|Steve Vai Concert Review
2nd April 2005 Massey Hall
music world has given us many great guitarists, but only
a few that are outstanding over a prolonged period of time.
Vai is such a guitarist.
in 1980, Steve commenced with the infamous Frank
Zappa, and then came his solo debut album “Flex-Able”
in 1984. He also spent some time with the David
Lee Roth band and of course not to forget the commercially
successful Whitesnake and his
later solo albums like “Passion
and Warfare”. (Full Discography here )
this was not the only great figure of music we were going
to see that evening as playing bass with Mr. Vai
was also the legendary Billy Sheehan of Mr.Big fame (Who also played with
Steve in the David
Lee Roth band). Billy plays the bass like no other bass
player and I would recommend any bass player to listen to
his work and also his instructional videos. More info here
make three we were also to witness the talented Eric Sardinas who opened the concert with
his high energy Texas
/ Delta Blues. Eric played these on a resonator guitar,
with a single cutaway onto which he had installed a humbucking
pickup. For a few other songs he also used another non cutaway
resonator that had a single-coil pickup.
played and sung some parts of his songs completely unplugged
to accent the roots of this instrument. He also played slide
with a beer bottle, then walking around audience which bought
the crowd to its feet.
a brief interlude, we noticed that the theatre was filling
up even more, with people even standing behind seats. The
atmosphere was getting electric; one could almost cut through
it with a knife, and then the lights dimmed, the crowd roared
and Steve Vai came on stage!
He appeared dressed in an oriental costume with a double
necked Ibanez guitar, with the bottom one been fretless,
no doubt for slide without the slide! He also played his
usual Ibanez signature models EVO and FLO.
band consisted of the following musicians
Vocals: Steve Vai
Vocals: Billy Sheehan
Vocals and Keys: Tony
played songs such as “Lotus
Feet” and my personal favourite track “Building
the Church” from his brand new album “Real
Illusions: Reflections” and even a new unreleased song
hard fans were not disappointed either, as he also played
classics such as “The Audience Is Listening”, “For the love
of God” with a new reworked flute intro and the crowd pleasing
“Liberty” which starts with the spoken words
“Hands Up!” These
last two been played for the encore.
acoustic set towards the middle of the show was a welcome
breather, where Steve played his green Ibanez signature
acoustic and also to enhance the sonic palette a coral sitar
A special note must also be made for Billy Sheehan,
who played his main Yamaha Attitude Ltd II Bass, on most
songs, and also a special custom shop double neck Attitude
Bass which seemed quite heavy as he kept shifting the strap
from shoulder to shoulder sometimes even mid song !
actually emailed Mr. Sheehan to ask about the reason for
the double neck and this was his reply:
“The double neck bass is two different
tunings---I thought that would be obvious, but I'm often
asked about it. The lower is tuned B E A D, while the
upper is standard E A D G.”
presumably to retain the feel of four string bass with the
versatility of a 5 string
concert finished off, with a rendition of the Frank Zappa
Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama"
which was full of energy, Steve also invited Eric Sardinas
back on stage for this song.
fantastic concert which no doubt left everyone in the audience
wanting more, especially those playing the air guitar!