Re: Vais EVO Experience
It's worth every cent.
It started around 5pm, when we were let in for soundcheck. We watched Steve play through some "trouble spots" in several songs with the rest of the Breed on stage. The entire group spent time between songs signing things and speaking with EVO experience fans. Eric Sardinas also made an appearance to meet and greet us during soundcheck. We were inside the venue for soundcheck for about 2.5 hours, as I said, the entire time talking to Steve and the Breed. I saw Dave Weiner allow a few of the guitar enthusiasts hold his 7-strings and let them strum a few chords on his guitars. Tony, Jeremy and Steve were busy with soundcheck, but not too busy to treat us very well. They were soliciting our advice for what it sounded like standing in front of the stage, as well as how the songs they played for us were sounding.
We were promptly booted out of the venue just shy of opening time, but we were also let right back in first to get primo spots on the floor (there was no VIP seating in this venue). Throughout the entire show, I stood within arm's reach of Steve and Billy, with Dave W. just next to but a little behind Billy as well.
Immediately following the show, which lasted until about 1am, we were shuffled to a quiet area upstairs. Shortly after being gathered up there, at about 1:30am, Steve came up to greet us, apologizing profusely for the scheduling problems and lateness of his appearance with us. Despite the late hour, he spent about 90 minutes with us, taking pictures, signing autographs and answering questions.
I have never met a more personable celebrity. I have been a fan of Steve since I first saw him on MTV along side David Lee Roth in the "Eat 'Em and Smile" days - I was inspired to play guitar at that time. Some 20 years later, it's a great feeling to know that your heroes are everything you'd ever hoped they would be - and Steve even exceeded that for me.
I highly recommend that if you can go to it, you go. I took my wife with me to the EVO experience, and she was a Steve Vai fan simply because... she's spent the last 13 years listening to him because of me. We were both in awe of how well the EVO experience went, despite a seeming lack of planning, and at how accomodating Steve, the Breed, and Eric Sardinas and his group were. We had a great time.