Cliff Cultreri is the man who discovered both Steve Vai & Joe Satriani. Both guitar greats paid homage to Cliff saying if it hadn't been for him they wouldn't be where they're at today. Cliff is suffering from a host of auto-immune and collective tissue disorders that are attacking his immune system. Steve Lukather joined in later to make this night a guitar lovers dream come true!
Steve Vai started out the night with a setlist that set the tone for the night's guitar extravaganza. It was a frenzy of speedy & delicate guitar licks. Vai's band featured bass great Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big). Vai was joined on stage by Johnny Highland & Dweezil Zappa. Vai gave Cliff a few kind words throughout his set. He also pointed out like Luke has many times in the past that he can't get his music played on the radio. In between sets autographed guitars from the nights participants were auctioned off. The price for the guitars jumped from $2,000 to $5,000 as personal lessons from Vai & Satriani were thrown in!
Satrianis' set was a combination of flying fingers and subtle guitar magic. The male dominated crowd was head bopping from start to finish. Satch was joined on stage by Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X) and Luke. Shouts of Luuuuuke rang out as Luke joined the party with Satriani and his stellar band Jeff Campitelli (drums), Dave La Rue(bass) & Galen Henson (guitar) for Always with me, always with you. The appreciation that the two guitar greats had for each other was easily seen as the smiles, approving head nods and "Oh WOW" head shakes didn't stop throughout the song.
The highlight of the night came at the end of the night in a G3 type all-star jam. Luke, Satriani, Vai & Gilbert all stepped up to close the show with an unforgettable jam. The jam included I'm going down and Red house led by Luke on vocals. Luke used his Sammy Davis Jr. impression to applaude his cohorts saying "These cats groove and swing". Luke had expressed some concern with sharing the stage with such finger flying axe masters. But he had nothing to worry about as he showed the crowd a thing or two about perfect tone & speed playing when necessary. It was an absolute ear shattering night for a GREAT cause!
Stevelukather.com, October 1st 2006