Cool! I've been to 4 Vai shows (G3 96, Vai 99, G3 01, G3 02), and they were amazing! Specially 2+ hours of Vai only!
Answering your questions, Mike:
1. I love the ballads, so I think a 50/50 mix would be right.
2. Less vocal songs. I would like to hear "Alive in an Ultra World".
3. As for the duration, less than 2 hours would be a crime.
I would like between 2.5 and 3 hrs. Of course I could stand for more, but we also have to think that Vai, the band and the crew would do this many times during the tour and they will have to endure all those hours.
4. Songs I haven't heard live, but would like to hear: Touching Tongues, Melissa's Garden, Boston Rain Melody, Being With You, Principessa, Lucky Charms, Frank, Die to Live, Fire Garden Suite, Crying Machine, The Riddle, The Audience is Listening, Little Green Men, Viv Woman, Call It Sleep.
5. Merchandise: tshirts, special unreleased music (or alternate tracks or live recordings) on cd, picks.
In addition, I would like Steve to give away aftershow passes. That would be the best way to end a show, to go meet him.
As for how Steve conducts the show, I think he is one of the best performances I've seen. Something that I've enjoyed throughly, and I think is one of the greatest differentiators for Steve, is his contact with the audience. In the last 3 shows I've attended, I've been in front row, right in front of Steve. It's amazing how wonderful a show is when you have direct eye contact with Steve. He looks directly to you, teases you, plays a couple of notes for you, or do something crazy for you. He does it with everyone that he can see, that's why its imperative that I always be in front row.
For me, this is one of the most important things in a Steve Vai show. I've seen Satriani 4 times also, and although he is an amazing guitarist, he doesn't have much contact with the audience. I took my wife to a G3 show, and although she generally like the music, she was kind of bore through the show, but with the Steve Vai set she was freaked out! She was like: "OMG, he looked at me and told me something!" "He played those notes just for me!!!" At the end, she told me: "Take me to a Vai only show, next time".
I'm looking forward to the new album and tour. I'm excited to know that Steve got the inspiration for his new album while on tour in Mexico. Remember that letter at vai.com about Steve attending an Argentinian show called "De La Guarda" while he was in Mexico City? Some month later I went to some event, and they presented a short version of the "De La Guarda" show. All the while I was thinking about Steve's new album. And months later, after reading in vai.com that Steve is inviting guest guitarists for his album, maybe his tour will have some surprises. Cool!