Playing his first gig in Northern Ireland since he stepped on stage at the King's Hall back in April 1990, the prodigious player seemed lost in his own unique world of scales, arpeggios, rock star poses, and otherworldly abilities. And the crowd loved it.
With twenty Marshall cabinets and eleven Marshall amp heads of various vintages providing the backdrop on Yngwie's side of the stage alone, it was clear even from before he hit the stage that all subtilties would be out the window.
To say he made an impression from the off would be a massive understatement. There is NOTHING understated about Yngwie Malmsteen, and his fans wouldn't want it any other way.
Bursting onto the stage in spectacularly over the top fashion, in a whirlwind of energy in a cloud of dry ice, Malmsteen announced his arrival with the histrionics of his signature 'Rising Force', before a relentless 'Top Down, Foot Down / No Rest for the Wicked'.
Directing even the front of stage photographers - including eonmusic's Warren Blair - like marionettes, instructing them exactly where to stand in between licks, it was clear that Malmsteen was in complete control from the off. An arresting star that took the breath away, it would barely let up until he left the stage an hour and a half later.
With the crowd being hit with a hail of notes, not to mention guitar picks - both of which landed like machine gun fire - what followed was an onslaught of precision musicianship, rock star stage moves, and a show unlike any other.
Touching on all corners of his solo career, from the neoclassical workout of 'Into Valhalla / Baroque & Roll' to the relative by comparison restraint of 'Like an Angel (For April)', this was a masterclass of guitar.
This being the first night of a European run, teething troubles however, were apparent, with guitars being swapped as quick as beers were being consumed in the audience. Self-effacing, and dealing with problems as they arose, the guitarist quipped; "my guitars are jetlagged... and so am I!"
With his good humour belieing his famously cantankerous reputation, he introduced one track as "a real pain in the balls to play", before delivering yet another unparalleled display.
With nods to his influence throughout including an on-point rendition of Brian May's solo from 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to a tonally-perfect rendition of Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water', and a brief sidestep into the blues with the Jimi Hendrix classic 'Red House'. the maestro paid homage to his heroes.
Reaching an incendiary level as the evening drew near its end, the frantic fretwork proved too much for one of Malmsteen's amps. "I've just blown up a Marshall amp, like I always do!", he admitted with a casual shrug, as his righthand man guitar tech frantically rectified the problem.
Still, the show went on, and closing out the main set with a victorious 'You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget', before a finale of fan favourite 'Black Star', the most extreme guitar hero took his bows.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! So nice to see you", he said before leaving the stage. The feeling, it seemed from the dumbstruck crowd, was mutual.
Speaking to eonmusic in 2021, Yngwie said; "I don’t even think about what I’m doing; I just do what I do, and that’s what happens. That’s what I am, that’s what I have inside me". Tonight that primal instinct was on display in spades. A man who continues to plough his own furrow, unphased by trends or fashions.
Check out our gallery from the show below. All photos by Warren Blair.
Like this review? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for regular updates & more of the same.