DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Steve Vai - 'Where The Wild Things Are' Hot

Added by James Gaden     February 17, 2010    
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Six string wizard Steve Vai, live and loud.


Having interviewed the great Steve Vai in June, I was eagerly awaiting this two-disc DVD when it finally arrived just a couple of days before the magazine’s deadline. As I imagined, from dutifully seeing him on this the Sound Theories Tour, it was everything I expected and more. Accompanied by Dave Weiner on guitar, Jeremy Colson on drums, Bryan Beller on bass and Zakk Wiesinger on keyboards, the master of the six strings showcases his most recognisable songs and presents them in a new light due to the incorporation of the violins of Alex DePue and Ann Marie Calhoun to the mix.

Recorded live at The State Theatre in Minneapolis in 2007, the setlist is nothing but impressive, encompassing classics such as ‘Tender Surrender’, ‘Fire Wall’, ‘The Crying Machine’, ‘Die To Live’ and ‘All About Eve’, without forgetting the monumental ‘Whispering A Prayer’, the glorious ‘Liberty’ and the formidable ‘For The Love Of God’, with which the concert finishes.  ‘The Audience Is Listening’ never ceases to amaze me and the post-gig visual effects added to ‘The Murder’ are well effective.

The ever smiling Ann Marie Calhoun walks the stage like a little butterfly with grace and class and when it comes to her soloing with fellow violinist Alex DePue, it is like watching the beauty and the beast, yet when it comes to the music they produce, both are beauty and beast at the same time.

Unlike other guitarists, Vai is an ego-free artist and interacts a great deal with the band, also giving them the chance to show off their skills during their individual solos.  He also shows his sense of humour when he introduces the band with some dance moves, makes jokes and even introduces his guitar tech when he can’t make his acoustic guitar sound until the techie in question comes to the rescue.  These are little things that other ego-centred guitarists would cut off. Another amusing part is when Jeremy Colson brings a portable drum kit to the front of the stage and jokes with Vai before playing ‘Angel Food’ with both Vai and Weiner on acoustic guitars.

Visual-wise, this DVD is a jewel, not only for Steve’s pragmatic showmanship and the interaction with the band, but also because of the different angles that the numerous cameras bring.

The bonus material is no less interesting as it contains very informative and lengthy interviews with the band and how they first heard of Vai, how touring with him is and how much they enjoy it all.  Last but not least is the introduction of his new pedal, which regardless whether you are a guitar player or not, you will definitely crack a smile as Steve plays himself twice and teases himself.

Do I need to say more? This brilliant DVD is out now, so what are you waiting for to go and get it? With two hours and 40 minutes of live footage and the succulent bonus material, you will have a pleasurable time, so sit down, relax, press play and enjoy.

Mónica Castedo-López


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