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Steve Vai Live At The Astoria album cover
3.93 | 33 ratings | 7 reviews | 48% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Shyboy
2. Giant Balls of Gold
3. Erotic Nightmares
4. Blood And Glory
5. Dave's Party Piece
6. Blue Powder
7. The Crying Machine
8. The Animal
9. Bangkok
10. Tony's Solo
11. Bad Horsie
12. Chameleon
13. Down Deep Into The Pain
14. Fire
15. Little Wing
16. Whispering A Prayer
17. Incantation (with drum solo)
18. Jibboom
19. For The Love of God
20. Liberty
21. The Attitude Song

Running Time: 141 Minutes

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Vai / guitar, vocals
- Billy Sheehan / bass
- Tony Macalpine / guitar, keyboards
- Virgil Donati / drums
- Dave Weiner / guitar

Releases information

. Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
. PCM 2.0 Stereo

Thanks to The Miracle for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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STEVE VAI Live At The Astoria ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(48%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STEVE VAI Live At The Astoria reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by King of Loss
4 stars This is in my opinion Steve Vai's best live album (other than the mindblowing G3 Jam filled G3 dvds). It features the most mindblowing live unit ever with Steve Vai on the Guitar, Neo-Classical Guitar/Keyboard Virtuoso Tony McAlpine, One of the world's best jazz drummer Virgil Donati, Bass Virtuoso talented Billy Sheehan and guitarist Dave Weiner. THis lineup is in my mind one of the most talented instrumental lineup I have ever witnessed and the live dvd is just mind-boggling. The highlights include the absolutely incredible Whispering a Prayer played live (Perhaps one of my favorite solos of all time) and For the Love of GOd. The Neo-Classical solo on that song is also my favorite Neo-Classical solo of all time. Just full of technicality and the beauty that solo gives me is incredible. The rest of the DVD includes other Vai classics and solos by all other members of the band.

This DVD is not essential for any Prog fan, because most of Vai's material isn't Prog at all. But for fans of Melodic instrumental virtuosity and guitar nuts, please pick this DVD up and worship Vai and co.!

Review by Menswear
3 stars Steve Vai deserves a place in this site, no doubt here. Compared to Satriani, Mitchell or Malmsteem, Vai's songs are much, much more complex most of the time. He uses a lot of keyboard and time changes; definitely progressive music material.

On stage in London, we assist at a bizarre side of Vai: the complete spiritual gimmick. Vai is in constant inner peace with himself and shares the time? The guy's obvioiusly connected with the beyond, or maybe disconnected? He appears at first with some kind of a sadomasochist mask and a (very innapropriate) shredded black robe, straight out of WWF Macho Man Randy Savage wardrobe. Nobody could blame the guy for trying to entertain...even if it consist at laughing at his appearance.

The support cast is all-star material, as always Vai knows how to surround himself. Billy Sheenan as always is stealing the show, with his Frankenstein shoes, his ugly bass but foremost the supreme talent God gave him at birth. He play bass like I never saw (even Geddy Lee or Ed Platt of Enchant don't come close, sorry) anybody tormenting the instrument before. His fingers are litteraly 'flamenco' style, and it sounds something like a huge blender at slow speed.

To me this DVD is not my priority right now. Altought the image is crisp and the bonus cd features a behind the scene footage, the general feel is too speedy for me. Many times, the image is spinning into (lame) fade outs at tremendous speed, the camera angles are changing lightning fast and the close ups are too fast. All this mixed with alchool = one nasty barf-o-rama. I had a hard time to focus my eyes many times, the same thing happened with the movie 'Bourne Supremacy'.

Like I said, the music is furious and shreiking, but honestly, I prefer seeing Vai being tamed by Satriani in the G3. He seems more relaxed, to say the least.

For a fan, this is a chance to see Vai dressed in drag and licking his guitar...whatever man.

Review by Petrovsk Mizinski
3 stars In this performance, Vai is supported with a great line up, featuring the supremely talented Tony Macalpine, Dave Weiner, the legendary Virgil Donati on drums and bass maestro Billy Sheehan. There is also some classic and truly iconic Vai songs on the set list. Yet, even with all this, I cannot help but feel somewhat disappointed by this DVD. It starts off on a good rocker, Shy Boy, which if I recall is a song from Vai's David Lee Roth. A good song, but nothing spectacular and perhaps not the best opening song.

The next song, Giant Balls of Gold, is one of the better performances on here, with some great display's of Vai's amazing vibrato control, great melody, great solos and a cool duel between Sheehan And Steve towards the end of the song. Erotic Nightmares is great, just as good as the studio album version in it's instrumental playing, and featuring some cool guitar interplay between Macalpine and Vai. Blood and Glory is where some of the problems seem to start. While in general the performance was good, there seems to have been some strange intonation issues at one point in the song, which sometimes make me cringe slightly. Dave's Party Piece is a little solo piece from Weiner, good but not particularly stunning, but a welcome addition to the set nonetheless. Blue Powder was top notch, well played and Sheehan really mastered the bass solo well. The Crying Machine, sounded pretty good, but we really being to encounter some truly irritating visual effects and far too much camera angle cutting, which really detract from the performance. The Animal continues with irritating camera work at times. Vai added a middle section with some noodling around/improvising, but this gets boring after many views of this DVD and should have been left out of the song. Bangkok, is again a camera angle barf fest, but otherwise fairly good. Tony gives us a keyboard solo while Vai dresses up for the next song, and I have to say, this solo is astounding stuff, highly emotional and technical at times, which would make anyone jealous of his ability to switch between guitar and keyboards so effortlessly. Bad Horsie, which has become a somewhat classic Vai song, features Vai dressed up appropiately crazy and 'heavy' for this rendition of the song. Unfortunately I can't watch this song everytime I put this DVD on, as he does a lengthy section consisting of noises and feedback which is cool to watch the first time, but I began to question if it was at all neccessary as it just seems to drag on. Chameleon is a song from one of Billy Sheehan's solo records, which I found to be a pretty boring song in the studio album format, and is unfortunately not much more interesting in this live format and could have been left off this DVD. Deep Down Into The Pain doesn't start off sounding like the album version, instead featuring guitar solos from all three guitarists, and then a duel between Macalpine and Vai and then the intro of the actual song before the vocals kick in. It's fun viewing to see the shred skills of all three guitarists on here, but the annoying visual effects are not so much fun to watch though. A rendition of Hendrix's Fire is next, with some hilarious banter from Vai before the song begins, but honestly I feel this wasn't a necessary inclusion in the set list, and the camera work/editing during the solo make it somewhat unbearable to watch the whole track. Little Wing was a lot better, with not only Vai's take on the original solo, but a nice solo of his own afterward, featuring his trademark right hand cross over muting technique. A truly great solo here. Whispering a Prayer is the best here on this DVD, and easily the most watchable for me. It's not the same as the Alive In An Ultra World version, but this is still just as beautiful and touching. The build up the to the solo is truly amazing, and the solo itself fast and fluid but still very melodic and uplifting. The rest of the DVD is somewhat less interesting than Whispering A Prayer for the most part, which is unfortunate. Incantation is a good song, with much of Vai's great compositional ability, followed by Donati's thundering drum solo, another highlight of the DVD. Jibboom is good at first, but somehow just seems less interesting than the studio album version, and perhaps extended too long than necessary. This DVD features easily the worst performance of For The Love of God in all of Vai's discography at this point in time. It just makes me cringe and I cannot bear to watch it, and there is a lot of noticeable mistakes in his playing, such as the beginning of the first fast two string lick where he just trills for a little bit before he recovers into the rest of the solo properly. This should have been left off the DVD for sure. Liberty was very good, with a few more guitar fills than the studio album version, and Vai is clearly having fun here and his playing is just as emotive as the original album version. The Attitude song is fun as always, and features blues-rock virtuoso guitarist Eric Sardinas as a guest player. There is solos from all guitarists here, as well as Sheehan, and I must say at least this song ended the set on a positive note. All in all, a good DVD, but not great, and perhaps at least 15-20 minutes too long for my liking and too many bad visual effects, some shoddy camera work/editing and some botched perfomances.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ssshh... Genius at work!

I caught this live DVD on a mate's shelf when I visited him. He is a guitarist and happens to love Vai and I had to see for myself what the fuss is all about. I was gobsmacked by Vai's dexterity as a guitarist and he loves his axe's, even licks them and Hendrix style plays them behind his back or with his butt and of course the teeth. He swings the guitar around his waist, rapes it, slaughters it and then exhumes it only to kill it again. The thing screams in pain and there is no mercy from Vai's attack. He does double handed sweeps, massive riffing with speed picks, classical arpeggios and monstrous squeals. The man is a guitar genius and is perhaps the best I have seen. The live DVD captures all that is great about the virtuoso guitarist. His lead breaks are killer and will force your mouth open in awe at times.

The crunching scratchy riff on Bad Horsie is perhaps the most unforgettable part of this DVD for me. He literally makes his axe sound like a whinnying horsie, and even at times gallops like hooves. The wah wah pedal is overkill but you gotta love that grinding riff.

Little Wing is one of the best Hendrix covers I have heard, almost as good as the original. The passionate performance Vai exudes is inspirational.

Whispering A Prayer has one of the most impressive examples of how to make a guitar cry in ecstasy or is it agony.

For The Love of God is beautifully played and has a memorable melody.

There are other members of the band but they disappear when Vai hits the stage. He is indeed a virtuoso and one of the greatest guitarist on the planet. This DVD proves it!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Nobody will argue the habilities of the great Steve Vai as a guitar shredder, and this shows he still rocks live as much as in the studio albums. The concert is phenomenal, being the greatest part here the great solos by Steve, BUT the other musicians are not a background at all: the bass shredde ... (read more)

Report this review (#126710) | Posted by Barla | Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Vai plays several old favorites as well as some new ones on this spectacular DVD. The show is lively, energetic, and a good DVD experience. He does the Hendrix covers quite well, Shy Boy is a very good opener, and there's really nothing to complain about on this album. It is a little fast-p ... (read more)

Report this review (#110966) | Posted by kickflipthecat | Wednesday, February 7, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First off, many progressive fans may not like this dvd as it leans slightly towards the 'shred, instrumental guitar' rather than progressive elements. However there are certainly plenty of prog elements to be found within it, and the musicians who appear on it would be enough to excite any pro ... (read more)

Report this review (#89055) | Posted by requiem | Wednesday, September 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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