Yngwie Malmsteen performed at the Newton Theatre in New Jersey on 11/27/21, supporting his most recent release, “Parabellum,” which came out this past July. A world-renowned innovative guitarist whose star wattage could illuminate the town with his presence and playing.
Through the smoke and hazy of burnt orange lights, no less than eleven Marshall stacks could be seen on stage. Next to Yngwie‘s signature series Fender Stratocaster and collection of Ferraris, these Marshall’s are his next passion and a key aspect to his sound. It was clear that Yngwie wanted everyone in attendance as well as in the next two towns to be able to hear him loud and clear. His energy from the stage was combustible as the powerful opening riff of “Rising Force” was played. So begins a 75-minute hot-rodded neoclassical display of brutal “guitar showmanship.” It was an all-out assault of epic portions with Yngwie‘s fingers moving at breakneck speed for every beat and measure. It was done smoothly and tastefully, which can only be described as the marriage of fury and grace.
Yngwie blazed through the perfect combination of songs from his 40-year career like “Trilogy Suite Op: 5,” “Far Beyond the Sun,” and “Like an Angel” while including new songs off “Parabellum” like “Wolves at the Door” and “Relentless Fury.” His new songs are fast, furious, dark, malevolent, and oozing with attitude, which not only showcased Yngwie‘s superb playing but his singing abilities. I spoke with Yngwie prior to the show to ask him about his decision to take on lead vocals for four of the songs off “Parabellum,”, and he responded, “Growing up and being in bands like Rising Force and Powerhouse, I took on the singing responsibility. When I came to America and joined Steeler before forming Alcatrazz, it was something that just happened. Every record now has one of two that I sang on. It was a very natural evolution. If I write the words and the melody and someone else sings it, it would be less powerful for me.”
Yngwie‘s playing and performance are always inspirational because of his ability to make his guitar soar. His musical influences range from Jimi Hendrix to Ritchie Blackmore with their fluid-like playing while creating exciting bridges between their musical styles. He successfully merged those influences with classical music and created his own unique style.
Armed with a multitude of signature series vintage white Fender Stratocasters, his playing was superb and masterful; everything was done with the touch of his fingers. The songs were played with a level of perfection that left fans were left in awe of the musical abilities. Somehow Yngwie makes his style of playing look easy, but most knew it wasn’t the case. It is a level of playing that’s out of most people’s reach! The show closed as powerfully as it started with two encores, “You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget” and the phenomenal “Black Star.”
Tonight was a mind-altering and eye-opening experience for everyone in attendance by the maestro of neoclassical guitar shredding.