Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

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dc27
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Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#1 Post by dc27 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:42 am

I got my copy yesterday in the mail and was wondering what everybody else thought about the new DVD! There's not really a lot of bad you can say about it, its a fantastic release. The music is on point, the stage show is entertaining, by far Vai's best tour yet! The Space Between the Notes is also a nice touch and a chance to see what you wouldn't at a concert. It gives a warm, familial impression of the whole thing, but at a whopping 3.5 hours its not for everyone. (Although I watched the whole 2 disks in one sitting not knowing until it was over!) It was nice to see all the rehearsals and personal footage, plus each individual show on the tour represented in some way, even if just a little bit.

There's only one or two things that bugged me.

The way it was filmed at times made it look like an old 80's VHS. I don't know if it was the shutter speed or what, but its not as cinematic as Where the Wild Things Are - though I suspect the blame lies with AXS. However, you don't really care once you get sucked into the show.
The sound was very good also. I haven't compared it to the CD yet, but the sound was generally amazing. The hi hat could have done with being mixed a little lower, and the bass drum mic'd a little better, but it doesn't really effect the overall sound. I also don't really like how the first disk just ends after 'Frank', meaning you have to change disks for 'Build Me a Song L.A', 'For the Love of God', and 'Taurus Bulba'. It just didn't seem like it was needed - especially considering this plus The Space Between the Notes totals around 4 hours on one disk.
I'm not pretending I know about what it takes to make a DVD, so perhaps there's things that just couldn't be fixed, such as the compression of the files onto DVD or whatever else. I'm sure there's a reason - but its of little consequence.

I'd happily give this DVD an 9/10. It's not quite the same quality as Where the Wild Things Are, but I imagine that was a rather expensive and time consuming undertaking that isn't easily made up for.
However (and more importantly) musically it is the best live release Vai has to offer - there's just no beating the sheer quality and musicianship, its astounding! Not to mention the huge quantity of content there is to be seen for the true Vai fanatic. For me, 'Real Illusions: Reflections' and 'The Story Of Light' are the best records Vai has ever made and I think that the next record, tour, and inevitable live DVD will be the best work Vai has ever done.

What do you think?

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#2 Post by Mattw » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:48 pm

I ended up listening to the audio first yesterday as I got the auto rip files from amazon whilst my CDs and DVDs were still in the post.

It's great to get another full concert release especially as I didn't make it to a show on this tour.

I'm part way through DVD 1 now and it is good and seems to be well shot with a nice variety of angles and cameras and not cutting away at key solos.

It's a shame there is only a stereo sound track though - I do miss the DD and DTS on earlier releases. I imagine this is because of trying to get it all on the two disc.

The upscaled DVD looks good and I've personally decided to skip Blu-Ray anyway but I'm sure it would have been nice to have a HD video option available as it was no doubt shot that way but ultimately I'll take whatever I can get.

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#3 Post by dc27 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:36 pm

Mattw wrote:I ended up listening to the audio first yesterday as I got the auto rip files from amazon whilst my CDs and DVDs were still in the post.

It's great to get another full concert release especially as I didn't make it to a show on this tour.

I'm part way through DVD 1 now and it is good and seems to be well shot with a nice variety of angles and cameras and not cutting away at key solos.

It's a shame there is only a stereo sound track though - I do miss the DD and DTS on earlier releases. I imagine this is because of trying to get it all on the two disc.

The upscaled DVD looks good and I've personally decided to skip Blu-Ray anyway but I'm sure it would have been nice to have a HD video option available as it was no doubt shot that way but ultimately I'll take whatever I can get.

It's a great DVD, and either way I have the CD as well so I'm more than happy!

I just really hate the start. The shaky cameras, and that god awful text that looks like something you'd find on a cheap DVD of some holiday safari! :lol:
I don't think Steve had any part in the filming though, so I'm blaming AXS for the bad bits. I cant deal with the shaky, fast moving cameras. Its not terrible by any means, I personally just preferred the cinematic quality of the last release. To me this looks more like a soap opera that's all!

I wish it had been three disks and included The Still Small Voice, The End of the World and Expanding the Universe - but the cost of recording that is probably huge. Hopefully one day there'll be another DVD like Visual Sound Theories with them all on!

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#4 Post by paulh123 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:56 am

i pre ordered my copy so should arrive sometime soon.

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#5 Post by StevieRayVai » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:02 pm

Makes me want to see him on tour again so badly! Cant believe it's already almost been another 3 years since I last saw him. Doesn't seem that long ago.

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#6 Post by codnchips » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:24 am

Amazingly, I was able to go to town on Tuesday and buy the DVD and CD FROM A shop!!!!!
Loving the concert - it's a great set. I wasn't able to attend the tour that time round so I love having a window into what it was. Initially, i wasn't impressed with some of the pixelation at the start but I didn't notice it by the end.
Thanks very much Vai & team :headbang I hope the P&W anniversary tour comes to the UK and brings such treasures!!! :)

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#7 Post by dc27 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:13 am

codnchips wrote:Amazingly, I was able to go to town on Tuesday and buy the DVD and CD FROM A shop!!!!!
Loving the concert - it's a great set. I wasn't able to attend the tour that time round so I love having a window into what it was. Initially, i wasn't impressed with some of the pixelation at the start but I didn't notice it by the end.
Thanks very much Vai & team :headbang I hope the P&W anniversary tour comes to the UK and brings such treasures!!! :)
No way!! I have to travel to the next town over to go to a HMV, and even then there's only one copy of P&W - if that. None of the independent stores carry Vai either.. So obviously I bought it :lol:
My friend also had an original copy of P&W on VINYL and gave it to me.. Absolutely love that record! I hope there's a UK tour next year so badly! :guitar

I went to one of the shows on the UK tour, and that's when I really fell in love with Vai's work so naturally this DVD is ranked pretty high in my books! fantastic show! :guitar

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#8 Post by lucky7 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:22 am

I loved this DVD release....released in Australia today and lucky enough JB had a few copies.

So I spent about 5 hours today devouring the whole thing. :guitar

Yes I have seen far better concert footage from other artists, but then that usually means limited special features.
But nothing can compare with the behind the scenes footage...3 1/2 hours! 8)

I don't believe anyone has done that (not that I have seen anyway) you actually begin to feel you are along the road with them.

The chemistry between them all is obvious, and great to see.
Steve,Pia,Fire and Julian are such a photogenic family, it is great to see their strong bond.

Also the lengths they went to in Russia to perform in multiple places was great to see, it really brings it home on why so many artists can feel so jet lagged during their tours.

I may be biased but I would have loved to see more footage of Australia included.

For reasons that I will never understand I missed this Melbourne concert in 2013..first one I have missed since Vai started his solo tours of Australia back in the 90's, so great to have this release....along with Youtube clips. 8)

Thanks Steve for this release and please come back to Australia soon, solo, master class, G3, I am not fussy! :roll: :)

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#9 Post by dc27 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:10 am

Did anybody else notice Whispering a Prayer isn't from the same show? There's no lipstick cam on Flo III's headstock, not to mention Steve's hair is noticeably longer! Such a great angle that I can understand why! :lol:

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#10 Post by lucky7 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:24 pm

Steve did mention in that text at the start of the special features that he has changed certain things around. Maybe the version on the DVD was better footage than the one recorded in L.A. :)

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#11 Post by GuitarJon » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:57 am

Absolutely love this DVD.
I didn't get the chance to see the band for that tour so I have been waiting eagerly for this release.
Although the footage isn't in HD it still looks and sounds top notch.
I'm not going to be disappointed with less pixels, however if there were a bluray I would have chosen that over the DVD.

I love the fact that Steve's shows are long and the extra footage is great.
This allows you to really dive into the wonderful and colourful world that Steve and his band have to offer.
Steve, thanks for releasing such wonderful content everytime!
Can't wait for the new P&W version!

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#12 Post by lester » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:03 pm

i love the DVD. but i think it didnt matches the WTWTA cinematics and stuffs.

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#13 Post by Jenn Pix » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:44 am

Truly loving it! Brings all the excitement of the show I attended (in ATL...) flooding through me all over again. It's like I can put myself right back there, feeling that joy and magic all over again. Complete with my 'happy Heart-flutters' and 'sparking, live-wire nerves'... the whole thrill, all over again!

And it was awesome to see Beverly at last! Hearing her belt out "John The Revelator" live (on disk)... now that was a treat! Woman's got one seriously powerful voice! She had to skip the ATL show, but man, I am glad I got to hear her, now.

But of course, I'm loving watching Steve... His performances always put me in a very happy place. From the moment he took the stage, through to the end... The man is absolutely spellbinding! **I don't even have the words for how much I love "Tender Surrender" live, OMG!** That, and "Gravity Storm"... **Brain-crushing Epicness, that!**

The Space Between The Notes is delightful... I can only imagine what it was like to put that together!

I love it all. Every second. HUGE thanks to Steve and all for this!

Looking forward to the "Passion & Warfare" stuff, next! (I'll be road-trippin' with my mom next Spring, Gotta catch one of those shows!!!) :wink: :headbang

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#14 Post by green man » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:54 am

steve have come several times in France and on this DVD almost nothing like the neons of olympia . For French fans this DVD is a disappointment :cry: .....

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Re: Stillness in Motion - Vai Live in L.A

#15 Post by Samuele » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:23 am

I've had the DVD for almost a week now, and I've spent quite some time with it but decided to wait to share my feeling until now. I really wanted to be honest and not just sound like I'm paying lip service.

I don't know whether this is Steve's best live release, but for now it definitely is my favorite, and I enjoy it tremendously! I would say that if we define quality as the amount of care and love put into a work of art (not to mention the amount of happiness and good vibrations emanating from it), then this really IS Steve's best live release ever, as far as I perceive it. First, I find the title so beautiful and appropriate, pointing to the flowing of consciousness into the doing, the space where inner and outer purpose merge. This is symbolically reflected on the cover, too. I also enjoy looking at the artwork and packaging (both for the DVD and CD, which are slightly different) and especially reading the liner notes!

::::::: The Show :::::::

As for the live performance, it is difficult for me to pick specific songs without writing a lot (which I'm trying to refrain from), because the setlist is fantastic. Every song really comes to life, but I'll point out some of my favorite moments: one is whenever Steve and the band expand the songs so to speak, for example like at the end of Racing the World, or Building the Church, Tender Surrender, the ending to Weeping China Doll (so moving), The Animal (the trade-offs between Steve and Dave), Rescue Me or Bury Me (the vocal improv), the beginning of Frank, and of course the Build Me a Song section. By the way, kudos to Christin and Nicole for doing a great job on that one, and it's very nice to finally see you there onstage. It's good to see Andy in the audience, too.

I also like when Steve faithfully executes some of the solos as they are on the albums, like on Velorum, The Moon and I, Weeping China Doll, and again Frank. Some of these songs (I forgot to mention Taurus Bulba!) are some of the most touching pieces of music Steve has ever written, and real highlights of the show for me. The solo to Frank is like walking a tightrope, and this is a very good performance, but I remember seeing Steve getting better and better at it as the tour progressed. I have been to shows where he literally nailed both the solo and the ending like they are on the album. Philip's intro solo to The Moon and I is a favorite moment, too. So beautiful. It's amazing to see how much everyone in the band (especially Jeremy and Dave) has grown in musical sensibility over the years, and it's good to see Steve interacting with and giving space to everyone onstage. The headstock camera shots are a first on a Vai video release, I believe, and they do make for a nice change!

Another good thing is to be able to see Beverly McClellan sing John the Revelator, since later on she had to leave the tour. She does a really great job, very energetic, you can tell she's a pro singer and performer. And then there are the beautiful little additions inserted into pieces like Whispering a Prayer, or the "I'm Tired" little clip (you HAVE to see it, it's priceless!), which to me compensate well for the few portions that for various reasons Steve had to cut. They add cohesion to the whole narration, making it more like a real story instead of simply a visual account of the show. Steve's words at the end of it also act as a very nice closing. Even just the concert portion of the DVD has the power to make you feel good!

A couple of words on the absence of a 5.1 mix: I don't miss it very much - to me the audio definition is excellent, even a newbie like me can hear and single out every instrument. Steve, Greg - you guys did a great job!

::::::: The Space Between the Notes :::::::

This is the part where I have to be careful not to write too much, because I love every split second of it. I don't know whether I actually managed to hold myself.

Now, the Story of Light tour has been deeply meaningful for me also on a personal level, so if watching the show in LA naturally brings about many good memories, the Space Between the Notes does even more so. When the tour was about to start, I was going through some degree of inner turmoil because of the life situation I found myself in, so I wanted to dissipate it at least for a while by going all out and see as many shows as I could (even though it's something I always aim at anyway). It was one of the most beautiful time periods that I ever experienced, and I treasure every memory I made then, the wonderful people I met, the simple meaningful words I was never told before.

There are a few aspects that emerge throughout the documentary that I'd like to point out. One is all the beautiful places you get to see. It's amazing to also hold the booklet, look at the map and reflect on what a journey this must have been for the Vai band and crew. How many things they must have seen, how much craziness they must have come across!!

And here we come to something I've always adored about the Vai world: these people can make fun of each other at any time and laugh and not take it seriously at all. I know some people who, if you told them even just that they have a small head, would almost get upset and reply: "What do you mean? That I have a small brain?? That I'm stupid???" :lol:
Actually, one thing that I always noticed through the years is that egos mysteriously tend to dissolve at Vai shows, for the most part, even among people in the audience. It's a breath of fresh air.

These are some of the segments or little aspects that I really enjoyed:

- the soundcheck jams (these are always real golden nuggets, and maybe my favorite moments after the show itself)
- the huddles and every walk up to the stage (the "That's how I like to start!" part)
(I don't know why, but when I first saw the one in Bogota, Colombia, I was very deeply moved)
- the rehearsals (especially Steve explaining Pusa Road to Jeremy) and the photo shoot at the beginning
- Julian and Fire onstage with their dad
- Pia's words in front of that theater in New York
- Mike and Cassie
- the outdoor scenes (for example all over Europe, in Russia, Iceland or even China)
- whenever Steve is alone in a hotel room warming up
- The Small Still Voice and the praise from the director
- all of the show clips and outdoor scenes in Italy
- Fabrizio Grossi on the phone in Milan. Thank you for being so professional, patient and kind, Fab. You are the best!!
- the airport scene with Miki trying to sort Dave's seating out
- the heartwarming sound of Philip's laugh
- the trip to Mammoth Mountains
- the live jam during The Animal on Leg 6
- Steve and Fire hugging backstage
- the truly beautiful trip to Jerusalem with Steve talking about the places
- Jeremy with the bunny rabbit
- Steve sitting with a guitar in the most unusual places - at the airport in Moscow, and even at a spiritual retreat! :)
- the snow in Helsinki, Finland and the sound of Steve's laugh
- the Vai family reunion moments, and all the moments between Steve and Pia (some are so hilariuos!)
- the retreat with Eckhart Tolle at the Omega Institute, New York
- all the Vai crew members: without them, this tour wouldn't have happened
(I witnessed some of the challenges they went through that are not in the documentary, and I would like to thank each of them for what they have done)
- the opening and the closing of The Space Between the Notes, especially Steve's heartfelt words at the end.

And…

Steve, if you read this, I'd like to thank you from my heart for including the picture you took in Rome last year. I'm happy that I managed to pull out a human face in that moment, haha! I was also glad to see myself in the audience at the show in Rome (Leg 2, 2012). Thank you so much for giving me (and everyone else who appears in the DVD) that space.

I am really grateful to be able to watch this, and I look at it as one of the best reminders of how good life is. For me, it brings about immense joy and a peace that is beyond any understanding, and I'd like to congratulate everyone who worked on it.

My sincere thanks for making this DVD, and good luck with what you're working on now!
Hope to see you again down the road soon.

Samuele
(You just call out my name...)

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