Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

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For some reason a lotta old-school rock-guitar heroes don’t play in Vancouver. They head on up for gigs in Washington State, but then turn around and cruise back down to keep on feeding those riff-starved Americans.

Are the border guards at Canada Customs really that daunting?

Take Pat Travers, for instance. He’s half Canadian, but I can’t remember the last time he played here. Oh yeah, maybe I can. Was it back around 1983? It’s definitely been a while.

But on May 3 he’ll be doing two shows at a place called the Lucky Dog Casino in Skokomish, Washington, wherever that is. If you’ve ever thought about snortin’ whiskey, that’d be the day to give it a try. I wouldn’t recommend drinkin’ cocaine, though.

Another axe master who hasn’t played up here for ages is Jake E. Lee, who brings his band Red Dragon Cartel to Seattle’s El Corazon on June 19. He’s the guy who had the unenviable job of replacing Randy Rhoads in Ozzy Osbourne‘s band for the Bark at the Moon album. (I always thought he did a commendable job of it, myself.)

But if one rock-guitar hero at a time isn’t enough for you, check this out: the Guitar Gods show at Seattle’s Showbox at the Market on June 26. That’s when you’ll be treated to a serious overdose of notes courtesy headliner Yngwie Malmsteen, who might be the fastest guitarist ever. Also on the bill are former Scorpions member Uli Jon Roth, Bumblefoot from Guns N’ Roses, and surf-metal wunderkind Gary Hoey.

And if none of those gigs get your air-guitar senses tingling, other Washington-only shows to consider are Flight to Mars (Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready’s tribute to UFOMay 16 at the Showbox, the Tedeschi Trucks Band July 17 at Marymoor Park, Aerosmith and Slash Aug. 16 at the Gorge, and my personal fave: Jeff Beck and ZZ Top Aug. 9 at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery.

Yep, it’s definitely time to get that passport renewed.

 

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