Guitar legend Steve Vai brought his Passion and Warfare album to life on this tour for the 25th anniversary of this ground breaking album. He played the album in its entirety for the crowd at the Palladium in downtown St. Pete the night after Thanksgiving. Having spent Turkey Day in St. Pete, the band was rested and on fire. Making his entrance in neon & lasers, Vai doesn’t disappoint. He has played this venue before and loves it. It is a great intimate room for a guitar driven show. Don’t expect vocals here other than Steve taking a few minutes to chat with the audience.
The audience was here for some shredding and got it! This crowd has owned this album since its release in 1990. They knew every nuance, chord and riff and were rockin’ right along with Vai and his band. He actually started thinking about recording this album in 1982 but David Lee Roth came along after leaving Van Halen and Vai joined Diamond Dave for his solo career ride being a rock star guitarist. Leaving Roth in 1989, Steve toured with Whitesnake. David Coverdale made an appearance on Passion & Warfare. He began recording P&W in his home studio and it took five years! The album won critical acclaim as well as being certified gold.
Vai’s early years include guitar lessons from Joe Satriani, Berklee School of Music and touring with Frank Zappa. His guitar heroes include Beck, Hendrix, Page and Queen’s Brian May who he shares a classic video of during the show of his number “Liberty”. It should come as no surprise that with that kind of early resume, Vai has become one of the guitar greats of our generation. He has 3 Grammys and 15 nominations to his credit. He was ranked the 10th greatest guitarist by Guitar World.
He is extremely animated on stage with his ax, much like a lead singer with the microphone. Graphics were beyond amazing with artistic images of a variety of subjects flashing across the screen along to the beat of drummer Jeremy Colson. Guitarist Dave Weiner and bassist Phil Bynoe bring their expertise to this Vai creation. Simply, one of the best rock shows of the year!
photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock The Lens Photography