Our Movie Reviews Steve Vai Live at Astoria London
Artist: Steve Vai
Average Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Last Reviewed On: December 21, 2003 (by Michelle)
(DVD version)

Michelle's Review:
4 out of 5 stars on December 21, 2003

Steve Vai is one of the most outstanding guitarists you will ever come across. You can watch the guy for 5 minutes and realize that. He is a brilliant musician, and one who can burn up the fretboard yet still not lose the ability to express emotion in his playing. That's a rare talent.

Steve Vai Live at the Astoria is a long time coming. I was first introduced to Steve Vai when he played with David Lee Roth after Dave left Van Halen. I like many, have been waiting for him to put out a live show ever since. And finally one has come. I only have a couple complaints about this DVD set. I like live videos to feel live, I don't like lots of editing (ie: many cuts, clothes changes in the middle of songs, effects on screen) and Live at the Astoria has some of that, but to it's credit it is kept to a minimum so it's not too bad. Most of the camera work is less then great. I think the cameramen who shot this show need to go buy Joe Satriani: Live in San Francisco to see how to shoot a live guitar show. And my only other complaint is that there's a couple songs I would really have loved to see him play, (Where's "Juice"?) but then few videos have the perfect set list.

What the video does right is capture Steve Vai live. Yes, I saw and met Steve back in 1993, and he's a very nice guy, and puts on an amazing show. This DVD captures that. If only the camera work was more.. steady. There's also some bonus features on disc two that are.. let's say less then bonus-y. For the most part it's just some pretty silly home video of people you don't really care allot about. Where's Steve? He's not found in the bonus feature section. Still, there's some fun stuff there. But the best part is the commentary Steve and the rest of the band do over the concert. It's very casual, they are interrupted all the time, Steve takes phone calls, etc.. most people would edit that stuff out of the commentary track, but they just let it go. I like that. There isn't nearly enough technical information about the show or their gear or abilities, but it's still fun to just listen to them hang out and watch the video.

All in all the performance is incredible, Billy Sheehan is there too on bass, and some of the trade off's between these too musicians is amazing, and you just sit there gap jawed watching because these guys can play so ridiculously good it's just silly.

-- Scott and Michelle