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Yngwie Malmsteen is arguably one of the most incredible guitarists on the planet today.  Inspired by classic composers such as Niccolo Paganini and Johann Sebastian Bach, this virtuoso from Stockholm, Sweden has taken the world by storm since going solo in 1984 and has never looked back.  He is currently touring the states in support of his 2016 release, World on Fire.  For those who have had the good fortune of seeing Yngwie live or have ever listened to one of his 20 incredible albums, there should be no doubt in your mind how incredible a musician he is.  His distinct sound is like no other on the scene today - fusing classical music with rock into a melodic metal that is fast, powerful, and utterly unmistakable.

On June 1st, Yngwie Malmsteen took over Orange County’s premier concert venue, The Observatory – Orange County,  for a night of musical mayhem that challenged the mind and inspired the soul. Whether you were a long-time follower of the Yngwie or just started listening to his music recently, there was something for everyone who attended the show on Thursday evening.  Kicking off the evening was Los Angeles based power-rock trio, OWL.  Chris Wyse’s energy was infectious and easily fired up the Orange County crowd with a sound that kicked some serious ass.  These guys brought their A-Game to Santa Ana and their set was solid from start to finish

After a short break, Yngwie Malmsteen took the stage and immediately spun the near-capacity crowd into hyper-drive with his first tracks of the night, "Rising Force" and "Spellbound".  I thought these were the perfect songs to kick off the show and set the stage for an amazing night of neo-classical metal deep in the heart of Orange County. Next up was "Into Valhalla” off their 2010 album, RelentlessProbably one of my favorite live Yngwie songs and took energy levels to an “11” down in the pit.  For the next hour and a half, Yngwie absolutely killed it with 23 more tracks that spanned his entire discography.   Throughout the show, Malmsteen demonstrated his amazing guitar prowess on classical pieces such as “Badinerie” (a Johann Sebastian Bach cover) as well as “Adagio in G Minor” (A Remo Giazotto Cover).  Simply playing these pieces outright would be challenging enough for most guitarists.  Malmsteen made it look easy, playing at a frenetic pace that few (if any) could pull off.  And the way he did it was flawless. Yngwie Malmsteen wrapped up his powerful set with classics “Black Star” and “I’ll See the Light Tonight”. Not a better encore to wrap up an incredible evening of music at The Observatory.

If you have not seen Yngwie Malmsteen live, you are missing out on one of the most gifted guitarists on the planet today.  Described by many as a guitar virtuoso, there are few on the planet that have been blessed with Yngwie’s unique and indescribable talents.   His overall performance was remarkable, and his precision guitar work was (as always) second to none.  Yngwie’s brand of neo-classical metal may not be for everybody, but walking away from Thursday night’s performance, I was convinced otherwise.  From start to finish, he channeled the gods through his Signature Fender Stratocaster and put on an incredible show that many long-time fans said, “was one of his best in recent memory”.   All I can say after being astounded for almost 2 full hours is, "Well Done Maestro, well done."

For more information on Yngwie Malmsteen and his and his 2017 World on Fire World Tour, please click HERE.

Stay Frosty and Rock On!


  • Rising Force
  • Spellbound
  • Into Valhalla
  • Baroque & Roll
  • Soldier
  • Top Down, Foot Down
  • Like an Angel (For April)
  • Badinerie (Johann Sebastian Bach cover)
  • Concerto #4
  • Adagio in G minor (Remo Giazotto cover)
  • Far Beyond the Sun
  • The Star-Spangled Banner (John Stafford Smith cover)
  • Seventh Sign
  • World on Fire
  • Now Your Ships Are Burned
  • Evil Eye
  • Trilogy Suite Op: 5
  • Guitar Solo
  • Fugue
  • Blue
  • Drum Solo
  • Heaven Tonight


  • Acoustic Guitar Solo
  • Black Star
  • I'll See the Light Tonight
Matthew Belter

Executive Editor - Long Beach

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