Steve Vai @ Hindley Street Music Hall, Adelaide 8/11/2023

This show was seriously elite! Grammy award winning Steve Vai brought his Inviolate tour to Australian and Adelaide fans left to marvel and be in awe of his genius. It was great that this show was all-ages giving the next generation of guitarists and musicians in general the inspiration by being able to watch and learn from one of the world’s very best. With no support the show started bang on eight o’clock with fans licking their lips by being able to experience this incredible show spanning over two hours covering his new album Inviolate and some classics from the back catalogue.

To simply say that Steve Vai just plays guitar is just disingenuous as his musics stirs a range of emotions and the way that it resonates and connects with fans is really something to behold. There was a really good vibe in Hindley Street Music Hall and this venue with state of the art sound and light system complemented this performance perfectly. The projections on screen built the visual imagery that connects with the songs completing the fan experience.

As the band took the stage – youngest and newest member Dante Frisiello (guitar, keys, synths), Jeremy Colson (drums) and bassist Philip Bynoe – the loudest applause was reserved for the great man Steve Vai. With the pounding on the drums by ‘The Beast’ Colson the band powered their way through opener Avalancha followed by Giant Balls Of Gold and Little Pretty. Vai said “what the heck is going on Adelaide?” adding that they had been on tour since May last year telling a tale of road fatigue and nearing the end of their tour with a couple of dates left. Interestingly he elaborated on their Brisbane show saying that he forgot to check the itinerary saying “good evening Adelaide” and a story he mentioned in Brisbane from many years ago that they weren’t meant to hire people better than him speaking of a girl who was playing guitar which happened to be Orianthi.

With Dante doing the ‘secret muscle flex’ it was a guitar master class from, sit/stand back and be amazed. Tender Surrender, Candle Power and Building The Church were simply amazing. When Vai spoke the crowd literally hung off every word. He even joked that his wife said that he needed to talk more speaking about the Vai/Gash which sat on the shelf having been recorded thirty one years ago which was his answer to music when riding his Harley.

Greenish Blues and Bad Horsie were awesome but the projections in I’m Becoming I’m sure would have got people talking. The visuals showed a foetus growing inside a womb and as it crowns a young Steve Vai is birthed with his face photo-shopped over the top showing himself as a child. You had to have been there with Vai showing his cheeky sense of humour. After Whispering A Prayer, The Beast was unleashed for a drum solo with Vai returning to unveil the Hydra (a unique guitar with two head-stocks, three necks that host seven and twelve string guitars), which was that moment in the show that we all had been waiting for playing Teeth Of The Hydra.

Zeus In Chains and Liberty were highlights but when Vai introduced sound engineer Danny G to the crowd under the guise of doing something different on For The Love Of God. It was something alright with Danny G added opera vocals making this an incredible and powerful moment in the show. The crowd chanted for one more with the obliging by playing Fire Garden Suite IV – Taurus Bulba. Vai said Adelaide was an awesome crowd with parting words saying see you next time.

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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