Photo Credit: Robin Ervolina
Simply put, Steve Vai’s Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Tour treats the audience to a live music and film triumph. The show started with a clip of the 1986 movie, Crossroads, where Ralph Macchio faces off against Vai. Movie music came to life as Vai took a darkened stage wearing glasses that shot red lasers, and a signature Ibanez with frets of blue lights.
Interacting with the audience through gestures and facial expressions, he spent a bit of time with the audience and told a few stories before jumping into the entirety of his album Passion and Warfare, originally released in 1991. The music changed from pulsing rush to liquid scream, from space-age shred to hymn-like and symphonic vibes, in heartbeats of time. When it seemed as if the music would make the venue lift off to the mothership, Phillip Bynoe on bass, Jeremy Colson on drums, and Dave Wiener on guitars and keyboards kept it grounded on Earth.
The film clips shown overhead sometimes made it hard to keep up with what was happening live onstage. Joe Satriani showed up in a variety of comical costumes. His part was pre-recorded letting Vai jam along live. One hilarious clip for “The Audience is Listening,” implies Vai as a young teen, preparing to play guitar in front of classmates with two friends. Their teacher’s reaction is less than favorable while the class goes crazy. I went crazy when John Petrucci appeared on the screen for another pre-recorded/live jam, and another clip showed Vai in Frank Zappa’s band. Catch this tour if at all possible. You will not regret a moment!
Dec. 1 – New Orleans, LA – Joy Theater
Dec. 2 – Austin, TX – Paramount Theatre
Dec. 4 – San Antonio, TX – Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
Dec. 5 – Dallas, TX – Bomb Factory
Dec. 6 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
Dec. 7 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
Dec. 9 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up
Dec. 10 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
Dec. 11 – Albuquerque, NM – El Rey Theater
Dec. 12 – Scottsdale, AZ – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts