Guitar Hero at work!
Canada’s Philip Sayce is a man who’s happy and thankful for the opportunities he is receiving. He is living a new life as a solo artist and is finally starting to get some recognition in Europe and around the world. Sayce is, simply put, a guitar virtuoso. He was previously a highly in demand session guitarist, working with some big names through the years, such as Jeff Healey, Uncle Kracker, Melissa Etheridge and more. Through his work with others he’s played the Grammy’s, the Oscars, Letterman and Leno to name a few of his high profile gigs.
Sayce is now free from his session work and is out on his own ready to tear it up. He can now add Fuji Rock Festival to his CV of famous gigs. I did a short interview with Philip before his Fuji arrival where he stated, they would “be giving 110% in our performance! We’ll be playing music with our hearts & souls, a lot of emotion, and giving everything that we have.”
After witnessing his set, I can attest that everything he said was true. Even knowing and expecting a powerful, emotional performance, I was still blown away by Philip. Listening to his brand of blues rock/hard rock I was reminded of guitar greats like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and more. Sayce is simply that good. As he said from my Q&A, “Every time we play, we try to approach it from a different space, from the space that is unique to each day.” The space he was in today was a thankful space, where he repaid that thankfulness in guitar solos and gnarly blues yelps.
Opening the set, he seemed a bit mild mannered and true to his Canadianess. He proceeded to thank everyone involved that made the show happen, from his drummer and bassist on stage with him, to the sound guy, to the audience below him. Once he got down to bushiness however, there was nothing mild about Sayce. He played tunes from his new album intermixed with covers from some of his blues favorites like Alvin Lee, he even did a tribute song to fellow Canadian Jeff Healey.
It’s sets like Sayce’s that make Fuji Rock special, having fairly high expectations coming in and having those expectations blown away. If you ever get the chance to see Philip play, which if all goes right for his career is soon, I urge you to witness a guitar master at work.
Photo by Yoshitaka Kogawa Text by James Mallion
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