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This weekend I went to see Jorge Salan here in Murcia. I didn't know about Jorge until my friend Victor talked me about him at the end of 2005.
In case you didn’t know anything about Jorge Salan, he is a great Spanish guitar player, he is 24 years old and he studied at Berklee.
Before listening to his latest album (Chronicles of an evolution) I was a bit skeptical about it because there was only one rock instrumental song, and I saw Jorge Salan as a good guitar player so I think I wouldn’t like him singing. However I was wrong. I think he has done a great job with his latest album (you can listen to one of the songs here).
We arrived to the Sala Gamma ten minutes before the hour but Jorge and his band have just gone to dinner. We found out that there was a typographical error in the tickets so the show should start at 11:00 PM instead of 10:00 PM. Ouch!
Even if the tickets didn’t only talk about Jorge Salan, we also found out that there was a support band called Amalgama that started playing at 11:30 PM. We didn’t like their music. I was surprised to see that they didn’t have a backup guitar, so when the main guitarist broke his 5th string we had to wait until he changed it. The stage was really small. I think there were only about 100 persons in the show. It was really difficult for the band members to move more than a meter from their initial positions. The finished playing at 0:15 AM. Here are a couple of pics of this band:
When they finished playing the empty spaces disappeared. As we were waiting so long at least we were in the first row so we enjoyed a great experience being able to see all the details when Jorge started playing (The downside is that my ears are still ringing two days after the show. I should have worn earplugs). The show started at 0:30 AM.
As we were in the first row we were able to see the setlist and some tabs the second guitarist brought (that were stolen at the end of the show by some guys near us):
Some notes about the show:
· Before Under the Moon Jorge played a little introduction showing his great technique.
· During Under the Moon, I missed some U2-like sounds present in the original recording.
· It was amazing to see how easy it seems to play the guitar when you see him.
· During One Way there was a keyboard solo but I wasn’t able to hear a single note of it!
· After Driving Through the Tunnel, Jorge gave his guitar to Jordi (second guitarist) to show how he plays with the strings reversed (as he is left handed).
· There was a really nice guitar duel between Jorge and Jordi in the middle of I’ll be waiting (it reminded me of Vai vs Mcalpine in The Crying Machine).
· My friend Fran pointed me out that Fernando Mainer was using a fretless bass in Pathways to Death.
· During the drum solo we wrote down “19 TENDER SURRENDER” in a piece of paper and tried to put it on the set list. Jordi saw us and laughed but he said that it won’t happen L
· Damned Land and No Salvation were a lot harder to play than I thought.
· Song #17 wasn’t played.
· I was amazed to see that Jorge didn’t miss any pinch harmonic. Even Vai fails one or two in a show!
· The other band members weren’t armless. Jordi Piñol (guitar) and Fernando Mainer (bass) also studied at Berklee and were superb. Javi Diez (keyboards) and Carlos Exposito (drums) were good too.
· The band was very accessible and friendly. They told that they were going to “La boca del lobo” (a local pub) after the show.
Summing up, a really awesome show!
Jorge Salan is the best Spanish guitar player without a doubt. His technique is amazing and it is impressive to see him playing. His songs may not be as catchy as Vai ones but he is only 24, so there’s a lot of room for improvements and evolution…
I won’t miss a show from them when they come near my city