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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I was at the show last night. 

I had serious problems with the sound. For $60 a ticket they should have hired someone who knew what he was doing. The bass and drums over powered the guitar through out the first set. The guitar solos that flowed back and forth between various guitarists got turned up 5-6 seconds after solos started. 

The guy running the spot light was no better about 1/2 the time he was on the wrong guitarist during solos.

The sound did get better toward the end of the night good thing too as Kenny Wayne was totally hot very very good guitarist hit every little Jimi nuance accurately.

There was a guitarist that opened the show (black guy on right side of stage) If it wasn't for holding the guitar in his right hand I would have sworn it was Jimi himself. He had all the Jimi moves too. 

Johnny Lang was hot too... Man for a young guitarist he plays with sole.

One tidbit for the guitarist: I couldn't believe .... the guitarist from the Black Crowes (Rich Robinson) used Auto-Wah during a rhythmic solo. Most people didn't notice but as you can probably tell I am a guitarist and so seeing guys using effects from the 90's on Jimi tunes during a show that is suppose to capture the Hendrix experience was kind of a bummer.

Edward Brian Johnson
Edward Brian Johnson

the same reason I wouldn't go see a bill wyman show that called itself the Stones, or two outta four CCR, or two monkees for seventy bucks!

Richard Clubb
Richard Clubb

Dave Kragness, I was going to go but Eric johnson and a few others did not make this show. The last one I understand.

Dave Kragness
Dave Kragness

Couldn't believe it wasn't a packed house! Lots of empty seats in the back of the upper level...which are still good seats. Guess those people just missed the opportunity to see some amazing talent all in one place for 3 hours. Fun time...

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