Joe Satriani and Steve Vai Brings Their Satch Vai US Tour to Astro

Joe Satriani and Steve Vai at The Astro in La Vista, Nebraska on Sunday, April 28, 2024. (Photo credit: Robert A Chadwick)


It’s not every day you get to see not just one master of talent, but two masters. That happened on Sunday, April 28 at the Astro in La Vista, Nebraska, as guitar masters, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, made their debut on the Astro stage. These guys have been featured in Guitar World magazine every year since the 1980s, and for good reason. Joe Satriani taught Steve Vai guitar lessons back in the mid-1970s in Long Island, NY and the rest is history. They never shared a double-bill until this tour. Talk about a long time coming!

Steve Vai and his band performed first. Steve Vai has this cool factor going for him, even in his early 60s. The man was making noises out of his guitar that I had never heard a guitar player make before. The whammy-bar squealing was unmatched, and finger-tapping was nothing I’d ever heard. He brought along an incredible group of players with him. The highlight for me was when he brought out this three-neck guitar “Hydra” guitar, which includes both fretted and fretless, 12-string, 7-string, bass-strings, and harp-strings. You have to see it to believe it. It’s amazing to see Steve Vai continue to play guitar at this level professionally for forty-four years. You can still see how much happiness it brings to him to this day.

Joe Satriani wrapped up this masterclass of a concert. His style of guitar instrumental was more straight-up hard rock. But, the guy can still bring it. His backing band also had some incredible players, including one of the great session rock drummers, Kenny Aronoff, and bassist Bryan Beller, who I recently saw with Dethklok last year. He played classics like “Surfing with the Alien” and “Satch Boogie”. Between him and Slash, I don’t know how they do it, but they have perfected the art of playing guitar live while wearing sunglasses. Towards the end of the set, he invited his former protégée, Mr. Vai, back on stage to perform the first single off their upcoming album, “The Sea of Emotion, Pt. 1”. Then, they performed two covers, the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” (how ironic since both guitarists were in groups fronted by Van Halen singers) and Metallica’s Enter Sandman (Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett was another student of Satriani). They traded off solos for both of them, giving them their style and flair. Overall, a solid performance from both Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, their influence on guitar playing an important touchstone in rock music.

All images © Robert A Chadwick

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