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G3: LIVE IN TOKYO

Steve Vai

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Steve Vai G3: Live in Tokyo album cover
4.16 | 12 ratings | 1 reviews | 50% 5 stars

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DVD/Video, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Glasgow Kiss
2. Damage Control
3. The Audience Is Listening
4. Building the Church
5. K'm-Pee-Du-Wee
6. Up in Flames
7. Searching
8. War
9. Foxy Lady
10. La Grange
11. Smoke on the Water

Total Time approx (108:00)


Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

John Petrucci/Guitar
Steve Vai /Guitar
Joe Satriani/Guitar

Releases information

Label: Epic
Sound formats: PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround


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STEVE VAI G3: Live in Tokyo ratings distribution


4.16
(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(50%)
50%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (8%)
8%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

STEVE VAI G3: Live in Tokyo reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Petrovsk Mizinski
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the this the third G3 DVD, and one that caught my attention with the inclusion of John Petrucci. I've been watching this DVD since only months after it was released 2005, so I've gotten to know it quite well in that time. Prior to this DVD, I had never seen any live footage of John Petruccm so naturally I was curious as to what he would be like on stage and as a guitarist myself, curious as to what his playing style looked like live.

John Petrucci's set was first up, and he plays two songs here, both from his debut solo album he was presenting live for the first time during his time on the G3 tour. The first song is Glasgow Kiss, which has a nice opening lick, and some nice drumming from Portnoy and a cool interplay section around the 3 minute mark between Dave La Rue and Petrucci. The part of the song that really hits me in the gut, is the main guitar solo section. Petrucci deviates from the studio album version, but this is no cause for concern, as the version he plays here is just as emotionally gripping. Maybe not that great a deal of a problem, but towards the last 2 minutes of the song, due to some of the camera angles, we are exposed to some annoyingly bright colored lighting on screen, and this annoys me everytime I watch is, and that isn't even the with the brightness on my computer monitor or TV screen on full. The next song is Damage Control, which to my mind is the more progressive of the two. The riffs are cool, some very nice solos, and hell, even a bass solo from Dave La Rue which is a nice touch. One thing I find particularly enjoyable about this song, is that it displays so many moods and emotions, from a cool type of attitude, to tension, to feelings of release and much more. While I found the songs highly enjoyable and the set in general to be satisfying, I just think maybe Petrucci could have displayed a bit more stage presence like he has displayed in his more usual environment of Dream Theater and one more song would have been a nice addition too.

Next up is Vai's set, and for those of you familar with Vai, you can come to expect the crazy showmanship he displays here. If you're not familar with him, be ready for something pretty crazy. Before he is even on stage, we can hear Vai making some crazy sounds on his guitar that are quite amusing. Then he gets on stage and action truly begins almost right away. The band kick into the Vai classic, The Audience Is Listening and the stage performance is suitably crazy for such a rockin' song. I remember the first time I watched this DVD, and watching the facial expressions that Vai makes duing the first main guitar solo, just made me crack up laughing. Even many views later, it brings a smile of amusement to my face everytime. Bass master Billy Sheehan gives us a thundering bass solo straight after Vai's solo, then we get to see them do a cool stage trick, which involves Vai standing behid Sheehan while fretting his bass guitar, while Sheehan frets Steve's guitar, and this makes for remarkable fun and entertaining viewing each and everytime. Next we have Building The Church, in which Vai seems to take on a more serious and restrained stage performance here, but I think it was best and suits the song better anyway. The beginning tapping lick is just insane, and I'm sure would make many jaws drop upon the first viewing of this. There is a lot of nice melodies in this song, and the solos, like many Vai guitar solos, are not just tecnical, but I feel the fire as his fingers melt the frets. A great song and a great performance to match, superb stuff. K'm-Pee-Du-Wee is a quieter song than the other two, and with the Lydian tonality, sounds very dreamy and out there. Before the actual song kicks in, we get an interplay between Vai and Sheehan, and this is actually my favorite part of this track, because the playing between the pair here is just so beautiful and intriguing. The rest of the song is great for the most part, but the problem for me lies in the excess noodling around half way into the song, which could have been left out, and after repeated views, it just makes the track feel like it drags on, which is disappointing especially after an exciting first two songs of the set.

Satriani's set is a mixed bag here, with an older song and some newer ones. Up in Flames is a classic Satch style rocker, with nothing particularly remarkable about it, but still a good song. The song that really gets me, is Searching. It deviates a lot from the studio version, but it seems more structured here and I actually think this is my favorite rendition of the song and my favorite track off the whole DVD. Joe's playing here is sheer brilliance. Whether it's a clean rhythm part, or guitar solo, his playing here never fails to capture my heart and mind. There is a variety of moods and emotions here, and this song takes me to another world everytime, it's just so powerful. Joe's performance matches the song suitably, never being over the top or trying to make it feel like his on an ego trip, instead every move and facial expression he makes just seems to display how much this song moves him while he plays. The next song is a classic Satch song, and a good rocker, but again it just can't beat Searching for pure brialliance, but nonetheless a good way to end the set, with a very good and charged performance from Joe and the band.

We now come to the Jam, which for many surely is the peak of excitement in a G3 experience, whether seen live, heard on a CD or watched on a DVD. Joe is again the main guy here, and introduces John Petrucci, Steve Vai and guest drummer Mike Portnoy to the drum throne (normally Jeff Campitelli plays the drums on a G3 jam). The first song is Foxy Lady, with Satch on vocals. Despite his rather limited vocal range, he actually sounds pretty good for the song. Once the soloing jam kicks in, hell breaks loose, but it's still a controlled chaos fortunately, with some superb solos from our 3 Gs. although Vai seemed to not be at his peak unfortunately during this song, or the next either, which is a shame considering how good he was during the previous G3 albums/DVDs. Fortunately this is somewhat made up for with Satch and Petrucci both having awesome solos on their first runs through. The ZZ Top classic La Grange sees Jeff back on the drums, with a great vocal performance from none other than our bass maestro Billy. Like Foxy Lady, Joe and John really shine on the solos here, with Vai lagging a little in quality of his solos The night ends with Smoke On the Water. I was a bit worried it would sound old and dated, given how much I've been exposed to the main riff, but this is a truly spirited performance and the guys did a great job of putting some serious energy and kick back into it. Joe's first solo is always the one that grabs me the most, and even during the second chorus Satch plays a lead line along to the vocals, and Satch just truly makes his guitar sing and wail so amazing well. Again, Petrucci had some fantastic solos and fortunately Vai is a bit better on this track.

Once you have done watching the performance, there is the bonus soundcheck, and individual commentary from the 3 Gs, all 3 of which give us some more insight into the G3 tour, experience, and even the guitarists as people.

I still don't think this is as good as G3: Live in Denver, but it's still a great performance, with my only major gripes perhaps being Vai not always in top form during the jam and not always playing stuff that seemed right in the musical context. Highly recommended to any guitar fan.

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Send comments to Petrovsk Mizinski (BETA) | Report this review (#169638) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 03, 2008

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