Stillness in motion: vAi live in lA
While Steve Vai’s studio releases are impressive examples of sonic wonderment, it’s often his live playing that shows what he can really do. This is the case with his first release with Sony/Legacy; a live double CD recorded in LA during 2012. On six and seven strings, his Ibanez-fuelled tone and performance are nothing short of mightily impressive. Disc 1 opens with the triumphant Racing The World which then leads to the heavy riffer, Velorum that flits from apocalyptic to almost tranquil. The band blazes on with Building The Church (that intro tapping riff still astounds today) before Tender Surrender drips with emotive melodies as he taps (sic) into his substantial Hendrix-isms. Vai’s always been a fan of swing feels so the inclusion here of Gravity Storm and The Animal is most welcomed – he her flat for two years, Hand. Cannot. Erase. deals with the paradox of loneliness and isolation at a time when social media seems to have intoxicated practically everyone. Musically, it’s a full on mellotrons-atdawn affair right from the first 12-minute long track that sets the scene for the tragic tale to majestically unfold. As with his previous album, the very well-received Raven That Refused To Sing, Wilson is accompanied by some top notch musicians, including our very own Guthrie Govan on guitar. So the album is punctuated regularly by epic guitar solos as well as some sublime rhythm work throughout. Guthrie will be joining Wilson on the UK and European legs of his Spring tour, but clashing schedules mean that he will be handing over fretboard duties to none other than GT stalwart Dave Kilminster for the USA dates.