Experience Hendrix at State Theatre, 4/8/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Steve Cohen

Experience Hendrix
State Theatre, Minneapolis
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

To say last night's touring Jimi Hendrix tribute performance, Experience Hendrix, was a non-stop barrage of propulsively sexy, heavy-duty guitar would be an understatement. Almost as powerful as the man himself, an endless succession of guitar players lit the glorious State Theatre stage up like the finest of Woodstock acid trips. For nearly three hours, Jimi's old Army buddy and eventual bassist in the Band of Gypsys, Billy Cox led an army of All-Star guitarists who collectively managed to scorch their way through the bible of Hendrix quintessentials.

See also:
Slideshow: Experience Hendrix at State Theatre

"Let's create an electric church up in here!" preached sister Janie Hendrix as she introduced the band and unveiled the recently published Jimi Hendrix U.S. postage stamp.

Looking the part as much as they perfectly sounded it, Dani Robison initiated the guitar duties of the evening with fellow Hendrix connoisseur Stan Skibby. Trading licks through "Stone Free," they dialed in their sound, both managing ferocious leads that set the tone for a wild night of guitar solos.

Photos by Steve Cohen
Amidst the combined divebomb leads and whammy-bar workouts, Cox and former Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton kept up with the groove and attack of "Machine Gun." Considered one of the top Jimi Hendrix tribute players in the world, Skibby showed no shame tossing his guitar about, over and behind his head and of course ultimately ending the solo with his teeth.

Next up for Band of Gypsys joint, "Message to Love," Black Crowes' Rich Robinson took the lead guitar seat. With his own tasteful, downplayed approach he maintained his own sound as photos of Jimi and Billy Cox together through their friendship and years performing together flickered on the backdrop. Placed up top the virtual city of guitar amplifiers on stage, the multi-colored screen featured hundreds of photos and video of Jimi Hendrix in all his glory.

"Did someone just shout out to me 'The Dweez'!?" he laughed before ripping through "Freedom" with the band. With his typically oddball, lyrical style, Dweezil Zappa triumphantly traded and harmonized with Eric Gales who took over vocals, bringing a touch of bluesy soul to the set. Brought back to the tour as Brad Whitford and Taj Mahal had to cancel at the last minute, Gales stole the show for the first half of the night.

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