Detroit, Michigan (November 21, 2018) – The Generation Axe Tour stopped at The Fillmore Detroit in Detroit, MI tonight. Being a guitar fanatic myself, I had been looking forward to this show for months! Consisting of Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi (five of the best guitar players out there), this was bound to be one of the best shows of the year!
Playing for a good three and a half hours, the guitar players took turns on stage, as well as performing together a few times. The show started with all five coming out and jamming a few songs before leaving the stage for Tosin Abasi to perform solo. Tosin is best known as the founder and lead guitarist for instrumental metal band, Animals as Leaders. Playing on his custom, eight string guitar, Tosin showed the crowd just how much talent the crowd was to expect to come for the rest of the night.
Joining Tosin on stage for a song to lead in to the next solo performance was Nuno Bettencourt. Best known for being the lead guitarist of the band, Extreme, Nuno performed a few Extreme songs where he also sang the vocals before playing a medley inspired by a kid on YouTube where there were no vocals, making sure to make the guitar shine, being that it was what the night was supposed to be about.
Then, out came Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, Zakk Sabbath) to perform with Nuno to transition into his set. Zakk is definitely one of the most fun guitar players to watch and is always engaging the audience. Between going out into the audience multiple times (giving the security guys a workout) while also bringing out Nuno Bettencourt and Steve Vai with him, he is always a crowd favorite. Not only does he go out in the audience, he makes sure to go up in the the balcony and hang his guitar over the edge and shred before putting his guitar behind his head and continuously playing without skipping a beat, and playing like that for a few minutes before making his way back to the stage, all while still playing with the guitar behind his head!
Next up was Steve Vai, the man behind The Generation Axe Tour. Coming out playing his custom Ibanez with lights in the fretboard, glowing bright, Steve Vai is one of the best players at making his instrument feel as if it is simply an extension of his body. Becoming one with the music he is playing and giving every single note a purpose and feeling, showed exactly how he is a three-time Grammy Award winner and fifteen-time nominee.
Last of the solo sets was from Yngwie Malmsteen. With 20 studio albums released, he had no shortage of amazing songs to pick from. His neoclassical metal style of playing and him throwing around his Fender Stratocaster, while never missing a beat, always makes for a great show! Thankfully the show wasn’t finished after his set.
Joining Yngwie on stage for “Black Star” was Vai – they took turns playing one of Yngwie’s best known songs. After that, Yngwie took a break from the stage while the other players joined Vai again on stage for a few more songs, with Yngwie coming back out for the last of them.
I also don’t want to forget to mention the other musicians who made the show possible. With Pete Griffin on bass, Nick Marinovich on keys, and JP Bouvet on drums; these three musicians played the whole show, showing just how talented they are with being able to keep up with, not one, but five amazing guitarists!!!
Again, being a guitar player and enthusiast myself, I had been looking forward to this show for months and it far outdid my expectations! I was blown away by the amount of talent that could be on one stage in a single night. This was definitely one of my favorite shows of the year and I was lucky enough to be able to photograph some of my favorite musicians.