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Vai, Steve: Where the Wild Things Are (DVD)

Recorded live and filmed in high definition at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, MN during Steve Vai's recent Sound Theories Tour, Where the Wild Things Are is just one more bit of proof of the absolute genius of Steve Vai. If you thought his past live DVDs were exciting, you haven't seen anything yet. With a sizzling band that includes bassist Bryan Beller, drummer Jeremy Colson, guitarist Dave Weiner, Alex DePue on violin & keyboards, Ann Marie Calhoun on violin, and lap steel player Zack Weisinger, this is without a doubt one of the most talented ensembles that Vai has put together.

The set list is a combination of newer material and a few old favorites. The band busts right out of the gate with the crazy "Now We Run", a complex, somewhat bizzaro number that is the essence of Vai, as his insane guitar work does battle with the two violinists while the tricky rhythms infiltrate beneath. Vai is all over the place on the classy fusion number " Building the Church", and delivers those familiar charming notes on the classic "Tender Surrender", a piece that just builds and builds before the guitarist delivers it to a screaming crescendo. Other tracks to look out for here include "Freak Show Excess", the heart wrenching "Whispering A Prayer", the anthem "Die to Live", and the monster guitar workout "For the Love of God". Always the showman, Vai's facial expressions and hand gestures are at times just as entertaining as his virtuoso licks and array of whammy bar noises. There just seems to be nothing he can't do on the guitar.

Let's give credit to the band here as well, who really seem to have taken Vai to the next level. Beller is a monster on the bass, and drummer Colson looks like a punk rocker but man can he wail on the drums. Dave Weiner not only delivers some fine rhythm guitar and the occasional lead, but his electric sitar playing on a few tracks really adds another dimension to the band's sound. Throw in the two amazing violin players, and you have a band that's ready to take on the world.

In summary, this is a first class DVD filled with masterful performances. My only slight gripe, and it's not against the DVD itself, is that there are a few vocal pieces, and to be honest, Steve really isn't that good of a singer. I think if he continues to want to do the occcasional vocal piece, he really should consider hiring a singer. Otherwise, the majority of Where the Wild Things Are is stellar instrumental rock of the highest quality.

Track Listing
01. Paint Me Your Face
02. Now We Run
03. Oooo
04. Building The Church
05. Tender Surrender
06. Band Intros
07. Firewall
08. The Crying Machine
09. Shove The Sun Aside
10. I'm Becoming
11. Die To Live
12. Freak Show Excess
13. Apples In Paradise
14. All About Eve
15. Gary 7
16. Beastly Rap
17. Treasure Island
18. Angel Food
19. Earthquake Sky
20. The Audience Is Listening
21. The Murder
22. Juice
23. Whispering A Prayer
24. Taurus Bulba
25. Liberty
26. Answers
27. For The Love Of God

Added: October 10th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Steve Vai Website
Hits: 1913
Language: english

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