Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Steve Vai Live at the Astoria London|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
This 2-disc set captures the first solo concert of living guitar legend on film, including his performances at Astoria, London, UK, on December 6th and 7th, 2001. Accompanied by bass maestro Billy Sheehan, guitar and keybo... more »
Great show contaminated with annoying video effects.
I. MUNOZ | Montreal, PQ, Canada | 02/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I don't want to bash a product that actually showcases the best of one of the most attractive and colorful personalities in the music industry today. Quirky, wacky, freaky, whatever... Steve Vai is a musician that irradiates so much energy, brainpower, passion and fun that you finally jump with him into his magical world, even if this world is presented through a not-so-good item, such as this DVD itself.What really surprises me is that Vai is a perfectionist, a guy that respects his work over everything else in the world. And shamefully this DVD is far from being perfect. But let's start by talking about the good things on it:First of all, the tracklist couldn't be better. Nothing essential was left out. From the opening "Shy Boy" (with those amazing tapping duettos with Billy Sheehan!) to the closing "The Attitude Song" (with everybody jamming around like a bunch of crazy witches), almost all what you expect to be there, is there: "Giant Balls of Gold", "Bad Horsie", "Whispering a Prayer", "Jibboon", "For the love of God"... and much much much more! I'm no less than EXTREMELY happy with the tracklist, really -well, don't tell me that you wanted to listen to "Fire Garden Suite". Of course that one is NOT there :-).Secondly, the performers are more than amazing. Their live playing is close to perfection without scarifying a dime in attitude. How good they are was captured and proudly packaged into this DVD. Not only Steve Vai himself shines, but also Virgil Donati (what a drum solo! -what a DRUMMER!), Tony MacAlpine (guys, I've never understood why he never got the fame he deserves so well!), Billy Sheehan (the perfect skillful bass player to match Vai on stage) and Dave Weiner (the low-profile dwarf that does everything well and plays the guitar like a god); them all really excel!Now, the bad things: the synchronization between the video and the music sometimes is lost, and the sound is a tad thin in my opinion; but the worst of everything are those annoying video transitions (so cheap and cheesy!) and those absurd camera moves -which almost ruin the entire production and won't let you see what you really want to see more than once!In few words, this release contains a lot of good tracks and I still consider it a gem in my collection, but it could have been far better. I just hope that the G3 DVD, produced (I hope) by Sony, will be top-quality and won't leave any bitter taste in my mouth -like "Live at the Astoria London" did, though slightly.So, music and performance: five stars. Image and sound: four stars. Video editing and production: better not say. :-)"
Music = A+, Visuals = D
Sarah Nelson | Berkeley, CA | 01/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was so excited to see this DVD... what guitar enthusiast could pass up 2+ hours of Steve Vai? I've heard him live, heard him with other artists, heard him by himself, and was amped to hear and see him in my very own home.The music was simply wonderful, a good variety of songs were chosen, and Vai's energy really comes through to the viewer. However, I have to mention the nauseating overkill of visual effects used.
As a one-time film/video production student, I learned one thing you NEVER do is mess with the stock footage. But consistently throughout the DVD you see weird angles, lightning fast zooms, and oh the spinning...
Then there's the post-production debacle. First of all, it is a bad idea to change subject size or shooting angle so drastically. It was hard to keep up with what I was watching. Next, star wipes, swirl wipes, etc. are best left for high school video classes.
Granted, these effects and transitions were often proportional to the tempo and energy of the music at that time, but were very distracting nonetheless.
If the seizure-inducing distractions from the editing and footage were toned down or eliminated, I would have given this five stars. As it is, I could not in good conscience recommend this to anyone without a thorough warning.Mr. Vai, please keep doing what you do best... and let the camera operators and editors do what they do best."
Great For A Serious Music Fan
seattleguitar | Seattle, WA | 02/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great expo of Steve Vai and his incredible talent. I've watched this DVD over and over and love it. His playing in incredible. His stage antics are fun, entertaining and moving (you can see he's been influenced by Zappa, DLR and knows how to perform visually). It truly shows off Steve Vai's talent and personality. I was recently at a Guitar Play Magazine party for their advertisers hosted by Steve Vai and truly think he's not only an incredible guitarist but simply radiates life and music.The DVD itself leaves you in awe. Steve is incredible on his studio recordings but you think: "how is he going to pull this off live"? Well, he does perfectly. It is like watching Michael Jordan in his prime. Musically, he does a tremendous job of weaving very interesting melodies and layers of sound together. It is not just fast paying here. There are great dynamics at work in his compositions. The guitar is simply his vehicle for creating music. He's not held back at all by the guitar but effortlessly can make any sound he imagines.Steve's music isn't for everyone. My wife just doesn't get it. It is very complex and takes a truly serious music fan to appreciate. If you're music tastes are limited to the pop flavor of the week, you may not like Vai. If you have an open minded and are looking for something musically on the level of John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Frank Zappa, Beethoven or Bach, then Vai will blow you away."
Incredible, whatever these chumps say!
Sarah Nelson | 06/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steve Vai is simply the best guitarist alive today.
The main reason I'm writing this review is as a retort to some of the comments already up as 'reviews'.Firstly, if you don't like Vai, why would you buy the DVD?
If you think Vai is a talentless bum, you're not going to enjoy this product - just go and check out the Britney DVD's, I'm sure they're more your style.Now, while the camera work and special effects aren't the best thing about the DVD, it's just stupid to suggest that a Vai fan should not buy this just because of them!Surely that's like saying "Passion & Warfare" is incredibly good, but the album cover is crap so don't bother ...Steve's costume changes and his on stage antics are by way of entertainment. What would you prefer? Steve just playing the songs straight with no actual performance involved?No-one ever criticized Pink Floyd or Guns N Roses for putting on huge live shows with fireworks and blow up monsters...If you think you'll have trouble concentrating on the music because Steve has lights attached to his fingers for one song, just stick to the CD, OK?Overall, this DVD is an amazing example of brilliant music performed by talented artists who know how to put on a show and have a sense of humour.If you want to see Steve playing some of his best songs while the band and everyone in the crowd have an awesome time, this is the DVD for you!The camera angles can be a bit annoying - the cameramen get way too close to Steve's fingers sometimes and you can't see what he's playing at all. Also, during some solo's, the shots are from behind the drums, or of Billy or Dave.
Steve addresses the problems he had when editing the concert in the commentary track (which is great in itself!)If you like Vai, or even if you're just a guitar lover, get the DVD. You WON'T be disappointed!"