Steve vai

Still­ness in mo­tion: vAi live in lA

Guitar Techniques - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

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.


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