Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Scottsdale Center For The Performing Arts
Date: Sunday September 30th, 2018
On Tour with Al Di Meola
The first time I heard of Jordan Rudess was when I was introduced to a Dream Theater album. Jordan is the virtuoso keyboard player for Dream Theater for the past 19 years. At the early age of 9, he went to the Juilliard School of Music to study classical piano. But by his teens, Jordan rebelled and decided to change directions and moved more into the progressive rock music environment (Prog Rock). Some of his early influences were Keith Emerson, Tony Banks & Rick Wakeman. Over the past almost 40 years, Jordan has played with such amazing artists as the Dixie Dregs, Steven Wilson and David Bowie. Besides his amazing musical abilities, he has poured his talent into a software company that produces a number of different programs that aid in new and innovative ways of creating sound synthesis.
Jordan has joined Al Di Meola on his North American tour performing as a solo artist. During the show, Jordan played classical piano for all but one of his set. The one exception was when he has his new “GeoShred” setup brought out and he played a “blues” song. The “GeoShred” software is one of the products that his software company has created that he uses on tour. It runs on an IPAD and from the demonstration he delivered tonight, it is truly an unbelievable tool for creating awesome music. The sound produced by Jordan using this “GeoShred” software is as groundbreaking as when Keith Emerson introduced us to the massive Moog synthesizer on tour back in the early 70s. In a truly Jimi Hendrix moment, Jordan even played the “GeoShred” setup with his nose.
Tonight’s performance was his last with Al Di Meola. Jordan is headed back to New York to complete his work on both the new Dream Theater album and his newest solo album. Both are due out early next year. I have seen Jordan now 5 times live. He is truly an amazing artist. For me, one of his best works is the Dream Theater album, The Astonishing that he co-wrote with John Petrucci. You can read my son’s review of the live performance of The Astonishing on our website (http://beneathadesertsky.com/2016/05/09/dream-theater-05-06-16/ ). If you ever get a chance to see Jordan Rudess perform live either on one of his solo projects or with Dream Theater, it is a worthwhile experience. Personally, my son and I can’t wait for the next Dream Theater tour.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018, All Rights Reserved