Joe Satriani

Rock 101 welcomes amazing guitarist Joe Satriani to the Commodore Ballroom June 1 2018.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Joe Satriani. On What Happens Next, the legendary guitarist reveals a new persona: himself.

As fans know, Satriani hinted at the demise of his alter ego in 2015’s Shockwave Supernova album after that character threatened to battle Satriani for his very soul.

As Satriani hit the road in support of the album, he discovered Shockwave Supernova, the latest in a long line of alien personas Satriani had created, was truly suffocating him—a process captured in a new documentary directed by Satriani’s son ZZ, which will debut at the Mill Valley Film Festival. “As I was doing the last few legs of the tour, I started to think ‘Wow, maybe this is real life.’ I am feeling like I should just drop this guy and figure out a way to do something very different.”

What happened next was nothing short of a metamorphosis. “It was an internal artistic rebirth,” Satriani says. “I’m thinking, ‘No science fiction, no time travel, no songs about distant planets or aliens or anything like that.”

Instead, Satriani looked inward, writing songs, he says, “about a human being, two feet on the ground, heart pumping, with emotions, dreams, and hopes. That seemed to be the direction I really was yearning for.”

The stunning result is What Happens Next, the most accessible, straight forward rock album that Satriani has ever made. The set pulses with a vibrant energy from the dynamic opening track “Energy “to the stomp of “Catbot,” majestic crunch of “Thunder High On The Mountain,” spiritual grace of “Righteous” and sensuality of “Smooth Soul.”