DVD Number: Favored Nations
Steve Vai is a guitar stud, period. To watch his six-string wizardry first hand is like witnessing the eighth wonder of the world take shape. Live At The Astoria in London is an awe-inspiring two DVD set that puts Vai's talents in the spotlight, as well as his cohorts, whom are not a shabby bunch by any means. Virgil Donati (drums), Tony Mc Alpine (guitar, keyboards) and Dave Weiner (guitar) are a stellar lineup. Only the very best available musicians in the world are capable of backing an out-of-this-world guitar man like Mr. Vai.
Twenty-one tracks of amazing six-string fireworks are what you get in this performance. Vai plays his guitar with every part of his body, well almost everything; in fact, he plays the guitar better with his tongue than most can with their fingers. Speaking of fingers, the man has the longest fingers I have ever seen, it is no wonder he makes it look so easy, I imagine he would fare just as well on the keyboards if that were his chosen instrument.
It becomes apparent quickly that the audience is there specifically to witness the technical expertise of every band member and some of them actually mention that in a short interview section before the show starts.
Vai is a little of over the top and flashy at times but it comes with the territory. Nonetheless, he is a for real genuine personality with tons of talent and the audience seemed to love every minute of what he dished out.
With the exception of a few sound checks and an interview with Vai's guitar tech, a majority of disc two is more for the hardcore fans and techies, but fun nevertheless. This was every bit as good as I expected it to be. I highly recommend it to budding guitarists and those who love highflying instrumental rock.
Sound Quality: 100