On Wednesday, March 16th, The Experience Hendrix rolled into the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse as an all-star cast brought the legacy of Jimi Hendrix’s music to life for the capacity crowd. Jimi’s sister, Janie, opened the festivities, welcoming the congregation to the Electric Church in celebration of the spirit and music of Jimi Hendrix.
The stage saw a revolving cast of guitarists and singers coming on and off the stage to share their renditions from Hendrix’s library. The evening started with Dweezil Zappa on lead guitar, Billy Cox (who played in both the Band of Gypsies and The Jimi Hendrix Experience) on bass and lead vocals, and Chris Layton (of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble) on the drums, ripping through “Freedom”.
Much like a well-written symphony, the onstage ensemble went through physical crescendos and decrescendos as musicians were added to and taken from the mix, providing a seemingly endless variety of ingredients to the hungry masses. From the basic power trio, to a full stage that included two pedal guitars, two lead guitars, bass, and percussion, The Hendrix Experience delivered a full spectrum of flavors through the night.
Each of the guitarists more than held their own and provided his own take on Hendrix signatures. Dweezil churned out an amazing wah-laden solo in “Stone Free”. Eric Johnson spent much of “Are You Experienced?” off in the wings of the stage conjuring supernatural feedback sounds from the amps. Zakk Wylde invoked some Jimi showmanship with both behind the head soloing, as well as literally chewing out a solo with his teeth. The Slide Brothers’ Calvin Cooke and Chuck Campbell hit unfathomable registers on their pedal guitars, most notably on “The Sky is Crying”. Mato Nanji and Johnny Lange shared a blistering solo in “Spanish Castle Magic” that had the crowd screaming in appreciation.
Cast (in order of appearance): Dweezil Zappa: guitar; Billy Cox: bass, vox; Chris Layton: drums; Mato Nanji: guitar, vox; Henri Brown: vox; Chuck Campbell: pedal guitar; Scott Nelson: bass; Calvin Cooke: pedal guitar; Eric Johnson: guitar, vox; Noah Hunt: vox; Zakk Wylde: guitar, vox, keyboard; Johnny Lange: guitar, vox;Janie Hendrix: backup vox; Kenny Wayne Shepherd: guitar; Billy Austin: drums; Buddy Guy: guitar, vox; Guitar: Dweezil Zappa, Mato Nanji, Eric Johnson, Zakk Wylde, Johnny Lange, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Buddy Guy; Pedal Guitar: Calvin Cooke, Chuck Campbell; Bass: Billy Cox, Scott Nelson; Drums: Chris Layton, Billy Austin; Vox and Backup Vox: Henri Brown, Noah Hunt, Janie Hendrix
Set 1: Freedom, Stone Free, Foxey Lady, The Sky is Crying, Wait Until Tomorrow, One Rainy Wish, Love and Confusion, Third Stone from the Sun, Are You Experienced?, Manic Depression, Little Wing, Purple Haze,
Set 2: All Along the Watchtower, Fire, The Wind Cries Mary, Spanish Castle Magic, Gypsy Eyes, I Don’t Live Today, Come On – Part One, Voodoo Chile, Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), Louisiana Blues, Hey Joe, We Gotta to Live Together, Red House