Jason Becker: Matt Blackett's review of the incredible San Francisco show

The “surprise special guest” of the night showed up in the form of Marty Friedman, who flew out from Japan for one day to play the show. Rocking a PRS Singlecut, Friedman played a soulful instrumental that was a great showcase for his sweet bends and vibrato, as well as his patently unorthodox phrasing and note choices. Nobody sounds like that guy and it was a treat for the old-school Cacophony fans in attendance to see Friedman and Becker in the same room again.
A definite highlight of the evening was the performance of Mr. Steve Lukather who played a touching version of his “Song for Jeff.” In his intro, Luke explained how his former bassist Mike Porcaro also suffers from ALS and then proceeded to wring every bit of emotion out of each crying bend, expertly backed by Duffy, drummer extraordinaire Michael Urbano, and keyboardist Phil Bennett. No matter how great all the previous guitarists were, something different happened when Luke took the stage. The guy is just able to more weight, depth, and power behind his notes than most people can do. He only played one tune, but he kicked every ass in the place. You can see a video of his performance here. more