Been to a Vai show? Review it here. Please post in the appropriate thread for each show!
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#1 Post by Jeroen » Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:06 pm

Did you attend this show at The Fillmore in New York?

Please post your review of the show here. Steve and the band love reading your reviews.

Please do not post in this thread if you did not attend the show.


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#2 Post by juliussontany » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:06 pm

argggg...i fell asleep !!

OMG !!! i cant believe it !!

im screwed !!!!!!!!!

arggghhhh !!!

i have to catch him in Borgata,Atlantic City then...

what a waste........................ :oops:

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Vai band never lets me down

#3 Post by izunu » Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:49 am

Thanks to 6 "aliens"--yes, you guys are certainly not of this earth--for presenting best performances ever!

The first time I saw Vai's live was 3 years ago in Busan, S. Korea when Steve and his band with tremedous Tony Macalpine and amazing Billy Sheehan was special guest to the Busan International Rock Festival which was open to public free of charge~ yes, can you believe it was absolutely free to see them playing for 2 hours as long as I could drive 5 hours down to Busan from Seoul!!!
I still cannot forget the memories of that great last night of 2004 Asia tour.

Much has been changed since.
Although we cannot see Tony and Billy any more, we now have Brian and 2 new lovely violinists who added more flexibility to the band--who would have ever imagined to hear Fire Garden Suite in live performance and to see electric version of Bach vs. Paganini?
Jeremy is no longer a newcomer to the band--I like your new portable drum set (actually we have similar ones played by old Korean commercial sales persons~) and the sudden attack of eye-laser from Steve's skull that half-blinded me, and I love the way Dave has been supporting Steve, playing quintessential role if not in the spotlight.

Steve seemed to have determined to bring back every possible great pieces of songs in older albums as well as recent songs. The list of songs seldom played live before and least expected to be performed live includes Tender Surrender, Die To Live, and Fire Garden Suite. Also glad to see was Steve singing All About Eve and playing acoustic guitar accompanied by Ann Marie Calhoun's violin which perfectly substituted for Steve's electric guitar in the original song. Steve, I would also love to see you playing Touching Tongues with your touching fingers...would it be possible maybe the next time?

As has been in recent live performances, Whispering A Prayer brought the stage to a climax. Steve really has a unique ability to express exactly what he feels in his play and to communicate those feelings with the audiences. The three encores--Liberty, Answers, For the Love of God--were also a sumptuous dessert. Steve really wanted to show all that he had to show to the audience, including that unforgettable "licking" harmonics!! Tonight Steve played with 20th Anniversary Jem, MOJO, EVO, FLO and acoustic guitars.

Another great bonus was Mark Wood's opening stage. Starting from Monkeybats from Voodoo Violince if my recollection of the song is correct, he made really energetic show. We could also hear some famous phrases from Iron Man, Eruption, Bohemian Rhapsody and so on, and to me, his stage seemed like a homage to Eddie Jobson. Everyone was hilarious to hear Mark's version of Caesar's Palace Blues. Also impressive was to see Passion Principle performed live with Laura's voice of soul. Actually, I never dreamed of seeing Mark Wood while in NYC. I remember my college days when I first listened to Voodoo Violince in 1990, but in Korea, I haven' t heard of what's been going on with Mark since then. Now I know he's been doing great jobs with Trans-Siberian orchestra, and I see him playing tonight, and it is not a dream any more.

May God bless Steve, Mark and their teams and crews!!!
It surely is an honor to live the same era with these people. I hope to see your performances time and again as we get older and older...

One question: does any body know the name of the bassist who played with Mark Wood?
Last edited by izunu on Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#4 Post by AndyG » Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:16 am


I don't know how Steve can exert so much energy for almost 3 hours. He never lets up. He shows so much passion and joy in his playing - WOW.

It is also impressive in how easy he makes the guitar playing look - it was nice to know that he admitted that one song was a bitch to play. (I wish my JEM sounded so good...)

I loved the new band, especially the dueling violinists. They were fantastic virtuosos. I would love to know more about their training and backgrounds. Steve always gives the bandmates their own time to shine during the concert.

The Fillmore was a great place to see a concert. Everyone had a great seat (well stand is a better term). I was at most 20 feet away.

Steve made a reference to Rog during the show. Was he speaking to Roger Bell, his old guitar tech?

When will the DVD be released?? My six year old son (a drummer already) is looking forward to it (I'm sure he will ask where Billy Sheehan is - where is he).

Anyway, I'll let the others talk about the impressive set list and light show.

I just want to say thanks for a GREAT, GREAT show....

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#5 Post by Tom » Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:11 am

Thanks Steve and band and crew and audience for once again reminding us how beautiful a gift is music and the hard work of talented musicians. Playing on the same stage he audience-surfed off of, on the Fire Garden tour some 11 years ago, Steve and band fought through some minor technical troubles and presented a fierce, passionate, often humorous and always heartfelt and thoroughly enjoyable evening of mind-blowing music.

I was particularly looking forward to hearing "Tender Surrender" and Die to Live" and he really nailed both tunes, elaborating DTL with a jazzy-back-to-main-theme solo. Really nice. "Tender" was surreal and probably the highlight of the show for me, although the violin interlude of "Crying Machine" was awesome. I giggled through "Juice" amazed at what I was seeing and hearing (and for my money a better version than the G3 DVD). "Building a Church" was fantastic too. Actually there was this young woman near me who seemed to think I was a little nuts with the spontaneous giggling and the "face guitar" that I think I might have been playing all evening. That's okay.

Having gone to many shows I still haven't heard a live version of "Whispering a Prayer" that grabs me in quite the same way as the first time I heard it live in Anaheim, January 2001 (and the AIAUW version thereafter) -- but it is a powerful powerful musical piece and the range of emotions it evokes (reflected back in Steve's facial expressions of course) clearly makes an impact on every audience that hears it.... It's a beautiful song played with love.

It was a real treat to hear "Freak Show Excess" and the "Taurus Bulba" section of "Fire Garden Suite" -- both were played about as perfectly as I could imagine and with all of the sound happening up there on stage it was a tribute to the sound guys too that it was perfectly clear! And how awesome was Dave with the Coral Sitar solo and Bryan with the crazy bass and Jeremy who was I think as sharp and hard-hitting as I've heard him. Tight, very tight rhythm section!!

As for the violin players, I thought they were a fantastic addition to the band and I especially liked Ann Marie's tone. Graceful and warm and note-perfect! She and Alex were a lot of fun and their background keyboards and vocals were great too. There were technical problems in their dueling violin solo (did I hear the "Crossroads" theme??) but Ann Marie let Alex use her violin when his microphone malfunctioned and things worked out nicely (though because of the curfew, Steve said, it wouldn't be possible to re-do -- I'll catch it on Friday at Starland Ballroom!).

"All About Eve" was truly a highlight -- Ann Marie's solo was great and Steve's voice probably never sounded better. Whatever that chord progression is, it certainly does grab you.

I can't forget about the dance music! Apart from a funny and funky attempted coup d'etat from Bryan Beller I've never heard a more danceable and fun and infectious version of "Answers" which when you consider that Steve seemed to hit every run and every note in that song (including that super fast run early on) -- it was remarkable.

I'm forgetting something, probably lots. It's always interesting how Steve re-tools a little bit for each new tour. It was a fun show and again, thanks and God bless to Steve and to Planet Vai for making it happen. Looking forward to Friday and taking a new friend to discover this experience!

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#6 Post by Bonny » Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:21 am

Well, well, well, not bad at all.

After 6+ years of listening to this songs, trying to play them, customizing my guitars to EVO and FLO specifications I finally see Vai in concert!!!

The show was absolutely as good as I expected and more. The new band members are just perfect for the String Theory idea. Ann Marie(beautiful as she is) and Alex DePue took the aragements to a more sofisticated level(than they originaly were). Jeremy is for sure a master in percusion. Totally got my eyes fixed on him when he came up with this Mardi Gra/Dia de Los Muertos looking drum set, very original. Bryan's passion in the bass is also noticeable and blends in perfectly. Weiner you are still the great WEINER. Yeah I was shouting your name too!. Great solo section.

about Vai... well there's nothing I could say that has not been said here yet but, you are a great musician and entertainer My girlfriend didn't know much about you and still she enyoyed every part of the show. You are with no doubt The Best!

Hilights of the show:

- The sychronization and timing
- How the new members brought their on original solo moments
- Steve's ability to play guitar and do all these gestures
- For The Love Of God

Things to work on:

- The signal problems with the violins in 2 of the songs("that's what happens when you depend on technology")
- How to get Ann Marie to hang out with the audience after the show

Great Show, Great Show, Great Show Great Show, Great Show, Great Show!!!!

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Fillmore a great place?

#7 Post by froggy » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:20 am

It's a dump. Not a single seat in the place. Can't see worth a damn if you're more than 10 people from the stage. My buddy who's got a bad knee had to leave, he only came BECAUSE WE HAD SEATED TICKETS IN THE MEZZ. bull crap.

of course ticketbastard said and i quote:"refunds were only available until the start of the show". how the f are you supposed to guess that there's no seats?

and steve? take a listen to the fire garden tour. those were great shows. this one had wayyyyyy too much wanking. maybe it was having to stand crammed in with 12 year olds to be able to see for 3HOURS.

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#8 Post by AndyG » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:47 am

Yes, the place was a dump. And my back is still killing me from standing for 4 1/2 hours. My only question to myself is whether I would have sat down during Steve's set, given the opportunity. The band's passion and agressiveness would not mesh with everyone sitting in their cozy chairs. I still prefer the Fillmore environment more than sitting far away at a large venue, and barely seeing the band.

I still do not know how Steve does it. The amount of energy that he expended was UNBELIEVABLE. He was smart enough to take breaks during violin, drum and Weiner solo, and he sat during the acoustic set. But WOW. I wonder whether he is a physical training regimen, and whether he is in pain after the show...

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#9 Post by PSD » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:45 pm

I attended the EVO Experience and had a nice time meeting up with a few posters on the Vai board. I spent the night standing right along with EyE and his lovely companion and the soon to be famous Crazy Redheads. EVO had everything but..... EVO! The pre-show seemed a little rushed, especially with the venue change, Steve getting there after 4 PM, and Mikey with an awful lot on his plate. No complaints though, I had a great time and was treated well by everyone involved. I want to get my hands on EVO though, perhaps Westbury?

The opening act, The Mark Wood Band, could be best described by paraphrasing Frank from Sheik Yerbouti - "A little bit cheesy, but nicely displayed". Strong covers of Edgar Winter's Frankenstein, U.K.'s Caesar's Palace Blues (kudos to others who recognized this!) and a medley of Led Zep's Black Dog/Kashmir with a little bit of Bohemian Rhapsody thrown in for good measure. Mark appeared to have raided Ritchie Blackmore's wardrobe for some lace-up trousers.

Then came Steve and the band. This is the fourth different line up I've seen Steve perform with and it was not only very good but very different. There is more of an elegance and interplay on the stage that is very enjoyable.

I thought the sound was great. Loud, but not overbearing with good separation between Jeremy's bass drum and Bryan's bass. Nothing worse than a muddy bottom end but this was nothing of the sort. My favorite performance of the night might surprise some, but it turned out to be The Murder. Vai's music is at its best when it evokes not only his emotions but those of the listener as well. The Murder summons a sense of mystery and dread to me, and combined with a great lighting effect cast Steve in this cool, green hue. Hard to describe but hopefully some of you get where I'm going with this. By the way, the lighting was extremely well done throughout especially when the stage is bathed in blue.

As for other observations, I thought Beller was excellent. I met him briefly before the show to wish him well as a fellow New Jersey native and told him I was a long time reader of bassboy69 and the Life of Bryan. Bryan just knows where to place the proper notes, is a fantastic listener (very important!), and is equally adept at Rock, R&B, and on the ballads. And his tone is awesome.

For some reason, Jeremy is particularly strong on the Alien Love Secrets tunes. Perhaps it's that his playing is most similar to Deen Castronovo's vs. other Vai drummers. He really nailed Die to Live, Juice, and Tender Surrender.

The strings just work well. nothing else needs to be said. At no time did any of the playing or arrangements seem forced or unnatural. It sounded like the strings were a part of the song all along. And Anne Marie, the technical glitch at the segue in FTLOG may have been a little upsetting and awkward, but that simply placed a stamp of uniqueness and authenticity on the show!

As for criticisms, I had only one and I hope this doesn't come across harshly but I think the use of the Lap Steel guitar in For The Love of God is simply ill-advised. Twice I looked over at Zach because the notes he was playing (searching for?) were downright obtrusive. I would ditch the Lap Steel and hand him an acoustic guitar and integrate him into Bryan's rhythms.

All in all, Thank you for a wonderful evening. Enjoy your day off today and hope to see you all in Westbury.

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#10 Post by chef0069 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:10 pm

Thank you all, for a great show last night. The band really jelled, and a good time was being had by all. Steve is awesomely talented, and is a good leader for the likes of the great musicians he has in his band. Not unlike FZ, he is rounding all these players, and someday they will go on to front there own outfits.
I think it's a shame the turnout wasn't better, I was really surprised. Great players , such as these, demand to be seen and heard. Maybe everyone was at the Genesis greatest hits show at the garden.
Anyway, as much as I love Steve's music, I am terrible with remembering names of songs. I would appreciate it if someone would print a setlist here, so I may revisit this great night, just the way it was played. Thanks again to the whole band.

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#11 Post by EyE » Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:54 am

Pffeww!! My wife and I just got back from our NY trip. This was my 3rd ST show and wow....Steve really can rage! It still is exciting to see Steve perform and specially with such a great band!! Ann Marie was blowing me away again with her power violin playing. And Alex has a great attitude with his violin sound. They both are a awesome violin duo. You can really tell Brian Beller is getting more and more in the roll he has in the band and that is kick ass bass building. He really can get the James Brown freak out of Steve lol Jermey is soooo wild!! He hits his drums so hard I can hardly believe he doesn't hit right through them lol He is the structure of the wall this band has!! Just..WOW!! Dave my man!! He is so tight with his rhythm section it scars me! I love his string skipping, it sounds so natural. I love his solo spot in the show. Sooo tight. Dave actually asked me what I thought about the sound. He wasn't always good to hear on some of the songs but I hope they get that right again on the next show. And Steve, wow man!! Do I still need to say anything about him??? He is out of this world!! He really is. Man, I'm still in awe!!

I finally met PSD at the show and it was a pleasure. It sure was fun man ;)
Nila and I spend some time with Christin and Nicole but not as much as we all had planned. :( But hey, we will do this again right ;)

Thanks for everything New York city. We enjoyed our stay. ;)


ps. We did miss Evo at the Evo

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Aftershow Photo ?

#12 Post by Donguano » Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:20 pm


Did anyone in the aftershow happen to get pictures of Steve meeting Don Preston? Is so please respond on the board (won't let me post an email address yet).


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#13 Post by Donguano » Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:21 pm

Sorry, I meant "If so".


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Set list for NYC

#14 Post by anitanee » Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:59 am

Please, please, please someone, let me know the set list for the NYC gig. I wish I'd brought a notepad as my memory's so rubbish. Can anyone help. PS Needless to say, gig was out of this WORLD.

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Here is the setlist from the concert

#15 Post by AndyG » Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:13 pm

Now We Run
Building The Church
Tender Surrender
~Band Intro~
The Crying Machine
~Dave's Solo~
I'm Becoming
Die To Live
Freak Show Excess
~Violin Solo~
All About Eve
The Beast of Love
Angel Food
~Drum Solo~
The Audience Is Listening
The Murder
Whispering A Prayer
Taurus Bulba
For The Love of God

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