Steve Vai performs at the Port Theatre Monday (Oct. 17) at 7:30 p.m. as part of his Passion and Warfare 25th anniversary tour.

Steve Vai performs at the Port Theatre Monday (Oct. 17) at 7:30 p.m. as part of his Passion and Warfare 25th anniversary tour.

Steve Vai performs during his Passion and Warfare tour in Nanaimo

NANAIMO - Guitarist Steve Vai performs at Nanaimo's Port Theatre during Passion and Warfare 25th anniversary tour.

The guitar offers infinite possibilities of expression for axe man Steve Vai.

It’s important not to limit yourself, said Vai.

“You have to feel that the instrument is infinite and that it is there to offer you new stuff all the time,” he said.

One of his guilty pleasures is jamming on the guitar every night. He gives himself the freedom to let his creativity take him away.

He eliminates unnecessary thoughts so his inspired impulses come through.

“It’s really vitally important for us to make the time … to find our creative impulses,” he said.

Vai first heard the guitar being played when he was seven by another student in the school’s auditorium.

“It was an instant love affair,” said Vai, of the music.

He said technology is a great toy that people can use to change the sound of the guitar.

“It can inspire you to create a piece that is completely alien to you,” he said.

But he said there is something deeper than technology that can only be “generated in the imagination of the person wielding the technology.”

Vai said musicians like Jimi Hendrix, while known for their innovative guitar playing, weren’t trying to push boundaries.

“What I believe actually happened is they were just moving in a way that is natural to them,” he said.

Vai is touring Vancouver Island on his Passion and Warfare 25th anniversary tour.

Looking back on his early work Vai sees a more innocent version of himself.

“When you look back to youth there is sort of an innocence and naiveté, a very powerful desire to express yourself uniquely. You feel like you have a focus and a purpose,” he said. “I wanted to hear this music that was in my head and I wanted to hear what it was like to play the guitar in a certain way.”

Vai performs at the Port Theatre Monday (Oct. 17) at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets range in price from $62.50 to $73.50 and are available by calling 250-754-8550 or www.porttheatre.com.

VIP packages are also available.

For more information about Vai please go to www.vai.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com