The show was scheduled at a nice theatre called Royal Center and it was completely packed, almost sold-out for Steve Vai’s first visit to Colombia.
There was no opening band, Steve Vai’s show started at 8:05pm with Racing The World.
The sound was perfect, it’s not often that I’ve heard such a good sound on a live performance. The light show was wonderful too. On the background there was the VAI logo encompassing the face of a boy, with a spotlight on one eye, like if he was observing us through one eye.
There were people of all ages, but there were not many girls in the audience. I guess that’s normal for a guitar concert, just like a good part of the audience was composed of musicians.
But a Steve Vai is not only a demonstration of his talent, it’s a real show with many great surprises!
It goes without saying that it didn’t take long for Steve Vai to impress everybody.
In a way, Steve is a magician. Not only he plays fast, he’s melodic and creative, he likes to explore all the capabilities of the guitar while experimenting with different sounds.
Thanks to his feeling, Steve made his guitar speak on his behalf.
He didn’t talk much during the show. He said that he was honoured to be able to perform at last in Bogotá, and that the concert will last for 6 hours. Everyone screamed and he went “yeah... you say that now...”.
But there were no blank moments.
Actually Steve Vai didn’t need to speak to communicate with the crowds. A couple of notes were enough for the audience to know what to do.
He uses the universal language of music, plus he often made eye contact with audience.
He didn’t need any words to communicate, he spoke through his guitar and his body.
What makes Steve Vai even more unique is that he’s a showman, a real entertainer.
He spent the show dancing and pulling faces while doing the solos.
He played with several different guitars, and he made fun of the roadie a couple of times, who was to run to give Steve another guitar.
Steve also grabbed the camera of a photographer and took a picture of himself with the crowds!
It happened to be the camera of my friend Worb, so here’s the pic.
Steve also changes clothes every few songs, sometimes colourful, sometimes casual, and sometimes futuristic.
He used an out worldly costume made of lights that changed colour during The Ultra Zone. There were even laser lights pointing out of his fingers!
Of course, all other band members were very talented too. Dave Weiner has been Steve Vai’s guitar partner for years and it was remarkable to see them both play some solos at the same time.
Dave also played keyboards, and a nice acoustic guitar solo alone on stage.
From time to time there was another guitar player on stage with an acoustic guitar. It was probably a guitar technician, but I don’t know his name.
Bass player Philip Bynoe was impressive too, it was a pleasure to see such a versatile musician on stage.
After a great version of The Audience is Listening, there was a acoustic session and Steve Vai said he wanted to sing “a love song”, so they went on with The Moon and I.
He’s got a nice voice actually, and during the acoustic solo that followed, he sang the notes while playing them.
Drummer Jeremy Colson came to the front of the stage and when Vai said that the drummer belonged to the back, Jeremy replied that this is not fair and he wanted to play a drum solo.
But he didn't bring his regular drum kit to the front. He brought one with all kind of everyday life objects that aren’t supposed to be made to play music.: a helmet, a hat, a road sign, some Christmas decoration... Jeremy did a solo on those objects, and even hit the floor and Vai's acoustic guitar with his drumsticks...
Percussion is music, and Jeremy Colson demonstrated that music is everywhere, in every object of our daily life, if we're clever enough to use it for that purpose.
Right after that, went back and plated a real drum solo of the kind you would expect at any hard rock concert!
Steve Vai is someone that likes to interact with the audience, and that’s what he did next. He announced that the band will play a new song, and that song so new that wasn’t even written yet!
Steve chose two random people in the audience, a man named Arturo and a girl named Alejandra.
Arturo came with a flag of Colombia with the Vai logo on it. Steve put it over his shoulders, like a cape and yelled “Now I’m Super Vai!”.
He asked the girl to sing a drum beat. She was shy but came with a rhythm part.
Then Arturo was asked to provide a bass line, and he wasn’t shy at all.
At this point, Steve Vai was already figuring the new song in his head and announced that it was going to be recorded.
Steve looked at Alejandra and stated that he knew every woman’s secret fantasy, and this was... to play guitar!
So Steve put the guitar around her neck, and she played Air Guitar while Steve Vai was actually playing!
But Steve is never short of jokes and recalled an anecdote that happened in Spain: a girl replied “No Steve you don’t know my secret fantasy!”.
Curious, he asked what her secret fantasy was... and she replied “My secret famtasy is to seat on your amplifier while you play Bad Horsie!”
So they played it for her, and tonight, they played a snippet of the song as Steve was telling this story.
Well, the new song was still lacking a melody so Steve asked Arturo to sing an inspiring melody, like he was Joe Satriani!
He sang one and Vai replied on his guitar, and so was born a new song!
Instead of going down again, Alejandra and Arturo could watch the rest of the show from one side of the stage.
Remember that Steve stated that they would play 6 hours? He joked that there were two songs left, and each one will last for 2 hours!
They played For The Love of God, which ended with a great jam, with Steve Vai playing guitar with his tongue.
The band briefly left and came back to play part of the Fire Garden Suite.
So ended 2 hours and 40 minutes of pure magic! A Vai show is full of surprises, and it's impossible to get bored, even if the songs have no words to sing.
The thing is, it's not about Steve Vai and his guitar on stage, it's a real show, and a really good one.
It was an amazing night, with a real Guitar wizard that knows how to provide emotions with his musical instrument.
On, and Steve Vai stated that he would like to come back with Joe Satriani for G3 show in Colombia! Wait and see!
Setlist Steve Vai – Teatro Royal Center – Bogotá, – December 3 2013
01. Racing the World
Building the Church
The Trillium's Launch
(Dave Weiner cover)
Weeping China Doll
Whispering a Prayer
The Audience Is Listening
The Moon and I / Rescue Me or Bury Me
Sisters / Salamanders in the Sun
Treasure Island / Fire Garden Suite II - Pusa Road
—— Drum Solo ——
The Ultra Zone
Build Me a Song
For the Love of God
19. Fire Garden Suite IV - Taurus Bulba