Tried to watch that Steve Vai Where the Wild Things Are show...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mojocaster.com, Dec 17, 2009.


  1. mojocaster.com

    mojocaster.com Supporting Member

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    ... and quit after 2 1/2 songs.

    Either it's pure genius, or pure crap. I honestly can't decide. The musicianship displayed, in terms of raw technique and composition, were jaw dropping. And not just Vai's, either. The rest of the band was amazing.

    But I must confess that I felt like I was watching a guy who learned the entire dictionary by heart, and then did the same with all the grammar books he could find, but he still doesn't have one original, compelling story to tell.

    You could have told me that the song title was "The fox running in the woods" or "Pearl Harbor" or "A midsummer night's dream" and I would not have been able to choose one. I simply could not relate, even on the most basic level, to the music I was listening to.

    The guy is just about possessed when onstage, and actually quite visually entertaining in some way - some way over the damn top, way. But still, there's value there, no doubt.

    The constant onslaught of notes with no meaning that I could decipher was draining. Everything is played from 12th fret up, at breakneck speed, or with gravity-defying bends. Tapping is omni-present, guitars are changed, though the tone remains the same. The two fiddle players are kick (_!_) but at the same time don't seem to add much to the story here either.

    The drummer sweated more in two tunes than any one human being should in a 24-hour period, but dang what enthusiasm he had. He was definitely hanging w/ Vai, measure after measure.

    So I am at a complete loss here, because I do not want to slam the guy, yet I can't find one redeeming quality to hang on to.

    He's either way ahead of his time, and I will one day have the tools to understand him, or he's just overcome with technique and has a dearth of intelligible emotions to express through his music. Either way, it left me drained, confused and quite frankly, not impressed musically.
     
  2. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'll go with #2.
     
  3. sleek

    sleek Member

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    I heard a lot of raves about this, so I checked out a couple songs online...

    ...and it's not for me.

    To me, it just seems goofy...like a cross between Trans Siberian Orchestra and Cirque Du Soleil. Like you, I find nothing to really relate to, and it all seems very obvious...

    ...like somebody doing a histrionic charicature of emotion. Vai just hits you over the head with whatever idea he's trying to get across..."This is the moody section!!!!! Hear it? So Moody!!!! Now, the high energy section!!! Listen to all the energy!!!! Look at my headddddd! I am shaking it! Gah!"

    Meh.
     
  4. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Silver Supporting Member

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    I feel the same way about several slam grass bands locally and probably all of the shredders. I just feel assaulted by notes and get tired of listening. Slow down!
     
  5. jazzandmetal?

    jazzandmetal? Supporting Member

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    I love Steve Vai. I think he WAS ahead of his time at one point.

    Now he is just an entertainer, not really breaking any new ground. But he still does it better than any other guitarist out there. I am talking about the guys that are doing the solo guitar thing. Paul Gilbert comes in a close second though with Yngwie in third.
     
  6. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

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    Slam grass? I'm so afraid to know what this is, yet against my better judgment, I'll ask anyway. Some metal or punk version of bluegrass? Running for toilet....
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  7. peterdjp

    peterdjp Member

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    I dunno he's just kinda cheesy now.
     
  8. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    No harm in not liking what he does - but he is damn good at what he does. The sheer virtuosity and musicianship is the redeeming quality. It may not speak to you on an emotional level, but it should command respect.

    That being said, while I occasionally enjoy listening to Vai, I much prefer listening to someone like Larry Carlton or Mark Knopfler. I have to admit that I hate Vai's tone, but I do find his unique phrasing and note choice intriguing.
     
  9. NateFreezy

    NateFreezy Member

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    I dvr'd it and am finding it hard to get past a few songs, kind of disappointing. the technical virtuosity is amazing sure, but he hasn't managed to play anything a few songs in that actually sounds good. to me the music sounds shrill and discordant - but hey, maybe just not my thing.

    even if i'm in the mood for watching technical playing though, i prefer other players: yngwie for raw speed, gilbert for overall technical prowess. to me, technical difficulties actually sounds like a (good) song.

    but yeah, will be switching over to my dvr'd zz top concert shortly...
     
  10. GTRICH

    GTRICH Member

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    Yup, I am in the same boat. If the violin player was wearing a bathing suit or less, I would have hung on a bit longer. But, I might end up deleting it on my dvr to leave more space for more "Hoarders" or "Antiques Roadshow" episodes.
     
  11. jcs

    jcs Member

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    I can't connect with Vai and its very easy for me to understand why he was forced out of the David Lee Roth Band.

    That said, give Vai the right material and he can be incredible.

    Yes the problem is, Vai just aint a strong songwriter overall, though he can be a superb performer without question.

    Its as if he lacks feel, but at the same time his playing can have a ton of personality, he's certainly original in many respects but not engaging enough to capture a wide audience (thus the reason he was kicked to the curb with Roth).

    Vai often lacks the ability to 'pull you in' when he needs to, instead he beats you over the head with the endless noodling and posturing,,,,,,sad because he's capable of much more.
     
  12. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    Is this the first thing you've heard by Steve Vai or something? Because, from what I've heard, it sounds kind of lame, but Passion and Warfare and Alien Love Secrets are still works of genius. This latest thing is certainly not what I'd recommend to someone as an introduction to Vai or as something that shows his strong points.

    -Austin
     
  13. mojocaster.com

    mojocaster.com Supporting Member

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    I own P&W and have for a long, long time. I never got into his work for some reason. So I was giving it another try to see, and same feeling.
     
  14. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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    I appreciate his contributions.

    But to be honest, even as a former shred fan, his stuff always left me cold. I got Passion and Warfare when it was released, and I'd guess it's been played maybe twice.

    It just feels completely sterile to me.
     
  15. baimun

    baimun Member

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    On one of my other forums we were having a similar discussion and I pointed out that Joe Satriani, despite having a somewhat gritty nasal tone, is the one Instrumental Shred player from that entire genre who understands how to write a singable melody.

    There are melodic players, but most are weedly weedly... but even if you haven't listeded to a Satriani album in 20 years, you could probably sing the melodies to a half-dozen of his songs right now.

    Like in the movie Amadeus where the priest cannot name one of Salieri's compositions from his entire career, but plays a simplistic Mozart melody and the priest immediately lights up and sings the rest of the line.
     
  16. ducatisteve

    ducatisteve Member

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    I was down in S. Florida visiting the SO's parents last weekend and her mom flipped it on. She was able to stick with it a lot longer than I was!
     
  17. Antelope

    Antelope Member

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    He's an incredible player and gets unearthly sounds out of his rig, but he's just such a Cheese Donkey, with the hair permanently blowing around and the guitar face like he's trying to pass a bowling ball-sized kidney stone -- I can't take more than a few minutes at a time.

    I did like him in Crossroads -- I think he smoked Ralph Machio's character pretty good. Just like I think the Devil beat Johnny in The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
     
  18. RedTiger

    RedTiger Member

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    Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner!

    I don't know how Joe Satriani found the mark on this but others missed it, some pretty far. I have my theories, maybe something he learned when studying with Lennie Tristano, maybe because he was relatively "old" by the time he put out his first album compared to others and therefore had matured and understood when and where to use his technical prowess. Whatever the reason, he is the master of this.

    Vai...is an acquired taste, one that is hard to acquire. I remember the first time I heard P&W. It literally left me scratching my head. I don't think I "got it". Anyone who doesn't get Vai isn't alone, not by a long shot. Some of his music is just weird. I don't ever feel like I'm hit over the head with it. Strangely, it seems just too exotic sounding sometimes for the extreme technicallity of it to register.
     
  19. Totally Bored

    Totally Bored Member

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    He's not mainstream.

    I liked it and watched the whole show. No song stuck out for me but the dude is a Monster on the Guitar.




    How can you not watch if your a guitar player ?
     
  20. Guitarman19853

    Guitarman19853 Supporting Member

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    What happened to T.Mac and Billy Sheehan?

    Taking them out got rid of one of the things I liked about watching him. Billy is always fun to watch and the 3 guitar harmonized riffs are fun too.
     

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