at The Fox Theater, Boulder, CO, USA, April 19, 2005

Welcome to the world of guitar-speak; where all thought and consciousness are expressed in the form of music and performance; a world where words are only an outline of where we are and where we are going. Introducing “Building the Church,” Steve is not only giving the title of the song but he is instructs the audience to be a part of the experience, to help create a unity of music. Welcome to the world of Steve Vai.

Ever the showman, Steve blazed onto the stage slinging a doubleneck guitar and sporting one of many looks he would have during the course of the evening. From the get-go, the entire band was roaring away in a flurry of notes and thunderous drums. The touring band is basically the same as it has been the last few times out with Billy Sheehan on bass, Tony MacAlpine on guitar and keyboards, Dave Weiner on guitar, and this time out the very talented and spirited Jeremy Colson (Dali’s Dilemma, Michael Shenker Group) played the drums.

What a killer band it is too… like an audio assault of bombastic proportions. Each musician pulls his own weight and is given a solo slot to demonstrate his amazing abilities. All this on top of the fretboard acrobatics that are present in nearly every song. Weiner chose a groovy-band-fused piece to give the audience a break from the whir of machine-gun-like notes, and Billy segmented a piece of his latest solo disc, Cosmic Troubadour. Both Colson and MacAlpine took true solo sections and dazzled the crowd with their talents. The most amazing thing about how this band works is that they keep everything sounding so fresh. Vai is known for his regimented performances; everything he and the band are playing is pre-determined and thoroughly rehearsed. It would be very easy for the band to fall into a robotic been-there-done-that kind of playing, but somehow you can see the delight as each player digs within themselves to bring out their best performance and give their all for the show.

While Steve is the band leader, he clearly values and encourages his cast of supporting characters. He engages the crowd plugging Weiner’s new solo release, and told them of a day in the life of his drummer, a story the ends with this quote: “Oh to be twenty-seven, single, and hung like a Georgia mule.”

But it is in his playing where the true entertainment is created. Awe-inspiring, stunning, brilliant… these are just some of the adjectives to describe what you hear. Steve is so effortless in his ability and so visual that you are unable to take your eyes off of him. He draws you in with long slow notes, hanging like bed sheets in a slow breeze, and then he is off again with sweep arpeggios and cosmic two-hand tapping. He is not the fastest or the heaviest, but he’s one of the cleanest, well-rehearsed players in the business. You will be hard-pressed to find many flaws in any given night’s performance… and what a performance: a dazzling Rock ‘N’ Roll super-show, with arms waving and bodies shaking — so much so that you might think you were at a Poison or Warrant concert … only the music is technically difficult and requires exact execution and timing.

If you’re looking for a mind-blowing experience, and want to get your money’s worth, then this two and half hour extravaganza is well worthwhile. This isn’t just a Rock ‘N’ Roll show; it is art in its truest form. The artist is painting your favorite piece, just for you, or at least you and couple hundred of your friends. This is a complete package: all of the posing, the costume changes, and loud volume wrapped in a bow of musical bliss.


Glorious Steve
The Audience Is Listening
Building The Church
Crying Machine
Dave Weiner Solo
The Reaper
Whispering A Prayer
Tony MacAlpine Solo


Rescue Me Or Bury Me
Devil’s Food


Jeremy Colson Solo
Midway Creatures
Billy Sheehan Solo
Love Blood
I’m Becoming/Lotus Feet

My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama w/Eric Sardinas
For The Love Of God


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.