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Where the Wild Things Are (Live)

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Album Review

Taken from a two-hour-and-40-minute sold-out show recorded at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, Where the Wild Things Are is yet another live showcase of meticulously mapped Steve Vai compositions. Much of the material is new, and tested out in front of an unfamiliar but eager audience, with Vai exercising his chops to the limits. It's a chance for him to bust out every trick in the book: blazing through ridiculously difficult scales, double hand-tapping extravaganzas (where he plays the guitar like a piano), and sick string bends and whammy bombs to the point where his custom Jem neck should be left, imaginably, in the same shape as the rubbery guitar on the cover of Flex-Able. The listening experience is more geared toward frequent guitar clinic attendees than someone seeking background music for a day drive. It's not easy listening. It's the kind of stuff that deserves full concentration, and while most will furrow their brows while focusing on the guitar pyrotechnics, the rest of the instrumentalists are tightly locked and highly ambitious in their own right. Touring for the first time as a collective, violinists/keyboardists Ann Marie Calhoun and Alex DePue join Vai, along with bassist Bryan Beller, drummer Jeremy Colson, and guitarist/sitarist Dave Weiner. The virtuosic tendencies run high, the musicianship is incredible, and as a whole, the group sounds more like one of Zappa's stage bands than, say, Roth's. Things are still flamboyant and over the top, as expected from the owner of a three-pronged heart-shaped guitar, but there are signs of maturity. As a guitarist and as a composer, Vai's only getting better with age, as proven by Real Illusions: Reflections' sprawling, elastic "Freak Show Excess" and "Building the Church," running the gamut with haphazard emotional shifts, flawless changes, and otherworldly playing. [Where the Wild Things Are was also released as a 27-track, double-disc DVD set.]

Customer Reviews

Where the wild things are

I read on here that Steve has been doing the same thing for X amount of years, EXACTLY! thats why we love him. People change, some will remain devoted fans and some people will fall by the wayside. Me personally Im still devoted. I have been a fan of Steve's since 85 whenI saw him in Crossroads. "Where the wild things are" backs up why im a fan to begin with, your just not going to get this type virtuosity from anyone else! This album brings out all things Steve, from over the top licks to his amazing choice of band members((Dave Weiner,Jeremy Colson,Bryan Beller,Anne Marie Calhoun,Alex Depue) its a virtuostic roller coaster giving us all we have come to expect and then some, and all live without a net! It ends with a heartfelt ala Hendrix piece called Par Brahm, that piece alone was worth my 9.99! I have really been enjoying this record and if your a longtime fan or someone new to Vai this is a solid effort. And if you dont like it, I think iTunes sells Linda Ronstadt albums!


There is not much that Steve Vai can do wrong on a guitar and especially in this album. As always, he ROCKS!!! This is a must have if you love acoustics!

And he's done it again!

Another brilliant work by Steve Vai. If you're not going to buy the whole album, at least get the re-make of Die to Live, as that was AMAZING.


Born: June 6, 1960 in Carle Place, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Six-string wizard Steve Vai, along with his onetime teacher Joe Satriani, set the standard for rock guitar virtuosity in the '80s. Born on June 6, 1960, and raised in Carle Place, New York, Vai became interested in the guitar via such legendary artists as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Alice Cooper as a teenager and, upon starting high school, took lessons with an older player from the school, Joe Satriani. Playing in several local bands, Vai quickly picked up on the instrument, and by the age of...
Full Bio