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Saw Steve Vai And The Breed Last Night...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Aj*, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Hmm, ok let's start from the begining. The venue was the Manchester Appolo which is a pretty cool place, old theater style building, high capacity seated venue. We had seats right at the front of the circle.

    We got there just as Eric Sardinas the opener took to the stage, unfortunatley this guy had the harshest tone I've ever heard. The playing was technically impressive but he had no sense of tune and the high mids in his distortion were assaulting my ears (seriously regretting my earplugs not being ready yet). His show had the odd moments, for example where he played the guitar with a beer bottle but really I'd be lying if I said I was sorry when he left the stage. Btw, his bass player sucked, totally uninspired and spent all of his time trying to make what he was playing look hard.

    Anyway, half an hour later Mr. Vai himself took to the stage. After a rather predictable guitarfest intro the "That Stevie Vai, what a nice little boy" intro was played and he started the show proper. Steve was loud too but his tone was far easier on the ears. I think the soundman for the night was rather poor though, the high mids were excessivley loud, driving the occasional vocals into breakup and the distorted guitar sections were lacking defenition. The drum mix was perfect but the bass mix was utterly pathetic. The bass had no defenition, you could barely hear it, it was mostly a case of feeling it, the rythm guitar canceled most of it out. The keyboard was so quiet it was inaudiable in the mix. Anyway, sound gripes aside they put on a brilliant show...

    After every few songs each member of the band took their turn to solo. After a while of this, they played a few acoustic songs to the delight of my ears with some truely spectacular percussion. Then, it was back into the main songs with some incredible playing from all of the instrumentalists. A few songs in it was Billy Sheehan's turn to solo and boy did he not dissapoint. He took a long, long bass solo and played it in a way that would put most guitarists to shame. It was all very fast, fingerstyle playing, Steve joined back in for the ending of the solo. Then, a few more songs passed and they did the big finale with all four of them playing alternating riffs and building up into one massive "widdling" finale.

    And now comes the encore, another classic Vai song and then Eric Sardinas walks back onto the stage. The ear punishment increases accordingly. Vai opens the song in a very cheesy way - "Earlier, Eric was telling me something about his guitar...." [Pause] "It wants to kill your mama!". I groaned at this point but it was a very good rendition of it, Billy Sheehan switched instruments with one of the guitarists and pulled off a guitar solo that put him to shame. Finally, they all switched back, Eric left and it was time for the last song, the classic "For the love of God". And after a slightly drawn out finale, it was done.

    All in all, apart from the sound issues, it was a very good show. There were all kinds of crazy performance antics including Steve playing with his tongue and teeth and the drummer using Steve himself and his guitar as a kit. It was a good evenings entertainment but I really could have used the ear plugs :(, still, they should be ready in not too much longer.
  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I saw those guys with David Lee Roth ages ago and the sound (for Crisler Arena) wasn't so bad.

    I saw Satch years ago and it was very loud. The last 2 times I have seen him though, the sound was very good, if almost not loud enough.

    If these mixes continue in this pleasant manner, I'm takin' the kids, who have been bugging me (for years now) to see Joe.
  3. lbpark

    lbpark Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Mobile, Al.
    I saw the same show a few months ago in New Orleans. The show also had some major sound issues. Sardinas sounded pretty good but he was the only one heard. I couldn't hear a lick of bass. When Vai came out, his tone was harsh on the ears and it stayed that way most of the night, but I think I adjusted. Sound issues aside, it was a great show and Sheehan was fantastic.
  4. ladros2


    Jun 2, 2005
    I'm going tomorrow night, I'll be bringing my earplugs!
  5. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    It's a shame about Sardinas' sound, He's a freaking cool player! I love his harsh style and raunchy gritty hurtin' tone. He's for sure a top contender for my fave geetarist!
  6. I've seen a LOT of loud bands over the years, but Steve Vai on the original G3 was BLISTERINGLY LOUD. I could feel my eardrums flexing even with hearing protection.
  7. lbpark

    lbpark Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Mobile, Al.
    I will say this: his cd's don't hold a candle to his live show. Listening to his stuff on a cd player and seeing him play it live is a real night and day difference. I HIGHLY recommend seeing him live.
  8. I saw Sardinas and Vai in Cleveland a while ago, and I don't remember any major sound issues, at least not really the ones you describe. Sardinas was awesome, I was disappointed that he didn't get more time - I could have done with about 15 fewer minutes of Vai, as he played some tunes that I really don't care for.

    Billy was absolutely amazing when I saw him, and it seems you've had a similar experience. The only difference is that when I saw him, his solo on the borrowed six-stringer didn't really put the guitarist to shame, being that said guitarist was none other than Tony Macalpine. :smug:
  9. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Oh belive me, this time he did a pretty amazing solo, having said that, with all the soloing it's kinda hard to judge them, they were all pretty amazing. Billy was using the old double neck for quite a few songs, he really is a great player. I kinda dug Sardinas but the sound issues ruined the set for me, if the sound was better I could have seen myself really getting into that but my ears were just taking too much punishment to enjoy it. Earplugs are on the way, nice pair of customs so that should solve the issue in future.
  10. ladros2


    Jun 2, 2005
    They were amazing! Billy gave me a wink and a thumbs up!
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    One of the best shows I've ever seen.

    However, Sardinas put on one hell of a show when I saw him, loved every minute of him, and I really happened to like his bass player.

    Caught him after the show to talk bass a while, seem's he's in the process of moving from his Carvins of old to some L2500 and L2000's.
  12. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    Saw Steve in Hollywood about 4 months ago. Was a great concert... I like Billy as a solo artist but I don't think his tone/style works well with Vai- I liked Vai better with Phil Bynoe on bass.
  13. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    Me too! I thought Phil was so damn solid and I loved both his tone and stage presence!