath.
Ending tonight’s third segment with own material “Still Born” called for many a delighted scream from the crowd as Wlyde conducted something of a rampant pinch harmonic interlude to conclude.
Fourth Segment was introduced by Murray, playing an unusual drum solo for the crowd as he stunned the audience with his hidden skill, welcomed the crowd to “the guitar face and raised guitar” portion of the evenings’ entertainment. Starting with Yngwie Malmsteen who along with the house band played tracks from the vocally silent guitar master’s back catalogue.
‘Baroque And Roll’, ‘Evil Eye’ and ‘Far Beyond The Sun’ which were real highlights of why Malmsteen is a world renowned guitarist, along with a very unique solo.
With teeth, Van Halen-styled ways of playing his instrument the crowd relished in the technicality and genius as well as the “out there” skills of Malmsteen. Who left as a hard act to follow…
However, the performance of Joe Satriani, which had a real sense of the blues, manifested itself within the smooth guitar licks that flowed like air-like gems in a river.
As he worked his way through solo songs ‘Satch Boogie’ and ‘Always with Me, Always with You’.
Concluding the portion with ‘Goin’ Down’ he was accompanied by Paul Gilbert for the Freddie King Cover, which was stunning.
Fifth and final segment of the evening brought out the final guest star, Glenn Hughes to perform some of more diverse classics such as ‘Black Country ‘by Black country communion and “Mr Big” by free. Along with re-welcoming Malmsteen to the stage for a cover of BB King’s “rock me baby”.
Just before Everyone returned for the grand finale of the classic number to conclude a truly fantastic showcase of skill “smoke on the water” by Deep Purple, being the first song so many musicians learnt to play when starting out, seemed to be the perfect fit to conclusion!