Steve Vai epitomizes the term “guitar hero.” Since catching his break as a second guitarist for Frank Zappa’s band in the early ‘80s, Vai has established himself as a virtuoso whose angular and sometimes quirky guitar chops make him capable of going toe-to-toe with just about anybody in the rock arena.
It’s not for nothing that David Lee Roth chose to collaborate with Vai after his departure from Van Halen. Apart from his collaboration with Roth, Vai has also enjoyed success as a solo artist and has recorded and toured with other groups ranging from Public Image Ltd. to Whitesnake. He has also been a regular member of the G3 Concert Tour since its inception, back in 1996.
Vai is most closely associated with Ibanez guitars for whom he has designed his signature JEM series, with their distinctive “monkey grip” hand grip cut into the top of the body. Vai’s two main guitars are a pair of white JEMs dubbed “Evo” and “Flo,” each of which have their own unique, special modifications. Vai was also one of the first players to gravitate towards the 7-string guitars, which became widely popular with “nu metal” bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit in the late ‘90s.
In the extraordinary video below, Vai demonstrates his high-power virtuosity in an incredible performance at the Crossroads Festival in 2004… Not to be missed!