Steve Vai – Guitar Hero Par Excellense

Steve Vai © Per Ole HagenI have seen many great guitarists in my time, but few of the calibre of Steve Vai. What he can make a guitar do for him is amazing. He has also understood that a live performance is part music, part visual, and he gives the crowd value for their money. Sunday night Steve Vai played a packed Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo.

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

As a young music student at Berklee Music College, Steve Vai sent Frank Zappa his transcripts of some of his songs, and was invited by an impressed Zappa to join him as his  transcriptionist. Two years later, at 20, he joined Zappa’s band as his guitarist. After three years, in 1983, he quit the band and started on a solo career. releasing his first solo album, Flex-Able, the year after.

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Steve Vai has played with many famous bands and musicians after Zappa. Whitesnake, David Le Roth, Devin Townsend, Mary J. Blige and Ozzy Osbourne. His solo records have won critical acclaim, and 3 Grammies out of 15 nominations. He has also designed guitars for Ibanez, the JEM guitar. HIs style and playing is unique, and the concert at Rockefeller showed him in good spirits. Here are more photos from the concert.

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Here is the setlist for the concert.

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

Steve Vai © Per Ole Hagen

All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.

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