Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Where the Wild Things Are |
Actor: Steve Vai
Director: Steve Vai
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Where The Wild Things Are is a 2 DVD set 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 features a world-class ... more »
Perfect Concert DVD
Robbie Hunt | So.Cal. | 10/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know others will go deep with analysis of this product, so I will just state what I think is the most important element. This show seems to have been edited by someone who is not only aware of this type of music, but also a fan. I cannot handle nonstop 2 second cuts to every camera view that I could care less about. The days of the frantic MTV style video presentation are OVER. This DVD is perfect in that aspect, when Steve is going for the "part", you WILL get to see it. And there is also just the right amount of effects and movement to keep it interesting & fresh. Any musician who actually cares about the music, should pay attention to "Where the Wild Things Are" and use this as a reference point for any Producer or Director who will be in charge of presenting an artists true vision in the arena of concert recording. For me: The Perfect Concert DVD HUNT4MUSIC"
It Goes without Saying....
Anthony Perry | 10/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You can bet that if Vai's putting out a DVD, you're going to get your money's worth and then some. The musicianship is as high as can be expected, and if you're even somewhat familiar with Vai's work, this is no surprise.
What I enjoyed the most were the production values (lighting and DVD specific effects), the little touches of bizarre humor that he's known for (picking with his guitar tech, showing the scat lyrics to Firewall, shamelessly plugging himself in Tender Surrender), and the way he shared the stage with the other musicians. That last aspect impressed me the most, actually. He knows he can play, so he had no problem letting the band step up. Instead of "Dave's Party Piece", he actually got to play one of his own songs from his album (albeit, and abbreviated version). Also, the Lydian jam with Anne Marie and Alex on "The Crying Machine" was just magical.
Like I said, if you're a Vai fan, you're gonna get this DVD, so I'm basically writing this for the casual listener/musician. If you're interested in something different from the cookie cutter commercial garbage that out there. Give this a listen, you might learn something!"
That Sounds Like Noise, Mr. Vai!!!
Sky | New York | 03/12/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What an incredible performance Steve Vai lays down on Where the Wild Things Are. 2 hours and 40 minutes worth of incredibleness!!!! And wait a minute....a rock concert with violins??? Let's just put it this way: you will think about violinists in a whole new (heavy metal???) light after you watch violinists Alex DePue and Ann Marie Calhoun shred their violins on the second song of the DVD. Vai and the rest of his band (including bassist Bryan Beller, drummer Jeremy Colson & guitarist Dave Weiner) put on an energy filled show in Minneapolis throughout the 27 songs on the DVD (well, 26 really, plus a band intro track).
So why 4 instead of 5 stars? A memo really needs to go out to all bands and music DVD producers that says at minimum: "1) Music DVD's should be produced to the highest standards. 2) The musical performances within should represent the talent that made the studio recorded CDs sell. 3) Theatrics are very cool too, as long as you can pull them off without deterioration in the quality of the music." Vai (he produced the DVD too) gets high marks on all 3 aspects with a few unfortunate, stand-out flaws.
Let's break it down then for Where the Wild Things Are:
1 - "Music DVD's should be produced to the highest standards." - It's here and only here that Where the Wild Things Are has its flaws. The main issue is with the picture quality. It was recorded in 720p, but it doesn't look like it. There seems to be some kind of lens filter that really took away from the effect of feeling like I was in the front row of the concert versus watching it on TV. I've watched A LOT of music DVDs, most recently Jeff Beck Live at Ronnie Scott's, so I know with the right lighting a DVD can be produced to have the effect that you're not looking at your TV and more like you're looking through a magic window from the front row of the concert. But Vai's Where the Wild Things Are for whatever reason seems to be a Grade B picture. The picture is good; it's just I've seen much much better. The DVD was recorded in 2007, so there is no excuse for a good versus excellent picture quality. The average picture is not noticeable on a standard def TV, but it's very noticeable on a high def plasma TV. I think that just "flat" would be a good way to describe it.
The visuals are well-directed and "mostly" don't jump all over the place every 2 seconds. There is some of that though, and it's very annoying. For some reason the notion is that quickly changing the visual projects the energy of a song...and that's a stupid notion. The camera shots in Where the Wild Things Are "mostly" give you nice long looks at each performer at the right time; if you were actually at the show, you'd probably be looking at the performer that the camera is on. But every now and then it switched to the quick look editing that killed the illusion of having a front row seat to the show. There were also too many of out of place cheesy video effects; no one wants to see distracting video effects over performance. I just don't understand how that silliness ever finds its way into the final cut of a DVD concert release. There were even some occasional messages that crossed the screen (for example a handwritten note apologizing to a roadie for tripping over him). All of this being a complete hindrance to the enjoyment of the awesome Vai performance.
The sound on Where the Wild Things are is amazing. A thunderous Dolby 5.1 recording will shake your whole house if you're set up for surround. If not, I suggest listening to this through headphones if your DVD player or TV has the output. Talk about feeling like you're at the show?...Just crank up your theater system's volume or use headphones and you'll feel like you're sitting right on the stage with Vai and company.
2 - "The musical performances within should represent the talent that made the studio recorded CDs sell." - The band prior to hitting the stage definitely committed to each other to go out and play the tightest show ever. Regarding playing the songs to represent how they sound on the CD? I can name only 2 Steve Vai songs by name: The Audience is Listening and The Attitude Song, and of the two songs only The Audience is Listening is included in the show. I've included the track listing below, but would you really know any of the songs by their titles? I mean a devoted Vai fan probably would, but I've never even heard any of these compositions until I saw them on the DVD. The 2 hour and 40 minute (mostly) instrumental show (Steve, please, don't sing) on Where the Wild Things Are gets a kind of pass on being true to the CD. For an instrumental show the standard is more about playing the songs as tight as or better than what's on the CDs. And Via and company came through in spades.
3 - "Theatrics are very cool too, as long as you can pull them off without deterioration in the quality of the music." - Unless you call Steve Vai's signature exaggerated facial expressions, prance and swagger theatrics, there are really no over-the-top theatrics at all in the performance...which is great! The band just totally rocks out and plays the music, and as I said earlier, they perform everything to perfection.
So to sum it up, Where the Wild Things Are is killer. But if you wanted to experience it on Blu Ray in 1080p, you don't get that high def picture that you might have expected from a 2009 Blu Ray release. However, the performance is superb and really shows that Vai is one of the most talented guitarists ever. The performance makes Where the Wild Things Are more than worth the purchase. Add it to your cart!
Performance Track Listing:
01. Paint Me Your Face
02. Now We Run
04. Building The Church
05. Tender Surrender
06. Band Intros
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
23. Whispering A Prayer
24. Taurus Bulba
27. For The Love Of God
"That sounds like noise, Mr. Vai!!!" Indeed....beautiful noise."
Steve Vai hits it out the park with this one...
Matthew Beelman | West Sacramento | 12/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a huge Steve Vai fan since the moment I saw Yankee Rose video in 7th grade... I was like "WHO IS DAT!!!" and went looking for him, bought the album, then the rest is history, tracking down Flexable on vinyl, going to shows, worshiping his amazing technique and style... but this blu ray is the best concert dvd I own. Its crystal clear, sound is superb, you can hear the slightest fuzz from his pickups that the noise gate couldnt supress, clear as a bell, and what an amazing band playing with Steve,,, he always keeps on the cutting edge - inventing new sounds never heard, tried or even dreamed up...this is a must buy, a must own for any music lover.... (who else believes Steve is banging the violinist?!! And bejeebus, they GUSH about eachother in the interview tracks...!! anywhoo...) I have seen this DVD over 4 times already and I have had it since Christmas only..."