With one of the worst and most inappropriate tones on the planet. Been seeing Frank live for 20 years or more, fantastic player, but his tone boggles me. Every time I see him, I think there must be something wrong with his gear. His clean tone makes the brightest tele sound like Wes Montgomery in comparison; and seeing him with Elektric band earlier this year was like Dimebag Darryl playing with Elektric band.... no mids, way too much low end, what highs there were, were screeching. Couldn't hear him most of the set, the last tune Chic made him turn up and it ate the rest of the mix by the time it was loud enough to hear..... like a Saturday morning GC kid jamming along with a really quiet Elektric band CD.
Great phrasing, monster chops, encyclopedic musical knowledge, horrific ear for tone. I just don't get it.
I love Frank's playing capabilities, and his tone on recordings I have of him live is pretty good. But, I have never seen him live, so I don't have first-hand knowledge of his tone. For me, though, I've never liked his composition style; it always left me cold. But man, the guy can absolutely rip! Those who hold players like Yngwie up as the gold standard need to hear Frank and Holdsworth improvise. Another planet entirely.
Years ago I opened for Vital Information. That was/is well beyond my pay grade. It was an open air amphitheater type situation in front of a large crowd and the FOH sound person, and VI's keyboard player, blew out the subs. Steve Smith, their drummer (and Journey), was the most in-command and explosive live drummer I've ever seen. Hiroshima was the headliner...