Steve Vai Recalls His Worst Gig Ever: “A Best Storm of Technical Crap”

If you’ve performed for as lengthy and as usually as Steve Vai has, you are bound to have had some gigs that had been memorable for each the appropriate and the incorrect causes.

Vai—who just kicked off the North American leg of his Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary tour—recently spoke with Music Aficionado’s Joe Bosso about his very best and, recounted here, worst gigs.

“I’ve had some real tankers, but the a single show that sticks out was in Italy,” Vai says. “Actually, it was two separate gigs in a row, a couple of decades ago. This was when they were just beginning to realize how to regulate the voltage that went into your gear. Now that stuff’s simple to deal with—you have voltage regulators and you can preserve every little thing constant and level—but they didn’t have these factors at the time, and it could be a difficulty. We got to Italy and found that the voltage was so erratic that it developed this intermittent devaluation of the wattage of my amplifiers even though I was playing.

“We noticed the issue in the course of soundcheck, but we couldn’t figure out how to deal with it or repair it. The weird thing was, it impacted my gear and a couple of of the other men and women in the band, but not every thing. So it developed a genuine mess. It was like a excellent storm of technical crap.

“I went on stage understanding this could be an situation, but once again, I believed, ‘The show have to go on.’ I would play, and for about 10 seconds the sound would be fantastic, but then the power would go down and with it went my sound level by about half. Instead of sounding complete and strong, it sounded like a deranged mosquito. It went back and forth like this all night. Notes wouldn’t come out right or they would be buried. It was awful. The audience could inform some thing was up—they were like, ‘What the fuck was going on?’ At a single point, I walked off stage even though folks tried to repair it, but practically nothing worked. We just couldn’t find a resolution to the difficulty.

“It was a nightmare, and I felt terrible. I’ve had undesirable shows prior to, but this was like a rat gnawing at my face. I had to inform the audience, ‘Hey, technical problems.’ I got through it, but at the finish of the evening, I wanted to go up to everyone and give them their funds back. I wanted to kiss their asses and apologize.

“This continued the second night. In the course of soundcheck, it wasn’t so bad, so I believed we may well be OK, but when the show started, it went nuts again… And, of course, I was crucified in the press, but there was practically nothing I could do.

“Like I stated, I’ve had bad gigs, a few true lulus. We all have ’em. It is a case-by-case basis. But those shows in Italy had been truly negative. You believe back and you go, ‘Shit man, that truly sucked.’”

You can study the full interview, which includes Vai’s recollections of his best gig, more than at

To buy tickets for Vai’s Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary tour, pay a visit to

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