Phone it in Friday XXII: Malmsteenian Excess

This morning I’m recovering from a late night of rockin’ out to the neoclassical metal strains of Yngwie Malmsteen.  At least, I’m assuming I’m recovering—I’m filing this post a day before the concert.

As such, a complete review of the post will be coming next week at some point.  I can only assume the concert was incredible, and that Yngwie showed up on stage, on time.  It’s not the 1980s anymore, so I doubt he pulled any Guns N’ Roses antics and showed up on stage two hours late, but who knows?  If so, you’ll know more next week!

Yngwie Malmsteen championed neoclassical metal back in the 1980s with his band Rising Force.  He revived Baroque and classical works and played them on electric guitar, which is pretty awesome if you just think about it for a second.

Naturally, his sheer technical brilliance gave him a huge head, and that ego was only slightly deflated when he suffered injuries in a car accident that made it difficult for him to play.  To his immense credit—and to our musical delight—he relearned to play, building back the strength and dexterity necessary to ascend to the level of guitar god.

So, since I’m writing this before the concert, I thought I’d share some clips of Malmsteen rockin’ out in his distinctively technical way.

“Arpeggios from Hell”

Holy moly matrimony!  Those are, indeed, some devilishly difficult arpeggios.

“Icarus’ Dream Suite, Opus No. 4” with the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra

What a legend!  Who else has written a full concerto for electric guitar?  Bela Fleck has written a couple of banjo concertos, which is also cool, but, dang—this is amazing!

“Albinoni’s Adagio” & “I Am a Viking”

One of the first Malmsteen tunes I ever heard, back when I had written a song of my own about Vikings with the extremely short-lived, one-off duo The Tyler Cook Orchestra.


My niece and nephews have heard this song so much from their dad (my brother), they sing “Teaser! You set my heart on fire!” all the time.  It’s a great 80s tune with a memorable chorus.

I wonder which of these classics Yngwie played last night?  We’ll all know soon enough; indeed, I will know by the time this post is published. Wooooot!


2 thoughts on “Phone it in Friday XXII: Malmsteenian Excess

  1. Thanks, mate. 🙂

    A talented guy but I’ve never been a fan of guitarists who play too high up the frets and flick too often between notes. He’s musically gifted, for sure, but that’s just showing off. I believe that’s the only reason guitarists do that.

    Putting that aside, these show offs can really play. One of Tina’s favourites is Richie Blackmore, who played lead for Rainbow (Ronnie James Dio, later Graham Bonnet). If you get the opportunity, have a listen to some of their tracks. Blackmore is superb, certainly in Stargazer, but even he can’t resist that squiggly wiggly style up the frets. Show offs but brilliant! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yngwie sold a t-shirt as his show last night that said, “More is More.” I think that sums up his philosophy nicely!

      I *love* Rainbow. I’m more familiar with the Graham Bonnet era, but I’m a huge fan of Dio, too, and it’s because of his time with the band that I came to listen to them.

      This might be a situation of “if you’ve got it, flaunt it,” and Yngwie certainly has got it! His show last night was absolutely incredible. I took quite a few videos.


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