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Buy, Rent or Skip Steve Vai: Live At The Astoria London?

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Chiprocks1

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Steve Vai: Live At The Astoria London (2003)
« on: November 09, 2011, 07:06:56 pm »
Steve Vai: Live At The Astoria London (2003)





The rating of this is somewhat misleading. I'll get to that in just a second.

First off, this is an amazing show by Mr. Vai. It's flawless in its execution of performance, stage show, and song selection. Billy Sheenan is a beast on this set as well. This is what was missing from the G3 set: a full concert experience, which makes it my favorite Steve Vai DVD in my video library.

One notable thing is that both Steve and Billy share lead vocals on a few songs. It's a great way to open the show with "Shy Boy" with Billy singing lead vocals. Sure, he is not what I would call a great vocalist. Far from it. But it is fun to hear them tackling a song from their days with David Lee Roth. I prefer Steve as the vocalist if I had to choose. He is by far the better singer and it shows on cuts like "Fire" and "Little Wing", which is a beautiful recreation of the Jimi Hendrix classic.

But your not reading this for vocal props are ya?

So if you want some serious guitar work, look no further than "Erotic Nightmares" and "Blue Powder". What's really cool is to see him perform these live. Not only that, it's pretty mind blowing that he is able to recreate every single note exactly as it was on the album. I say this because there are moments that he really shouldn't be able to recreate it live due to the logistics of how he plays the notes by taking off the trem bar and using that as his mode of picking. And to be able to do pinch harmonics with his tongue flawlessly, just goes to show he has no equal.

As for the technical aspect of the DVD, the audio is flawless, both PCM and 5.1 Dolby digital. The video is ok. But the editing is where I have issues with and why the lower star rating. There are parts of the show that turns into nothing more than a cheesy music video with amateurish video FX with stock transition FX. And there are parts where they do picture-in-picture to high-lite Steve's finger prowess. There's no need for this. This isn't a guitar instructional video. So things like this tend to take me out of the concert going experience. But for the rest of the show. It's a showstopper.

FYI, the cover of the DVD takes place during "Whispering A Prayer", which is an amazing performance in itself. Tony MacAlpine and Dave Weiner once again get to shine on this set. And Virgil Donati is a monster on the skins.

"The Attitude Song" is the best song they could have chosen to close out the set. Straight up, it's a guitar/bass orrrrrgy between Steve, Billy, Tony, Dave and Eric Sardinas, who joins in on the fun. Amazing way to close it out. Your way over board on the guitar playing Mr. Vai. But if the guitar thing doesn't work out for you, you always have a 2nd career as a camera man.

This is a 2 Disc DVD set and the 2nd disc is entirely dedicated to bonus stuff. All the goodies are done in a mockumentary style doc, much like that of Spinal Tap. It's very entertaining. The best part obviously is the segment where Billy learns how to play bass from the bass tech. Haha.

In spite of the video editing, this is still a Buy for me.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

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Chiprocks1

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Re: Steve Vai: Live At The Astoria London (2003)
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 07:21:58 pm »
It's funny to read the reviews over at Amazon to see if there were any people that had issues with the editing of this DVD. Sure enough, a lot of people were griping about it. Check out the 1 Star reviews. Pretty much sums up what I pointed out.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

 

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