10.29.11: Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force

See you in Tokyo, bitch!

Malmsteen’s always been kind of a joke amongst myself and a group of friends. So much of a joke, that we all started to give each other Malmsteen related gifts for birthdays and holidays for the better part of a couple of years. It all started when one of us came across the Arpeggios from Fake video in the early days of Youtube. That was a hoot. Then we caught wind of the Tokyo flight audio and the dubbed John Petrucci live setup videos (They’ve been removed from youtube, sadly) and we forgot that the guy even played music. Eventually, we gave in and listened to the tunes and agreed that it was as entertaining as the Malmsteen persona. Plus, we had just discovered Michael Angelo Batio’s antics and he became the new guitar virtuoso to laugh at.

So last week Malmsteen was in town, and I decided to attend the show because I feared that he’d some day hop into one of those Ferrari’s he’s always bragging about and kill himself on the freeway before I could watch his antics in person. I got there as they finished up soundcheck, not really knowing if there was an opening act or not. If there was, I’m sure it was a waste of everyone’s time because when Malmsteen finally took the stage, it was the most incredible display of amazingness I’d ever seen. That’s clearly an exaggeration, but, come on. It was Yngwie Fucking Malmsteen in person. Still dressed as if it were 1987. Weird, ruffled unbuttoned silk shirt that only Prince could wear proudly, gold chains, watches and rings and the tightest leather pants a 48 year old man could possibly get away with wearing.

Once things got into full swing, I noticed that Malmsteen commanded practically all of the stage, and his bandmates were pretty much relegated to their respective sections. Basically – “Hey guys, don’t go past the third cab. That’s my area.” Clearly, Malmsteen the person and Malmsteen the performer are the same egotistical, narcissistic dickheads and his swag is undeniable. Since I hadn’t seen him live before, the only thing I could compare this performance to are his live videos on Youtube, and I swear it’s like he hasn’t lost a step. Maybe he’s put on a few pounds, and his high kicks aren’t so high anymore, but he’s still got it. He spent the entire night running around on stage, throwing his guitar in the air, playing it with his teeth, playing it behind his head, tossing out literally 20 guitar picks a song after every “oh shit” moment etc. I was entranced by it all. It got to the point where I had to remind myself Tim “Ripper” Owens was singing his ass off in his own little corner of the stage. He didn’t dare head stage left! See it for yourself. I whipped out my iPhone 4s and captured 11 minutes of the set in which they performed “Dreaming” and Dio’s “Gates of Babylon.” The real fun begins 6 minutes into the video.

Watch here

Watching Yngwie Malmsteen was quite an experience. The crowd was into it, the music was loud as fuck, and Malmsteen himself was exciting to watch. He was everything I used to laugh at and at the same time the baddest motherfucker on the planet. Even if you’re not into the cheesy, over top top melodic power metal type stuff, you have to see this man play. Take a broad with you. She’ll totally grab your crotch at the end of the show.*

*there is no guarantee that the opposite sex will give you a crotch grabbing at the end of the show.

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