Sound — 9
The whole band is excellent, most obvious of which, is Steve Vai, of course. Every single member of the band are definitely virtuosos of their chosen instrument. New to this concert, however, are the two violinists, Alex DePue, and Anne Marie Calhoun, in addition to the standard "rock group". They add a different sound to the whole concert, and at some places its subtle, but other places its extremely obvious, and it adds a very new twist to old classics from Steve Vai. The songs on the concert themselves are not any better or worse than the studio versions of them, but they certainly are different. Most songs have extended solos. The extended solos themselves are about 30 seconds long or so.
Content — 10
The DVD has of course, the concert. 2 hours and 40 minutes of pure music. Not only that, it has a large amount of extra content such as interviews, behind the scenes, etc which adds up to another hour or so. The 27 song setlist has almost all of the standard Vai favorites, including Tender Surrender, Die to Live, The Audience is Listening, and of course, For the Love of God. Some songs that aren't on the DVD are Bad Horsie and Blue Powder. There are also some songs that have never been released before, such as Now We Run, and Paint Me Your Face. Also, several members of the band play songs that they've composed, such as Dave Weiner's Shove the Sun Aside. The concert starts off with mostly heavy songs, such as Building the Church and Now We Run. Then it goes into the softer stuff, like Die to Live and All About Eve. After All About Eve, it goes into an all acoustic set for a while, and the end is peppered with a variety of different styles. The concert has a lot of diversity, and never at one point did I feel that I was bored of hearing the songs.
Production Quality — 7
Production was nothing special, the camera focuses on whoever's the center of attention, most often being Vai or the two violinists. Lighting was used interestingly, moving with the rhythm and shifting the spotlight to grab your attention, and punctuating certain notes, but other than that, there was nothing that was obvious. Sound quality is good, I don't know what the bitdepth was but it sounded good enough.
Overall Impression — 9
This was a solid DVD, and it kept me entertained for a good while. It was neither better nor worse than Vai's studio albums, just different. Hearing a different take on my favorite songs from Vai was great, though I will admit some of the extended solos feel like they drag on for longer than they should. The violins add a new dynamic to his music, but they don't feel out of place, as if the songs were written for violins in mind. I go back to it every once in a while to listen to it, and if I had the CD album I'd probably put the MP3s on my iPod, but I don't, and I don't want to pay $14 for the album itself. I feel the DVD was excellent, because seeing Vai play live in good quality is rare, but the visuals are important to this DVD, and I would not buy the album.