REVIEWS: 04 OCT 2007 - BOSTON, MA

Been to a Vai show? Review it here. Please post in the appropriate thread for each show!
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Jeroen
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Did you attend this show at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston?

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.


Jeroen
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rg350dx
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Last night was the first Vai show for me. I was impressed by the opening act, Guitar Zack. That sort of built up to when the show really started. When Vai came on, I was in heaven. Steve was amazing in person. He was wicked funny, and he was obviously amazing when he was shredding it up. The violin players are a great addition to the band. I loved it when they were doing he violin duel and ended with Paganini's 5th Caprice. The new bassist was good too. Dave Weiner was pretty impressive. When he played his song, he sounded really good. Jeremy Colson's an awesome drummer, too. But my favorite part of the show had to be when they played "Freak Show Excess". It sounded so good when they played it. That show was the best show I've ever been too.
b-side
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First time seeing Steve Vai and it was amazing. I don't think I've ever attended a concert that started out with such intensity and it just continued with a masterful performance by all. I was actually crying at a couple of points during the show because I was so happy.
BTW, what was the first song or songs played or better yet, a complete playlist?
tfoos128
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I saw Steve perform for the first time last year at the ZPZ show in Boston. Seeing him perform his own music was a totally different and truly inspiring experience. I had hoped for Sisters but left happy as a clam with what I'm pretty sure was Call It Sleep.... the experience was transcendent and by that point in the show I was so in the moment I was way past keeping track of what songs were being played.

Mr. Steve, if you're reading this, let me put it in simple terms, I'm 3 years younger than you and my general view of life lately has been "is that all there is?", so I want to Thank You and your band, sincerely, for answering that proverbial question with "No, my friend, that's not all there is."

Thank you!
TheOtnip
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Pre show

Okay, so I had EVO passes to this show with my guitar teacher. I was extremely excited going in, about talking to Steve with the rest of the evo users for a while, holding evo, having pictures with Steve and the band and having things signed, etc.

Truth be told, I was a bit disappointed. Mikey told us we'd be attending Soundcheck first then we'd do the Q and A bit. Steve had to get two songs recorded for the live album he was working on, which was cool to see. But there wasn't more than 20 minutes to get to talk to Steve as a group. It seemed like the free Berklee clinic that Steve talked to before we came in had a better and longer discussion. It was also kinda painful to see Vai get frustrated while recording because of his amp picking up radio stations so he couldn't play for the first 2 hours and because some things had to be redone and redone to get the intonation and articulation and such right. Mikey told us we'd be able to get things signed and get our pictures taken after the show.

The show

Okay, show time now. The setlist was absolutely killer, and everyone played their hands and hearts out.

Setlist

Now we Run
Oooo
Building the Church
Tender Surrender
Firewall
Crying Machine
Die to Live
Freakshow Excess
All about Eve
Angel Food
The Audience is Listening
The Murder
Juice
Whispering A Prayer
Taraus Bulba (The first minute :( )
For the Love of God


Zach: You are a blast to see play and you definitely know how to play. Great comedy act too. Oxford tasslegas, my friend.

Jeremy: Tremendous drummer, I've never seen anyone hit the set so hard and with so much force before. Let out an F bomb after each of your drum solos in victory :D Or pain.

Brian: You are amazing on bass, your tone and attack was great, and your playing with Jeremy during the soundcheck doing "The Murder" was awesome.

Annie: Amazing musician. Intonation was virtually flawless, and when you followed Steve up during the fast ascending part of the For The Love of God solo, my jaw hit the floor.

Alex: Awesome playing. Violin shredding is new to me but it won't be anymore. Good sportsmanship during the Crossroads duel :)

Dave: Tight, tight, TIGHT rhythm that night. I didn't hear you miss a thing. Good solo tonight too on your own and before For the Love of God.

Steve: You never cease to amaze me. Your stunts, your humor, style, etc infinity. I loved your facial expressions when you drooled during Building the Church and how your volume pedal sounded like you were underwater during Whispering a Prayer. I was the one who thought it was your volume pedal that caused the radio station channel on your amp to function :D. I don't need the sharpie back :)

However, although Vai was very happy to be back at the Berklee performance center, they told him right before Taurus Bulba that in 10 minutes they were pulling the plug on him if he wasn't done. So after telling the audience this after the Tarus Bulba intro, they went straight into For the Love of God. Steve pulled out all the stops on this one, and rather aggressively because of getting cut short (or at least thats my theory).

After the show

After the show was a swarm of people with the 1 out of 4 aftershow passes and all evo users. After a bit we weren't allowed to do personal photos because of the venue was going to kick everyone out. This is not right, especially for Evo users. Luckly my guitar teacher sneaked in a shot of Steve and I while he was signing the backplate of my guitar. I really wish we got more time to chat and hangout :( Vai seemed a bit bummed about the whole thing too.

Overall, I had a good time, but I left feeling a bit empty. It wasn't the band or anyones playing, but the lack of time and the venue and how they handled things. I'm sure next time will be better. See you guys then :wink:
dpag1
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That's exactly the way I felt after the show. I was bummed to see Steve so upset. I completely understand why but unfortunately it brought the show down. Again I know it was not Steve's fault.

You would think that Berklee would have let him go on all night if he wanted to. He put them on the map.

Great time overall and can't wait until the next one.

Thanks again Steve and co. for another unforgettable day and brilliant music to cherish.

Take care.

Darren
genixia
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From the quirky genius of Zach opening the show to the truncated Taurus Bulba this was one excessive show of Freak. The set-list contained many of my personal favorites, but I was especially looking forward to Freak Show Excess. When I first heard that track on Real Illusions, I didn't think that I would ever see it performed live - such is the sheer audacity of the piece. I am so glad that I was wrong - it was the highlight of the show.

The new band members were great - The talent was obviously abundant and the new arrangements worked really well. It looked like they were a bit cramped on Berklee's small stage though, and as good as Brian was on bass, I still missed Billy.

Negative points for me:
  • The idiot who shouted "Do it" at exactly the worst time during WAP. I got the distinct impression that Steve was annoyed by this.
    The other idiot who was seeing how loud he could roar during the quieter passages of WAP.
    Berklee threatening to pull the plug causing a couple of tracks to be dropped.
    Berklee not having good visibility from the back rows when everyone stands....which of course was about 90% of the show. I still have a stiff neck from straining to see from row EE. I'm 5'10" and had to stand on the tips of my toes for much of the show - I pity anyone back there who was shorter.
Positive points - Pretty much everything else. FTLOG and WAP brought tears to my eyes as they always do. ( Did I really just admit that on the internet? :oops: )

After the show I was lucky enough to have one of the 1 in 4 passes so I hung around. It became obvious that there were a lot of people with passes and I realized that it would take a while for Steve to talk to everyone. I had a tough decision to make as I either had to catch an 11.40 T home, or get my friend (a newly cultivated fan) to wait around outside in order to give me a ride home - which would have him driving 30 miles out his way. I decided to make my friend wait. :twisted:

As luck would have it though, when Steve appeared he came right in my direction so I was the second person to speak with him. I managed to shake his hand and mutter my meager thanks and get him to sign my Flexible LP (UK version!). He was kinda distracted at that point by the intractable logistics of meeting and greeting such a sizable crowd in a venue that was trying to kick him out. I decided the best thing I could do to help was to leave quickly even though there was so much I would have liked to talk about. Nearly 18 years of listening to his music and when I finally get to meet him...

Oh well, there's always next time. I unexpectedly made that train home too so I can't complain.


So Steve, if you read this... that one word of Thanks was really meant to be:
  • Thanks for the great gig (as always).
    Thanks for playing Freak Show Excess on this tour.
    Thanks for having the courage to stay true to music - especially during times when the music industry hasn't.
    Thanks for creating opportunities for fans to meet you.
    Thanks for being a real person willing to bare your soul, and not a 'rubber mask' celebrity musician like so many others.
    Thanks for the wonderful music that has been part of my life for so long now. I can't imagine a time that it won't be.
Back to another year of waiting. :(

Ian.
tomob63
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for those of you who did not get the EVO you paid for - consider disputing it.

Perhaps Mikey and the mgmt team will get the picture that fans paying $200 should get what they pay for instead of the band trying to record songs during sound check. Not the first time this has happened and not the last.

I'm not going to abandon liking Vai music, buying concert photos, shirts , DVD's etc, but folks have got screwed a couple times now. Time to wake up.
RhythMan
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What a show. Zack was highly entertaining. My first thought was "is this guy for real?' but I really enjoy the quirkiness and uniqueness to what he did. As for the rest of the show, thank god I had ear plugs :wink: I saw the RI:R Tour in Buffalo 2 years ago, and dare I say this band almost out performed that one. Itw as weird hearing the Audience is Listening without Billy or Tony, but everything else seemed to flow so nicely with Alex and Anne. The Crossroads duel was magnificent and was amazing to hear the slide parts on the violin. So many great points to the show, that for me I'll unfortunatly remember it for getting cut short. I thought i t was extremely weird during Whispering a Prayer for Steve to be rushing through it, but when he revealed they were getting cut off it put the puzzle together. Regardless, it was another treat to have the opportunity to see these musicians play, and I can actually say I saw a Flying V violin now :) Thanks for the performance guys.
djpaulqc
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Check out my pictures from the Webster in Hartford. Steve playing my guitar. :shock:
Vinny
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Great show. The sound was amazing, the best I've ever heard live.
Steve did some pretty wild stuff. I really liked the bass players
sound & playing. Anne Marie, wow, pictures do not do her justice.
She is just so beautiful in person. The band was really tight, I thought
this show was better than the show at the Avalon a few years ago.
Jeremy Colson is just a great drummer, he just doesn’t seem to fit
though, I can really picture him playing with Buckethead!

The after show thing was weird, a lot more people that I thought &
only Steve & the bass player came out. Steve didn’t seem like he was
in a very good mood. I just got my Zappa ticket stub, from Oct. 1977
when I saw him at The Music Hall in Boston 30 years ago signed. My
Son got his “Sound Theories" CD signed & we left.
TRIDS
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It was an awesome show I had a really fun time even though I was in row XX, but as the night before he sounded amazing. The only bad part was those jerks cutting his set short a minute into Taraus Bulba. He just went from the 1st minute of Taraus Bulba said he was getting the plug pulled on him in ten minutes and played For the Love of God. Does anyone have any idea why he was booted out like that? It's not even like it was late it was only 11:00 when he made the announcement. He actually went on earlier then he did in hartford. I heard something from one of my freinds who lives up there about a law and playing on week nights or something like that.
Vinny
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One part of the show I forgot to mention, the Acoustic
part. Vai is probably the best I've ever seen or heard
playing Acoustic, just the tone & playing is just so perfect.

I wish he would do an all acoustic CD.
TheOtnip
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I agree Vinny, Angel Food was amaaaaazzzing live. Steve sung very good on all about Eve as well :)

I'm not going to dispute EVO because of this little blurb due to circumstances that needed to be met, but I expect more next time.
constrict
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Great time, too bad the set got cut short a few songs...WTF Berklee?

My only request would be to get Billy back next time...he's adds sooooo much to the band.

Check out my Boston & Providence photos here:
http://tomcouture.com/photos/2007/10/vai/

Some of my favorites from Boston:

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I took my Mother/Grandma to this, they both enjoyed it thoroughly!
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