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Home Today's Stories Live Review: Yngwie Malmsteen at Blender Theater, NYC, October 26, 2008
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Live Review: Yngwie Malmsteen at Blender Theater, NYC, October 26, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 31 October 2008 20:19
By Tim McCall, Contributing Writer – Guitar Jam Daily
WOW! How in the world could I pass up the opportunity to see Yngwie Malmsteen on tour, promoting his new album? When I was asked to do this review, I jumped at the opportunity. You have to understand, I have been a huge Yngwie fan from the moment I first heard “Anguish and Fear” on his 1985 Album “Marching Out.” I was instantly hooked. I had never heard anyone rip up and down the fret board the way Yngwie did. I think to some extent I am still waiting to hear anyone come even close and frame it into a listenable song that actually works.
I am one of those people who has ADHD, with a heavy emphasis on the “Hyperactivity” part. All those screaming guitar notes and riffs ripping through my head are like the fireworks going off to Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks!” Brain Neuron INSANITY! It’s better than being named Beavis and drinking massive quantities of coffee!!!  

Yngwie has had well over 20 albums throughout his career and I could easily write half a book going over the various band incarnations, minor changes in style and approaches and the various collaborations in which he has participated. Suffice to say; his catalog is massive and it contains something every style of guitar player can listen to for inspiration. Yngwie has always remained true to his own unique musical vision and for that, I have nothing but respect for him.

Now, you could listen to every single song Yngwie has ever created and it would not come anywhere close to actually experiencing a live performance by him. Notice I say “performance,” not show. Because Yngwie PERFORMS. While other guitar heroes have crashed and burned and slowly faded away into obscurity, Yngwie has escaped the pitfalls often associated with superstardom and continues to make great music. Yngwie throws his guitar 10 to 15 feet in the air, does the over the shoulder spin (and gets the tone to change while he does it), rips the strings off his guitar one by one while the feedback from him gigantic vintage Marshall stacks screams through your brain. Oh yeah, my buddy Ron Hanley (from Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom) counted them, 25 VINTAGE Marshall heads, more than Judas Priest had at Madison Square Garden. (Okay, ONLY six had their lights on… in a 500-seat venue!)

Yngwie played some of the songs from his new album, “Perpetual Flame” which he is promoting on this tour. Tim “Ripper” Owens, former front-man/ replacement for Rob Halford of Judas Priest, is singing and he stays true to his nickname; he rips it up. Yngwie actually sang one song himself to which I thought he did extremely well. I am going to have to recheck all my album liner notes, because I don’t remember EVER hearing or seeing Yngwie sing. Not even when I saw him a few years back on his last go round. Could it be that Yngwie is going to move in the direction of other guitar heroes like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix? I think I would dig it. He also played some of his standard classics like “I am a Viking,” “You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget,“ “I’ll See the Light Tonight.” The required acoustic intro to his songs were performed in his signature style. For the encore, it was fitting that he closed out with the song that put him on the map and the road to Stardom, “Black Star” and “Faster than the Speed of Light.”  All in all, it was an awesome show and I highly recommend you go and see Yngwie on this tour.  Photos by


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