Monday, 28 February 2011

Andy Timmons Band in Tokyo

Almost all guitarists are familiar with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. But Andy Timmons?

I heard the name fleetingly, but before today I hadn't heard his playing. I watched a few videos on Youtube and liked what I saw. In my opinion he sounds like a bit of a bluesier Satriani.

I saw tickets to his concert here in Tokyo, so as a last minute grab we decided to see him play at STB 139 in Roppongi.

STB is a great looking venue. It looks like a restaurant more than a bar. Everyone is seated and candles are placed at the tables. The size was perfect to watch an intimate concert. I can imagine jazz would be a perfect soundtrack to the ambience.

You actually feel obliged to buy food and drinks, but we didn't. It felt a little strange when we left as others paid at the exit.

Andy and his three-piece band played a great two hour set. His own original tunes are filled with cool melodies. There were moments of widdly-widdly guitar solos that could be seen as self-indulgent to a non-guitarist, but this guy sure has chops. His slower songs had more universal appeal. I don't think that really mattered though, as I had a STRONG feeling the majority of the audience were guitarists.

He's endorsed by Ibanez and has a signature model that obviously derives a strong influence of a strat, but with an Ibanez headstock. To me it looks too strange. Sound-wise it's a strat sound. I couldn't help but think he probably rather have wanted a Fender endorsement instead. Call me a purist, but I reckon he should be rockin' a real strat.

From what I heard about the show, I thought he'd play a lot of the Beatles Sergeant Pepper's tunes from his latest release, but he only did three. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" blew me away. Definitely one of my favourites. Good move to play as it again gave the general public a familiarity among his own songs.

His rhythm section was tight. The bass player did a solo spot that sounded good. He used an eBow with his bass that at first I thought was a sustainer pickup. It's the first time I heard it with a bass. Very creative.

I'd like to have taken more pictures, but again the photo nazis put a stop to that pretty quickly. As a guitarist if you do get the chance to catch ATB in concert I recommend you check it out.

It's not bad for a first night out for me in Roppongi!