|Steve Vai, Bad Horsie, Sacramento, CA|
Want to see all the photos? Click here for the photo gallery.
It's twenty-five years since guitar virtuoso Steve Vai
released Passion and Warfare,
in itself the culmination of years of work--and yet, he didn't tour the album when it was first released. Now, with a superb band on stage to help, he's touring the world, playing the album end-to-end, already passing through Scotland, England, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, France and many other countries, and now here in the USA. with a few surprises, and some video, if not live-on-stage, guests: Brian May, Joe Satriani, a wookie-esque John Petrucci, and the late, great, Frank Zappa, whose music, in a past lifetime, Steve Vai transcribed to paper. I don't know how the heck he did that, but he did... The "guests" didn't steal the show... Mr. Vai did that himself, hands down.
|Steve Vai, Ace of Spades, Sacramento|
Two-and-nearly-a-half hours of pure Steve Vai
, played to a packed-to-the-rafters Ace of Spades.
Probably not the biggest venue on the tour, but full of appreciation.
|Steve Vai, with Philip Bynoe on bass|
The show opened with Bad Horsie, from Alien Love Secrets
, Mr. Vai wearing a white hoodie with twin red lasers; Bo, the recently-stolen-and-returned
mirrored guitar shining bright. (Check out the stories
, and also read this article on GuitarPlayer.com
about the fundraiser for Tony McAlpine
, who happily is on tour supporting the USA dates and opened the show at the Ace of Spades
with an hour of stunning guitar.) And then The Crying Machine
, from Fire Garden, Gravity Storm
, from The Story of Light, the dreamy, beautiful Tender Surrender
, from Alien Love Secrets... and only then beginning Passion and Warfare (there's a newly-remastered version available
|Steve Vai and Dave Weiner|
It's not a short album. Each song, played with the passion and warfare it deserved, and more. Steve Vai
, ever impressive, ever fluid, and looking as if he was having a lot of fun on stage, and even though he must have played For The Love of God
at least a million-and-a-half times in the past twenty-five years, he once-again made it sound like new, and broke everyones' hearts all over again. Especially if they were in part of the room, as I was, where you could see the backdrop movie, which just added another teardrop to the already-brimming eye. (I'm sure that in the larger venues, the video will be easier to see.)
The end of the album, stunning, but not the end of the show... after Love Secrets, the finale to Passion and Warfare, the band played at least three (four?) more ... What a huge show!!! ... and then took the time to thank everyone for being there. No, Steve Vai, we thank YOU
, for the show, for the music, for bringing your show to Sacramento (again), and for everything you do to help and support other musicians. We know you care. It shines.
|Beautiful music, happy maestro|
There are very, very few instrumental-only musicians who can keep an audience entranced and standing for hours. Steve Vai
is one of those very few. To paraphrase someone overheard as we left the venue, walking to the cars... "My knees are hurting from standing on that cement floor for so long, but wow, I'm so very glad we were there, so very, very glad!!!"
The tour continues: check here for other dates.
And for those guitarists out there, Mr. Vai
is holding the third Vai Acadamy Guitar Camp in Carmel, CA, from January 2nd-6th, You can find more information here on the Vai Academy website. Nice start to the new year
And all the photos are here: click! http://www.alisontoon.com/-/galleries/music/steve-vai
|Steve Vai, Ace of Spades, Sacramento|
(If you love beautiful, instrumental guitar music, also check out The Ghosts of Pripyat from the Steve Rothery Band.
.. oh and in case you missed it, Mr. Rothery will be on tour with his other band, Marillion, beginning on Friday
|Jeremy Colson, drums, Steve Vai|