Known for her solo work and as Michael Jackson’s final touring lead guitarist, Orianthi’s 2022 performance at the Bourbon Room in Hollywood displays the Aussie ripping over a bevy of well-manicured pop-rock ditties and love ballads.
Sizzling distortion, wicked wah, and dusky PRS tones permeate as Orianthi shreds and vocalizes effortlessly, combining mellifluous two-handed tapping on the power-popper “According To You” with an assist from powerhouse drummer Glen Sobel. On the poignant “How Do You Sleep?,” Orianthi’s affinity for Vai and Santana shines to great effect.
Former Jeff Beck guitarist Carmen Vandenberg guests on “You Don’t Wanna Know,” as they trade solos in friendly (and note-heavy!) competition. Other highlights include “Contagious,” “Blow,” and “Impulsive,” as Orianthi dazzles with clear and expressive vocals and time-honored blues-rock guitar showmanship.
Her love of rockin’ pop, overdriven guitars, hooky choruses, and lyrics about jerky men continue with “What’s It Gonna Be.” Live In Hollywood is a robust set that finds Orianthi intent on bringing kick-ass rock guitar back to pop radio.
This article originally appeared in VG’s October 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.