12 October 2016 - Ventura, CA - PAW Tour

Been to a Vai show? Review it here. Please post in the appropriate thread for each show!
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Did you attend this show in Ventura CA?

Please post your reviews here!

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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:10 pm

Hello all,
I am new to the website and a long time fan of Steve Vai's music. I had fallen away from listening until last year and had at that point had to play catch up & purchase everything available as I could not believe that I neglected this music for as long as I did. I was also somewhat crestfallen discovering that I had missed the Ventura stop of "The Story of Light" tour in 2013 (or 14).

Imagine my delight upon discovering that he was going to be back in Ventura (and this time I was not going to miss it!).

I have heard a multitude of guitar heroes; doodly, doodly, doodly, wow, that's great...but I am bored after 5 min. as I am not a guitarist just a recovered drummer. For me to remain interested it has to grab hold of my viscera...and not let go.

Steve Vai is different from your run-of-the-mill guitar virtuoso, no guitar god is he...more like a guitar demiurge "an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe".

Very few musicians transcend the limitations of their instruments, Michael Gira is one, but where he is dense and ultimately stifling, Steve Vai is black hole concentrated without being oppressive, heavy without being hateful, and these are difficult feats to pull off.

Anyway enough backstory, Steve Vai played in Ventura on Wednesday the 12th and he was as good as expected. Tony MacAlpine and his band of dark wizards (sorry they dressed the part!) opened and they were very competent at their brand of guitar rock and got the crowd nice and warmed up.

Me, I was ready to have the top of skull blown off by virtuosity and Steve Vai did not disappoint.

From the opener of "Bad Horsie" I was doing my version of spastic aerobics, jumping around like a lunatic, 'cause I am in shape, sober, and that is what his music does to me...MAKES ME RAWK DA FUQ OUT.

No one does bassosaurus like Philip Bynoe and I cannot believe the variety of sounds that emanate from Jeremy Colsons minimal kit. Adding to the guitar "lasagne" was of course Dave Weiner and an older grey haired guitar tech whose name escapes me (sorry, not to belittle but I just don't recall).

I am not sure what proper protocol is for watching guitar mastery but I wasn't bothering anyone. I don't understand how one cannot move except to hoist their lagers to their mouths while watching these guys on stage.

His music grabbed a hold of me through some slower songs, then the note bending lunacy of "Gravity Storm" and the Passion and Warfare album in its' entirety. I am not that familiar with that album except the major tracks and Steve absolutely slaughtered me with those harmonics (word?) at the end of "For the Love of God".

The virtual guitar playing with Brian May, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci and especially Frank Zappa was a very nice touch.

The "Build A Song" part of the show was funny, I almost volunteered to go up on stage, but thought better of it (We're not worthy, we're not worthy!!!).

Two and a half hours later and a finisher of "Taurus Bulba" and us fans got what we paid for, a brilliant show by a consummate professional.

Addendum; I purchased the re-release of "Passion and Warfare with it's accompanying "Modern Primitive" disc and the latter has not been removed from my home and vehicle c.d. players. I work alone so believe me when I tell you I listen to it at every available alone moment.

I figuratively live inside of Steve Vai's music, it is a really nice place to be.

Thanks Steve, the world is a better place with you in it.
Nate from San Diego
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:11 am

dhp123166 wrote: an older grey haired guitar tech whose name escapes me (sorry, not to belittle but I just don't recall).
That older grey haired guitar tech is none other than Mr. Thomas Nordegg, one of the hardest working people in the business. Seriously, when Steve and the band played in San Diego earlier this month, I witnessed Thomas loading stage equipment like he as a young, stout 20 year old roadie. I don't mean any offense to the road crew, but he was running circles around the younger bucks, making one move count for two and working non-stop until everything was loaded at the end of the night.

(He's a pretty damn good guitar player also.)

Rock on, Thomas! :headbang
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