Northern Ireland in the 80s and early 90s was often avoided as a destination by most bands and artists. Some ventured as far as Dublin but few ventured across the border. It is refreshing now that many of the artists I missed out on seeing in the 80s are venturing their way to Belfast and most comment on how stunning place it actually is.

In the same way that Steve Vai followed Vivian Campbell in Whitesnake he does the same on the pages of flixelpix. I first came across the guitar legend Steve Vai when he played the role of Jack Butler in the 1986 film Crossroads.

Steve Vai Belfast

Steve Vai toured with David lee Roth and Whitesnake and although he had previously performed in Dublin this was Steve’s first ever gig in Belfast.

Steve Vai : FlixelPix

I have been an avid fan of Vai’s guitar style from the David Lee Roth albums, his playing is something to aspire to but it is a level out of reach to the majority of players.

Steve Vai

Despite having played with a number of bands it is Steve’s eight solo albums and three Grammy Awards that define him as a musician dedicated to his craft. There was no support act at the Steve Vai Story of Light gig instead Steve performs a complete three hour, high energy set.

Steve Vai - Mandela Hall

The Story of Light was a truly amazing event, my claim to fame is that I’ve been hit by one of Steve’s flying guitar picks which I passed to a fan in the front row who I hope Steve was aiming at.

Steve Vai Belfast

In the same way I noted that guitar playing was clearly effortless to Vivian Campbell it was clearly even less of an effort to Steve Vai.

I used to be in awe of the fact that Steve Vai received guitar lessons from the great Joe Satriani but I suspect Steve wasn’t a difficult person to teach.

Steve Vai, Ibanez

Steve Vai performed in the Mandela Hall (Queen’s University of Belfast) which shook with every single note. The Story of Light tour continues in the UK and beyond and if you are even slightly interested in guitar it is a spectacular, must see event. You can see the full tour listing on the website.