For over 20 years, various conceptions of the Jimi Hendrix Experience have formed and paid tribute to one of the greatest musicians of all time. Starting off with the 1995 Bumbershoot, it eventually morphed into the current Experience Hendrix that is led by Jimi’s half-sister Janie. The tour is sporadic as its not on the road ever year making it even more of a special event when it comes to a town near you. Consistent touring staples with the Experience Hendrix tour have been Billy Cox (who was in the Band of Gypsys with Jimi), Eric Johnson (guitar), Jonny Lang (guitar) and Chris Layton (drums).  I have witnessed a handful of these shows since 2010 and some new blood was injected into this year’s lineup. This year’s lineup included Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani and drummer extraordinaire Kenny Aronoff.

At the start of each show, Janie Hendrix addresses  the audience and thanks them for coming out. She talks about her brother and what sharing his music means to her. Hendrix brought up 2 lucky school kids who won guitars from the tour. Billy Cox started things off musically with the song “Freedom,” joining him were vocalist and emcee Henri Brown, guitarist Dweezil Zappa and drummer Chris Layton. Layton was joined by bassist Chuck Campbell as they handled most of the low for the first half of the show set.

One of the highlights was the emotional Jonny Lang who put heart and soul into both “Spanish Castle Magic” (which he played an acoustic for) and the up-tempo “Fire” which Mustaine made his first appearance of the night. It’s always interesting to see the interaction between artists of different genres. Mustaine was welcomed with a hug by Lang whose musical specialties couldn’t be farther apart.  Mustaine remained and went through 2 other tacks “Purple Haze and “Stone Free (which Cox came back out to handle bass and vocals on).”

Next guest up was blues legend Taj Mahal. Mahal garnered the biggest ovation out of all the special guests. He led the band on 3 the straight covers which the audience really seemed to enjoy.

The main feature for this show was guitar wizard Joe Satriani. Satch dazzled the audience with his technical proficiency and over the top showmanship. He tackled lesser known tracks like “I Don’t Live Today” and “If 6 was 9” and injected a new life into them. Satch welcomed Kings X bassist Doug Pinnick and one of the best drummers on the planet in Kenny Aronoff. They closed the set with “Voodoo Child” and killed it.

Keeping the tour new and exciting is a difficult task. You must get name credulity but must ensure they will be able to gel wit the rest of the musicians. I think Janie Hendrix did a commendable job on this one and hoping that we will continue to see fresh faces participate in future Experiences.

 

Setlist:

 

Freedom (Jimi Hendrix cover – Billy Cox, Henri Brown, Dweezil Zappa and Chris Layton)

Foxy lady (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Billy Cox, Henri Brown, Mato Nanji, Chuck Campbell and Chris Layton)

Power of Soul (Band of Gypsys cover- Eric Johnson, Henri Brown, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

Love or Confusion (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover– Eric Johnson, Dweezil Zappa, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

Bold as Love (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover– Eric Johnson, Dweezil Zappa, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

Are You Experienced? (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover– Eric Johnson, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

The Sky is Crying (Elmore James cover – Chuck Campbell, Calvin Cooke, Mato Nanji, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover –  Eric Johnson, Jonny Lang, Mato Nanji, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

The Wind Cries Mary (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Eric Johnson, Jonny Lang, Mato Nanji, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

Spanish Castle Magic (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover-  Jonny Lang, Mato Nanji, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

Fire (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Jonny Lang, Henri Brown, Janie Hendrix, Dave Mustaine, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

Purple Haze (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Henri Brown, Dave Mustaine, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

Stone Free (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Billy Cox, Henri Brown, Dave Mustaine, Mato Nanji, Kevin McCormick and Chris Layton)

Killing Floor (Howlin’ Wolf cover –  Taj Mahal, Chuck Campbell, Calvin Cooke, Mato Nanji, Kevin McCormick, and Chris Layton)

Catfish Blues (Robert Petway cover – Taj Mahal, Chuck Campbell, Calvin Cooke, Mato Nanji, Kevin McCormick, and Chris Layton)

Hey Joe (The Leaves cover – Taj Mahal, Billy Cox, Chuck Campbell, Mato Nanji, and Chris Layton)

Red House (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Calvin Cooke, Chuck Campbell, Mato Nanji and Chris Layton)

Them Changes (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Jonny Lang, Billy Cox, Chuck Campbell, Henri Brown, Mato Nanji and Chris Layton)

Crosstown Traffic (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Henri Brown, Doug Pinnick, Joe Satriani and Kenny Aronoff)

Manic Depression (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Doug Pinnick, Joe Satriani and Kenny Aronoff)

I Don’t Live Today (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Doug Pinnick, Joe Satriani and Kenny Aronoff)

If 6 was 9 (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Doug Pinnick, Joe Satriani and Kenny Aronoff)

Third Stone From the Sun/Machine Gun (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Doug Pinnick, Joe Satriani and Kenny Aronoff)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover – Doug Pinnick, Joe Satriani and Kenny Aronoff)

 

Photo Gallery

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We would like to thank Phil Pantano from Pantano & Associates for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That's when Backstageaxxess.com began. I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here. When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do. My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows: 1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium - Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96 2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) - Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03 3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05 4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89 5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center - Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06 The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.