I went to see the Steve Vai show at Lorca, Murcia (Spain) with 3 friends.
We arrived at the Fortaleza del Sol (the fortress of the sun) early and we parked as high as we could. It was a very sunny and hot day. The entrance area was only about 400 meters from the parking. In the 5 minutes it took us to reach the entrance we realized that the name of the fortress was very well chosen.
According to the ticket, the doors should be opened at 20:00 but until 20:25 they didn’t let us to pass the first security control. In the second security point we were about 100 meters from the stage and the band was in the sound check. The firsts of the queue were able to see “The audience is listening” and a part of “All about Eve”. A few minutes later (20:40), they finally let us to go to the stage. The first row was full of people with EVO ticket (mostly foreigners, probably on vacation in the beaches of Murcia or Alicante). We were lucky enough to get to the second row. I think there were about 1000 people to see Steve. While we wait we were able to see how the ligths of the stage were being adjusted. Talk about security at work:
Before Vai, Zack Wiesinger played a few songs (he started playing at 21:30). He used a very little amp, his clothes were strange to say the least, and he was doing stupid things. I don’t know if he takes drugs or likes to look like a fool:
I missed Eric Sardinas a lot. Vai should call Jorge Salan to open his shows (at least in Spain).
Steve Vai started playing Now we run at 22:15. The sound was really loud in the first couple of songs. I’m glad I bought Etymotic ER-20 earplugs after going to the Jorge Salan show (I had my ears ringing for 5 days after that show :P). The drums and the bass were dominant and it was difficult to hear the main guitar. After oooo, the mixing was better, main guitar was more audible, but IMO the bass and drums were still too loud. Probably being so close to the stage wasn’t the best place to talk about it, but…
One of the greatest moments of the night was when Steve played Tender Surrender. This song should always be in the set list. It’s awesome to see him playing it as it was easy. Just to criticize a little, he didn’t play the pinch harmonics of the songs.
There was something wrong during Firewall. Steve started to sing it pretty good, but at the middle of the song, he didn’t finish all sentences, and was out of time several times. Also the “Boom Shika-Boom” part after the solo was completely wrong. Steve looked around during it and then a sample of it was played.
Dave played Shove the sun aside from his album of the same name.
The musicians in the band were great. However, Billy Sheehan can’t be replaced. Don’t get me wrong, Bryan Beller is good, but Billy is from out of this world and another showman. I really missed him. The violinist (Alex DePue and Ann Marie Calhoun) gave another flavor to Vai’s songs. Their virtuosism was evident and one of the highlights of the night was when they played the crossroad’s duel. They also had a keyboard next to them, but I don’t recall hearing it very much during the show.
When Jeremy started to play with Steve with his “portable drum kit”, an electric problem surfaced and most of the equipment stopped working. After 3 tries, Steve went down the stage waiting for the technicians to fix it. It was 23:35. More than 20 minutes later the problem was still there. For a moment I thought that there was a chance for the show to be cancelled, but fortunately the problem was solved and the show was resumed at 00:10. Steve seemed to be a bit upset for the problem, and was a bit serious for a while, but in a few minutes he was like before the problem.
The band continued playing the songs. Steve was brilliant singing All about eve. I don’t know what happened in firewall. The show ended with his most famous song, For the love of God, as good as always. The band left the stage at 01:10.
It is really awesome to see Steve playing the guitar. It seems so easy watching him. Also, his eye contact with the audience is awesome. The other members of the band has a glazed look while they were playing. However Steve was gesticulating all the time, staring at different people from time to time, looking at their reaction... Cool!
The set list was:
Now we run
Building the church
The attitude song
Dave weiner solo (Shove the sun aside)
Die to Live
Freak Show Excess
Violin solo (Crossroads)
Jeremy & Steve
All about eve
Whispering a prayer
For the Love of God
I don’t know why Steve didn’t played The crying machine and Light of the moon. Maybe the electric problems were the culprit, so they have to reduce the show a little or as it was late, they were too tired. Anyway, we had a great show and had a lot of fun with the band, and that’s the most important thing.
I uploaded a few videos of the show:
Alex & Ann Marie - Crossroads solo
For the love of God
Building the church (solo)
Dave Weiner - Shove the sun aside