By Alex Kluft

Guitar legend Eric Johnson played the Saban Theater last night in Beverly Hills, CA. Johnson’s career started at the age of 15 and after being in several bands released a debut solo album in 1986 titled Tones and received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental with “Zap.” At the age of 32 Johnson had his first Guitar Player cover. Four years later Johnson released his breakthrough second album Ah Via Musicom which received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental and won Best Rock Instrumental with “Cliffs of Dover.” In total Johnson has been nominated for eight Grammys. Over the next 32 years Johnson would release another 10 albums with the most being released last year The Book of Making/ Yesterday Meets Today. Johnson was also part of the first G3 tour with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai and again in 2000 and 2006. 

Johnson started the set acoustically with bassist Roscoe Beck on “Resolution.” After the first five songs Johnson moved to piano for “Song for Lynette” and guitarist/keyboardist Dave Scher and drummer Wayne Salzmann joined in. Johnson went back to guitar for the following song “Dusty” and continued with another six songs until an intermission. Johnson and his band returned for a 13 song electric set. The show totaled 2.5 hours. The electric set opened with “Manhattan” and the third song “Open Road” was dedicated to everybody’s guitar hero Jeff Beck. 

Johnson continued with “Desert Rose” and  an extended “Cliffs of Dover.” Johnson came back for a two song encore of “S.R.V.” and “Zap.”