"Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#46 Post by indeedido » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:11 am

I pre ordered the cd/dvd as soon as it was available and I finally got it yesterday. Autographed too. I have made it through the first disk and must say it is pretty awesome. It was shot with great clarity both picture and sound. I am loving the interplay of steve and the violinists. The acoustic section is really nice. I've been wanting to see steve play some acoustic for a long time. Thanks for that! The cds are awesome too and the bonus download really completes the set!

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#47 Post by EyE » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:13 am

I pre-ordered the bundle but I bought a copy when it was released. It's just amazing! Brings you back to the shows you've attended. I love it how the violins are a part of this whole show.
The camera work is great and the audio is amazing! And let's not forget the art work! The Vai-camp has done a great job!

See what the result ends up like when we are patienced!

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#48 Post by b2 » Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:15 am

I just watched the dvd last evening so here is a quick review written the morning after.

I did not get to see a show with the band when they where at tour, so very nice to at
last see this lineup play together. I was very excited about this new lineup and I must
say they all performed excellent, sound great together and looked like they had a very
enjoying time together on the stage. Adding two violin and keyboard players to the
band was maybe a big challenge for Mr. Vai, but I did never when watching the dvd
felt there where moments with to much violins in the soundscape. The violins
sounded great when doubling or harmonizing guitar melodies lines, also great with
pure violin solos. The violin sound itself was mostly nice, just in some parts of
“The Crying Machine” Alex had a bit to harsh distorted sound.

The general dvd production was excellent. Good image and sound quality. Also the
menu system and menu audio was nice. I usually prefer to listen to music in 2 channel
stereo, but I did watch this dvd with the 5:1 audio and felt the mix was overall good.
Not any “out of place” odd use of the back channels. The video editing was nice with
not to fast/often changing camera views.

The venue looked very nice. Excellent lighting which of course is very important for
getting a good dvd image quality. I loved the wood stage floor and Steve’s carpet,
also the “carpet” (coat) Steve was wearing for the first songs in the show. Jeremy’s
green color drums looked great. The audience standing so close to the stage and the
band was also nice. Together with some Steve talking between songs and often
smiling band members all these elements gave the show an overall very warm,
human, pleasant feel.

Musical highlights for me in the show include the four first songs because of the
energy and also because “OOOO” and “Building The Church” are some of my
favorite Vai songs. Then we have the acoustic set, and especially the excellent
performance of the wonderful song “All About Eve”. Excellent singing on this one
Steve! Other parts I also liked very much are the extended ending solo of
“Building The Church” and the extended mid solo of “The Crying Machine”.

Of course as a Vai fan there are many songs missing. May be most, the soul healing
song “K'm-Pee-Du-Wee”. But we already got a very nice version of this song video
recorded and included on the G3 “Live In Tokyo” dvd. So great to see for the first
time on dvd some other songs like “OOOO” and “Die To Live”. Also a Mr. Vai video
interview would had been a nice bonus, but I have not yet heard the audio commentary
track so I guess Steve will talk a lot on that.

So at the end I just have to say thanks. Thanks to every member of the band and all
other people involved in the production of this dvd.

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#49 Post by Ekim » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:19 pm

Listening to the commentary track, I can only say: "TMI".

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#50 Post by Samuele » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:15 am

These are my first thoughts after a week or so of enjoying the DVD. Hopefully, Steve too will read this at some point.

The Cover and Artwork – The cover is new and different: more elaborate than the Astoria DVD, yet not as artistically grandiose as the Visual Sound Theories one. Staring at it, I find it very meaningful and think it might also reflect where the viewer finds him/herself when watching the concert on screen. That is, you get to experience the show from a very intimate spot, very close to the band, both visually and sonically (even emotionally, if I might say). I also perceive a sense of honesty about the cover, majestic yet humble at the same time. Does this make any sense? Well, however I would say Steve is always about honesty, right? To put it short, the cover is extremely great - I love staring at it and reflecting on it, so it was a good choice Mikey and Steve!

The packaging is beautiful too, I like the feel of paper when I have the digipaks in my hands. I’m also one of those who likes to keep records and stuff in good condition, so you get the picture. And honestly, the idea that these little discs have been on Steve’s living room table for a little while to be (even if hurriedly) signed by him, makes me smile like a child. I know, I am as naïve as you can get.

Opening up the DVD booklet I have to say that the choice of photographs was great, to me it looks just like a mini tour-book! The artwork on the discs themselves, recalling Jeremy’s kick drum front head artwork on the tour, makes it look like you’re going to be enveloped into “another world”, which in a sense you are. A happier world, for a little while.

The show – Back in the summer of 2007 (feels like yesterday), I had the pleasure to see the String Theories Band on tour twice – July 14 in Lignano and July 16 in Rome (yes, the show where some guys in the audience were quite explicit with their appreciation of Ann Marie’s beauty!). Right after those shows I was so happy, I thought those had been the happiest days in my life, and even a bit melancholic, because they were over. I don’t know, maybe it was also because we were at outdoor venues in the summer (the Evo Experience in Lignano was so cool, too), the weather was beautifully sunny, the sound quality was excellent… Not to mention the setlist! I still think those are the best live concerts I’ve ever had the chance to witness. So many fond memories. Now, this DVD has finally cured that melancholy. I am so grateful that that tour was captured on video and made available, I almost could explode with happiness. Sorry. :) But I guess even for Steve and the other band members it must be cool to have something like this, which brings back so many special memories.

The setlist is, for temporary lack of a better word, stunning. Some of my all-time favorite songs are on there, and some of my favorite moments among them would be:

- Oooo (I’m so grateful this one finally got to be performed, it’s otherworldly in every meaning of the word, yet the whole universe is in that melody)
- The “extended extra solos” on Building The Church, Tender Surrender, Firewall, and especially Die To Live and Freak Show Excess (this one also has a very cool intro, along with Bryan's bass solo)
- The middle part to Crying Machine, where the guitar and the violins really blend (and by the way, my favorite shot of Alex is when he plays that high note)
- I’m Becoming (this one always makes me feel like a child in his mother’s arms)
- All About Eve (this must be the most beautiful live version of this song I’ve ever heard, it really is absolute perfection, any words I might use wouldn’t do it justice)
- Angel Food (again, to me the best live arrangement and the very best live version ever of this one)
- The Murder (I adore the whole dramatic rendition of the song, and that shot of Steve blowing into Flo!)
- Whispering A Prayer (my favorite performance of this one, Steve is definitely always trying to touch Flo as soft as he can, and really had me in tears by the end of it)
- Taurus Bulba (I love all the various moments in this song, so melodic and powerful, and really adore it when Steve and Jeremy lock together, it’s (in general) the best choice for a show’s “final” piece)
- For The Love Of God (this must be my favorite live arrangement of this song ever)

I have to stop or I’ll list the entire show. If I were to tell you all of my favorite moments, it would take me forever, so I’ll try to be concise here. There are a couple of new favorites too, and that is Steve and Jeremy’s acoustic duel (Gary 7 to Treasure Island) and Now We Run. I love the way Steve arranged that song. It’s probably the fastest tempo in one of the craziest time signatures I’ve ever heard, never was a title more suitable for a song – you ‘feel’ like running. And at the same time, the whole band makes it look easier than it is, and so gracefully. Yes, I could not help but smile when I saw the expression on Annie’s face when she comes out to dance with Steve at the beginning. I thought – hey, how could she not do that? I mean, the song just calls for that, her attitude fits the music so well. Way to go Annie. Alex is a perfect match, too. The two of them really embody, paraphrasing Steve’s comment, the feminine and the masculine ideal representations of the feel on their instrument. My favorite parts of Apples In Paradise is Ann Marie’s solo phrase when she really rips it up and what Alex does after that – you know, the really scary but melodic stuff. Another aspect which I noticed is how tight do both violins sound with the rest of the band. Sometimes they are really “glued” to Steve’s melody guitar, and to me a good example would be the solo to Oooo, terrifying and beautiful at the same time. Then I want to thank you Steve for Par Brahm. It’s such a heartfelt little piece and it was a good choice for the DVD menus, and I’m glad it’s also on the CD.

The show itself is very well balanced, I don’t think there is too much of any single thing. There are instead all the elements I like to see in a show, and more: words-transcending enchanting music, stunning musicianship and dexterity, great hysterical humor (and that is not silly), an excellent acoustic set, a creative drum solo (again, Jeremy's solo must be my favorite drum solo so far), elegant stage presence (e.g. graceful dancing), a general impression of a colorful stage (lights, clothes,etc.), there’s so much diversity it’s impossible to get bored. I should note that the musical dexterity is never perceived as for the sake of itself. Actually, I think it’s possible that there’s people who don’t realize how scary some of the music is, from a performance perspective. That is, if they don’t listen to Jeremy’s comments on Now We Run, of course. Oh, and Dave’s choice of Shove The Sun Aside for his solo spot is great, it’s so nice to see him really honestly involved in his own music.

And then there are the witty little skits that Steve created for the show. I guess my face still remembers hurting so good from the laughter. I mean, the clothes change for Tender Surrender, the band intros before Firewall, the Beastly Rap with Jeremy, or even just little bits of silent humor like an eyebrow raising are simply priceless. It’s also so nice to clearly see musicians that are loving what they’re doing, which you can tell when you see how the band members look at each other while playing, like Steve smiling to Ann Marie after the All About Eve solo. I really want to thank everybody involved in making “Where The Wild Things Are” a reality: Steve, Ann Marie, Dave, Jeremy, Bryan, Alex, Zack, Mikey, and all the other folks I didn’t mention.

A general note on the quality: the audio is immensely good (even on CD), the highest level I’ve ever heard. It’s like I had seven ears, one for each member of the band, and the sounds that thery’re hearing are so clear and well-defined. And I’m not even listening to it with high-end, audiophile gear. The video too is phenomenal, and I’m not even watching the Blu-Ray. I don’t have the required equipment to watch a Blu-Ray, but I definitely will get it in the furture. Even though I understand Steve wasn’t able to use all the footage he wanted to get, all of the camera angles are so much better than any previous DVD he did in the past few years. I can tell Steve must have spent a huge amount of time choosing the best footage and getting the audio tracks right, because in my opinion - to date - they have no match. Steve, whatever you went through to achieve this – it really was worth it.

The commentary track – I dig every commentary track on all the past DVDs, but this one has to be the number one. Right from the beginning I thought – “this is going to be so much fun!” It’s also so revealing, I was amazed at some of the stories that were shared, I mean there are things that if it were me, maybe I wouldn’t have told – you know, the more sincerely personal thoughts, feelings, or stories. Maybe I was particularly impressed by how much insight we also get from Jeremy this time, which is great! I adored the general atmosphere, the little stories about rehearsals, touring, or (for example) what Steve does when he acquires a new guitar. :) It’s like you’re sitting with part of your family (if I might say) watching the coolest show ever performed, and talking about it! I want to thank you Steve, Ann Marie, Jeremy and Mikey for all the nice stories and great laughter in there. By the way, I’m going back to the 2007 tourblog posts on the site and enjoying them once more. I don’t want to spoil anything but the real fans are definitely going to love it!

The Behind the Scenes Features – Again, I was amazed to watch the band members being so honest and revealing about touring with Steve, maybe especially Ann Marie and Jeremy. I found it really touching when Jeremy said that he can’t think of a more challenging or exciting work experience (in his future) than being in that band. So nice to hear Ann Marie and Dave talk about the time on the tour bus, too. I remember seeing Ann Marie eating a chocolate bar back after the Rome show, by the way! The interviews are really informative and funny, some even quite intimate both in content and the environment they take place. I really enjoyed all of them.

A few last words – Steve, I wanted you to know that I always think of the time I spend watching the DVD as time well spent, actually as my favorite time these days. You know, I am one of those people who have a job that takes them away from their house up till 8.00+ p.m. for five days in a week, so I don’t have that much time for what I really love to do the most. At the moment, I find the most uplifting solace when I’m watching “Where The Wild Things Are”, and remembering that 2007 tour, currently it really is my main source of comfort and peace. I can only barely imagine what it took you to complete this project, but every effort you put into making it is worth it for me. I could go on and on and write so much more but for now I’ll just say…

Thank you so much for all this, Steve.

Does it sound like I’m loving it?
Last edited by Samuele on Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#51 Post by Hakky » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:56 am

Wow Samuele,
thanks for pulling the strings of so many similar thoughts of my own!
In fact I think you saved me a bunch of typing!!
: D

But I'll add this:
The intro into Now We run is just so choice!

Those flams as Jeremy comes down the high toms is awesome! :peace
I love the building energy and slow tempo bent-notes into the staccato snare/guitar riff-- it's just classic VAI !
My speakers can't take it, they got to 30, but 22 or 23 is all we can handle! haha!

The energy is enough to give me goosebumps without even listening to it! Crzazy!
Makes me want to get out, hit the halfpipe and just launch! (Skateboard/snowboard)

Yes I just LOVE those blistering bend notes, like the very last ones to OOOO.
Such a (half or full) step up enough from notes that irritate, or even ree-to-nee-noo-nee the neighbours...

Like juuust in tune, and juuust bent enough to, well...raise an eyebrow?

:headbang

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#52 Post by bobbydriver » Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:12 am

Absolutely Smokin! :guitar
Its available at Abstract Logix for 19.98 / DVD, 12.98 / CD

Link:
http://www.abstractlogix.com/xcart/home.php?cat=346" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#53 Post by pdruh » Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:11 am

Every little thing on the DVD is just amazing! It turns Vai's music, not into only "music" its a magical, good trippin', crazy experience, even just watching it, it enters in my soul and change my feelings, its just beautifull! I can't even blink when I'm watching it! The show don't bores you even that it is 2 hours and a half long, The beginning is stunning and bad ass! The acustic section of the show is such beautifull! And the most cool and impressive drum solo that i've ever seen/listened to is on this DVD!
I loved to watched never seen before live footage of some musics, in expecially Freak Show Excess, Die To Live, Tender Surrender and of course Firewall!
I have no words to describe For The Love of God, I'm Becoming, Whispering A Prayer and Building The Church, Vai gets even better with the time! I've never seen so wonderfull and amazing performances of these musics like on this DVD.
By the way all the band is amazing! I loved the violins! Jeremy is impressive! And Brian Breller the new Bass Player too.
The sound never been so clean and the image so definited!
I just loved this DVD, it is a remarkable show! Congratulations Steve, Band, Staff Crew, and Mikey!

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#54 Post by robmar » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:31 pm

Ok here is my cents worth.Great music but somehow the band did not gel,,,1 Violin player would have been enough with a keyboard player in place of the other.The band did not work imho,,, looked like a bunch of session players fell out of the sky and Steve Vai just happened to be there.Live at the Astoria for example was the perfect concert.
It´s hard to put my finger on it but it just did not work for me.

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#55 Post by Hakky » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:22 am

I am compelled to comment on above:

In my hearty opinion, Bryan Beller and Jeremy Colson TOTALLY gelled.
When the hell have we ever heard a bass/drum duet/solo before, let alone at the end of the sickest song since Kill the Guy with the Ball??!!

And while Dave may be somewhat of a 'session musician' too, he fell out of the sky into the VAI band 10 years ago.
I feel strongly he has gelled, having seen him twice live.
Note: Another SICK Sitar solo performed with lots of decent body english in Freak Show Excess.

Alex and Anne-Marie played with confidence, flair and chops that were beyond professional and their contribution on stage detracted nothing from Steve's show. If anything, they enhanced or encouraged Steve's playing.
(After all, they didn't play on every song...)

Look at Now We Run, the end of OOOO, All About Eve, Firewall...the extra strings only compliment the harmony and tones. I really think the fact that there were two violinists beefed up the whole audio experience.

When I saw the Vancouver show from front row by Anne-Marie/Steve, the tone was so rich and yet spiked that my ear hairs felt like they were deep-fried! (A good thing for me...lol)

I continue to re-live that show via the DVD, and though I have to let others have their opinions, :shock:
I'd like to point out that music can certainly be about progression. :wink:

This band was easily the most progressive since the first show I saw in the same venue (1993-Commodore) with Devin Townsend, Abe Laboriel and Scott Thunes.
***I still think Philip Bynoe's 1996 bass-keyboard combo was killer too!)

AND yes... I loved the setlist and Virgil Donati's drum solo from Astoria. Crazy! He is very, very talented and versatile.

I almost wonder if seeing this show live would have a larger effect on those DVD'ers than those who missed the 2007 experience. My opinion might have been different...who knows? :roll:

Now I run, I must go crank tracks 1&2 yet again.
:guitar

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#56 Post by pdruh » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:42 pm

For me, Jeremy sounds so much better than Virgil at Astoria, and yes, the violins were amazing, I was impressed with the violins solos, and they make the melody sound more sweet and beautifull!

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#57 Post by jemgirl » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:23 am

I just picked up my copy today,and i wachted two times...yeah two times.
I love it.....the band and steve kick asses!!!
I love the special effects on it...good job mickey ( i assume you made it happen,true?).

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#58 Post by Mr. Canadian » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:11 pm

Steve,

I picked up the new dvd at the mall's hmv last weekend, it's a blast and totally entertaining. Thanks for working so hard on this; by far the best dvd package you've put out (and I think I have them all) - excellent production, great sound, tight band, great performances and a wonderful selection of pieces (nicely programmed too). I'll definitely treasure this and it will get repeat viewings. Look forward to your next album.

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#59 Post by Seraphim » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:19 am

Just get back after a few days out of my office and surprise surprise

:guitar THE DVD HAVE ARRIVED :headbang

The DVD was among the Where The Wild Things Are, it means my desk full of papers and post-its :mrgreen: and arrived a few days ago :D

So far only have opened the package and my thoughts are... very similar with Samuele already wrote. So, I took the Liberty to use your words and hope you don't mind :wink:
Samuele wrote:The Cover and Artwork – "...I also perceive a sense of honesty about the cover, majestic yet humble at the same time. Does this make any sense?..."

"...The packaging is beautiful too, I like the feel of paper when I have the digipaks in my hands. I’m also one of those who likes to keep records and stuff in good condition, so you get the picture..."

"...Opening up the DVD booklet I have to say that the choice of photographs was great, to me it looks just like a mini tour-book! The artwork on the discs themselves, recalling Jeremy’s kick drum front head artwork on the tour, makes it look like you’re going to be enveloped into “another world”, which in a sense you are. A happier world, for a little while..."
Shame that I can't start listen at my office computer right now, this computer is full of programs that don't allowed to reproduce sounds in perfect conditions :(
Later I will watch carefully and make my review :peace

:mrgreen: Seraphim :mrgreen:

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Re: "Live In Minneapolis: Where The WIld Things Are" DVD REVIEWS

#60 Post by fettouhi » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:29 am

I finally got around to watch the DVD a few weeks ago and I think that the DVD is terrible like the CD... The visual part is fine, much better than on the "Live at the Astoria" DVD. The gripes I have with this, are two the violin players that Steve added to the band. They simply don't fit the concept AT ALL! On a few tracks they sound ok at best, like on "Now We Run", but that is simply because they just double the lead guitar, so you don't hear them in full flesh. Why is the rhythm guitar so so way back in the mix??? On "The Audience is Listening" you don't hear it at all. Personally it would rather have seen this band perform new material that was specifically written for it than having it more or less butcher old arrangements.

Regards

André

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