The European leg of Steve Vai’s Inviolate World Tour had a glorious finale in Barcelona on July 19, when the virtuoso walked into the crowd and gave his electric guitar to a teenager to play the set’s encore track, Fire Garden Suite IV – Taurus Bulba.
Vai had played 17 titles at the Teatro Tivoli – including Submission of the tender, bad horse, Little pretty and For God’s sake – before taking a break before the encore of the show. On his return, and as he began to play Fire Garden Suite IV – Taurus Bulbahe noticed the boy in the audience, whose father had shown him a clip of him playing the guitar during the cab ride to the venue.
“On the last show of the European Inviolate Tour, as I was driving to the venue in Barcelona, there was an excited taxi driver who wanted me to get in his car to take me to the venue,” recalls Go to a new Instagram post.
“During the ride, he was very excited to show me a video clip of his son playing For God’s sake, and I was actually quite impressed with the way this boy was playing. During the concert that night, I saw the boy with his dad sitting in the audience, so I decided to make his day…and he sure kicked ass! It was a splendid way to cap off an outstanding tour.
Needless to say, the boy proves his skills within seconds of equipping Vai’s guitar, and even heads to the stage to bask in what is surely one of the highlights of his life so far.
Last month, Steve Vai offered a tour of his live rig – with his technicians taking viewers through his impressive collection of ‘quarry guitars’ – and the man himself showing the complex signal processing required to his absurd three-necked Ibanez Hydra.
Highlights of Vai’s six-string collection presented by his guitar tech, Doug, included his Ibanez Universe – used during his tenure with Whitesnake – his John Scofield signature guitar and his longtime JEM7VWH, nicknamed “Evo”.
Vai’s radical triple-neck Hydra – which contains a seven-string guitar, a 12-string semi-fretless, a 4-string 3/4 scale bass guitar, and even 13 harp strings – didn’t make it. his appearance on Vai. tour at time of writing.
“I asked my engineer to weigh it but we never got to weigh it,” the guitarist told Thomann last month. “Everyone asks me, ‘How much does it weigh?’ 1,000 pounds is what it is!”
Bringing her on stage would also present logistical challenges — challenges that Vai is more than capable of handling, mind.
“The Hydra has an Ethernet cable, and the Ethernet cable output has all the outputs for the different necks,” he explained, adding that the instrument’s signal is routed through a specially designed rack unit, before heading to his Fractal Axe-Fx III Amp Modeler.
The North American leg of Steve Vai’s Inviolate World Tour is set to kick off September 28 at Magnolia in El Cajon, Calif., and will span 52 dates through December 3. For a full list of dates, go to the Vai website (opens in a new tab).