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Old 02-08-2004, 08:00 AM   #1
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Virg@ Vai Astoria

Have you seen the dvd? What's your opinion for Virgil's drumming?
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Old 02-08-2004, 08:52 AM   #2
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Virgil's drumming is great. It is for the most part a relaxed setting for Virg. Virg show's AGAIN that he can and will play for the sake of the music. Vai's composition's can be difficult at times but by no means are horribly complex.
Virg plays with restraint and taste and feel and when he has to he pushes the throttle abit. His solo is very good, not long enough for me of course
The sound of his drums was lacking but that is not his fault, overall a good dvd.

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Old 02-08-2004, 03:00 PM   #3
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I think that Virgil's performance on that DVD is immaculate. I think he makes Steve Vai's music sound so much better. He puts so many new, cool grooves into the drum tracks. The solo is unbelievable, and yes, Kirk, not long enough for me, either! I hope Virgil plays again with Steve Vai. When I saw the G3 concert with Steve Vai a few years ago, Virgil sat in with him, and I thought it was so much better than the other times that I have seen Vai in concert. I think that the drums sound awesome on the DVD; really thunderous, but they also have the soft touch to them, when needed. I guess it's all a matter of personal taste though, when it comes to the different sounds of the drums that he plays on. Keep up the great work, Virgil!
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Old 02-08-2004, 03:12 PM   #4
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did you notice any bad syncs at the drums parts?
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Old 02-08-2004, 03:19 PM   #5
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Yeah for sure. There was alot of editing and splicing that went on. But Steve did a pretty good job. The recording was not planned and you can see that somewhat come through in the end but still a great dvd.

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Old 02-09-2004, 01:50 AM   #6
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What I hate on the DVD is, that you cannot see/hear the power of Virg. For someone who
doesn't know Virg he seems not to be very powerful (e.g. the part where he is rolling over
the toms @ the solo -> sounds very weak as far as power is concerned). Everyone
who has seen him live knows his awesome power.

What do you guys think about the second bassdrum? only a showeffect? because at the solo you can see that he's using a doublepedal!

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Old 02-09-2004, 04:39 AM   #7
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Yup the second bassdrum is only for show!
Just like the case with Ricky Lawson, by the way.

Vai liked the look of 2 bassdrums, and it apparently was no problem to Virg, to meet this demand this way!
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Old 02-12-2004, 06:40 AM   #8
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Old 02-12-2004, 07:52 AM   #9
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You are absolutely right when you can execute the same fill, combo etc at the same speed,with the same precision, keep the accenting, and do not lose the feel and play at half or even a quarter of the dynamic level than you HAVE! got some wicked control and that Virg has. I have seen him do this many times with different variations of flam and double combo's, where he plays them blindingly fast at a high dynamic level with amazing feel then he brings it down a whole notch without losing the above.

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Old 03-07-2004, 09:22 AM   #10
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ive watched that dvd religiously. well, as much as i can. my friend is the one that owns it but he only has it for vai. o, and vai is one important part of the show, i must say, but the reason i was watching was for virg! couldnt take my eyes off him the whole time. and, omg, that drum solo! jfc! i had dreams about that solo! literally! i think that's one of the best vai dvds ive ever witnessed. and resently, my same friend bought the g3 03 dvd (which he was actually there to witness) and we got to watch that, but, of course, as we all know, there was no virgil.. it was still a good dvd though. its a shame i didnt go with him to the show, but there's always this year!
"This is an art; it's not a sports competition." -Dave Weckl
"Virg is the pinnacle for what is possible technically and creatively." -kirk
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Old 03-13-2004, 01:38 PM   #11
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My 2 cents.(Well morelike $10 dolars worth)This is the best guitar oriented dvd ever! It shows what Vai is all about. His ability to play complex parts & still be a showman is insane & has ALWAYS been his trademark...He doesn't do it just for the sake of doing it, it's how he's always played, & it's sincere!

I received these dvd's the day they 1st went out Dec. 9th I believe? And I watch the show over & over, usually watching it at least once a week usually more! I think it's that inspiring! The band is Vai's best ever!

I totally agree w/Maltbuddrow3! Virgil's playing power was intense throughout. Consider than Virgil played traditional grip like 96% of the time...that's tough to pull off on a Vai tour! Just look at other vg drummer's whom have toured w/vai in the past. Mangini who plays matched grip even said "the tour damaged him!", Terry Bozzio who plays matched couldn't have done a better job! Mangini either. I have a # of Vai bootlegs that bear this fact out.

Ok, so there were about 3 spots during the 2.5 hr performance where Virgil's drumming didn't quite match the soundtrack, but ONLY for a second or two. That's pretty damned good editing, & Vai even talks about the time he spent editing this(alot) & synching up the sound for all 5 guys, on his website. I think it deserves an A.

About Kirk saying that Virgil didn't have anything horribly hard to play. I disagree. These songs(most of them)are very difficult w/all the time changes & modulations of Vai's guitar & Tony-Billy & to a lesser extent Weiner too. Kirk, i'm not doubting your sincerity on what you said, I just wonder if you as a drummer yourself think you could have pulled it off? I know I couldn't have!

Also I think Virgil's drums sound was overall vg. It was much better imo than Mangini's
Rototom kit from a few years back. I think this was the drum sound Vai wanted! From past knowledge of Vai, I KNOW for a fact he wants 2 bass drums onstage! in fact he's asked drummer's to increase the length of their bass drums as much as twofold in the past! With Bozzio(whom I DO like)he got even more than 2 bass drums, & with Bozzio using 'bass drum woofer's' since 94, he(Vai)also got the increased length! it's a visual thing that other frontmen have asked drummer's to do in the past.

Yeah magray, Virgil definitely makes Vai's band better! I've got a vid from early on in the Vai 2001 tour from NYC's Beacon Theatre, & the band is different in that Vai-Virg-Billy & Weiner are there, but the great Mike Keneally plays guitar & key's in place of Tony Mac, & I know Mike personally, but have got to say I think Tony was a better addittion! No offense Mike if your reading this! I've seem Keneally on a # of ocassions with different band's(up close & personal)like his own "Beer For Dolphin's" with Vai a # of times, & even w/FZ on his final tour in 88(which was the best FZ Line-up, EVER
imho) That cover's alot of great FZ bands! Plus i've also seen Mike play a complete show w/"BFD" then play another 2.5hrs with FZ former guitarist & vocalist, Ike Willis' version of "Band From Utopia", & Mike gave it his all that night for both bands.

Btw, Ike's FZ 'cover' band is NOT to be confused with(with all due respect Ike! cause I know him too. I'm NOT trying to be a 'name dropper'!)with the superior Chad Wackerman FZ cover or tribute band in this instance, "Banned From Utopia"! This great
11 peice band made up of all but 1 former FZ band member(the great guitarist Mike Miller)& does feature every Fowler brother that ever played w/Frank & the rest were all
on that incredible 88 tour! Check out the cd by them, "So Yuh Don't Like Modern Art" as they do versions of 5 FZ originals & also do 5 original compositions that FZ would have loved! But this isn't about FZ. Sorry for getting off topic.

So anyway, I think the Astoria documented Vai performances are Steve's finest concerts ever! Each of the 6 musician's(If you count Eric Sardinas' fine electric "Doboro" slide playing on the final encore tune, the great "Attitude Song"?)werejust fabulous, & as I said this was Vai's best band ever!

Of course Virgil's solo was much too short, when you're accustomed to hearing him do a 20 to 30 min solo, but as much as I admire Virgil, that would have just been to long!
Maybe a 12 min solo would have satisfied us all more.

If you love virtuoso playing, & dig Vai you must buy these dvd's which actually are fairly cheap compared to others, & as a friend whom attended both Astoria shows & 2 other's 1 in Amsterdam, & I forget the other location, said, these shows were the culmination of many incredible shows he's seen Vai play live(like 15 +)and represent Vai at the absolute top of his musical game. The audio commentary is hilarious, AND very informative, as you get to listen in on comments i'm sure were made without them
remembering the audio was rolling! Virgil IS NOT on the commentary(unfortunately)as he was out touring I do believe. So you owe it to yourself to buy these & see Virgil in an enviorment he's never been in before, even though he admts to having played in Vai
cover band's earlier! Btw, I have a recording of Virgil with an Australian hair/metal/pop band from 1977 called "Taste". Not to be confused w/the Rory Gallagher band.

About the audio commentary. Some of the things each guy mentions were mistakes they in their playing, which is refreshing to hear.

So Vai rules the guitar but i'm sure many of us have thought this for years! And the addittion of Virgil & Tony make this quite a tough act to beat! Billy Sheehan has to be 1 of the top 2 or 3 bass player's playing today if not THE BEST! The song selection imo was the best i've ever heard on any Vai solo tour or ANY G-3 tour, of which Vai is always(to me)the highlight of anyway!
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