Steve Vai and the 60-piece Brazilian orchestra, Camerata Florianópolis, rocked 90,000 attendees at Rock In Rio Brazil 2015 in Rio de Janeiro in a high-energy festival setting that Vai calls “a highlight career moment.”
The performance, which took place on September 25, included spirited takes on such Vai compositions as “Kill The Guy With The Ball,” “Velorum” “Lotus Feet,” and the finale “For the Love of God,” which you can view below along with another clip from the show.
Vai, who released the orchestral recording Sound Theories Vol. I & II in 2007, and garnered a GRAMMY Award nomination for his soaring and melodically stunning “Lotus Feet” from those performances, is no stranger to performing his own original compositions with orchestras around the world, but the Rock In Rio show marks the largest crowd he has performed with an orchestra at. Most recently he had performed with the Russian Philharmonic in Kaluga, Russia; the Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra in Szczecin, Poland; The Evolution Tempo Orchestra from Romania; The Beijing Philharmonic in Beijing, China; the Colorado Symphony in Denver, Colorado; and The North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra in Holland during his 253-engagement The Story of Light World Tour, which took him to 52 countries.
Vai has always been drawn to composing and started studying composition at 10 years old. He is world-renowned as a master innovator in the evolution of rock guitar and is now becoming well known worldwide for his dynamic performances with orchestras and his complex compositions of orchestral works, all the while showcasing his virtuosic displays on guitar.
For Rock In Rio Brazil, Vai was joined by the versatile Camerata Florianópolis, under the direction of Maestro Jeferson Della Rocca, who also founded the group. In its 22nd concert season, the orchestra known for its symphonic work is considered among the most important performing groups in Brazil. In addition to the success achieved in several Brazilian states, the orchestra has achieved great recognition through tours of France, Spain, Germany and Italy.
“For me, performing in Rio de Janeiro at Rock in Rio 2015 with the Camerata Florianópolis was a career highlight,” Vai said. “Feeling the intensity of the orchestra that was holding me up, the night sky, the notes under my fingers and in my mind’s ear, and the aliveness of presence of the 90,000 people and their collective energy, all came together beyond my expectations. It was like standing tippy-toe at the top of Mt. Everest and sharing my secrets with the vastness.”
Camerata Florianópolis Maestro Jeferson Della Rocca added, “During the last song [‘For the Love of God’], the audience began to sing in chorus to the melody. It gave us chills from head to toe to see nearly 100,000 people. Steve looked at me, and I looked at him. It was amazing.”
Vai’s latest release, Stillness In Motion: Vai Live In L.A., is available now from Sony/Legacy in a two-DVD set and two-CD set. The DVD includes nearly four hours of bonus footage, edited by Vai himself, titled The Space Between The Notes, which entertainingly chronicles the epic three-year, 253-engagement The Story Of Light Tour.
See Performances by Steve Vai & Camerata Florianópolis at Rock In Rio Brazil:
What The Press Is Saying About Vai’s Rock In Rio Performance:
“(Vai) has shown that he is one of the world’s greatest wonders…the incredible musical interaction between the legendary guitarist and the Camerata Florianópolis, Santa Catarina orchestra led by maestro Jeferson Della Rocca, was the highlight of the presentation.” – Multi Show
“A historic night…September 25 will be in the memory of those who were at the Sunset Stage of Rock in Rio for the union of guitarist Steve Vai and Camerata Florianópolis…” – Diario Catarinense
“The partnership between the (renowned American guitarist and) musicians fit nicely, with the orchestra making a ‘bed’ — a complex and grandiose base — for the guitar to soar over, taking the leading role for itself.” – Rolling Stone
“An impressive show…(one of) the big highlights (of Rock In Rio)…” – GShow
“In the melodious and compelling ‘Whispering a Prayer,’ a violinist stands to duel with Steve Vai, and the most beautiful composition gets an upgrade to thrill. It is something to watch on your knees thanking the heavens by the grace achieved.” – Rock Em Geral
“(Vai) left the most introspective mood of the night, with the public more concerned with watching the acrobatic guitarist frills than headbanging…the crowd was mesmerized.” – UOL
“Fantastic…” – Le Petit Journal
“The contagious ‘Whispering A Prayer’ invited the crowd to travel mentally. In the middle of the song (Vai) used just the guitar to talk to the public, showing there is no sound variation that can not be made with his instrument.” – MSN
“A vibrant show…” – G1
“Steve Vai alongside the orchestra Camerata Florianópolis was one of the most interesting and daring acts of Rock in Rio. This was the first time the guitarist performed at the festival, and that surely will be stored for long in his memory and the public who attended the Sunset Stage.” – Rock On Board