My name is Mike and I used to live in Manila (the Philippines). One evening in early ’97 I was watching MTV and they announced the Fire Garden Tour in Asia. I absolutely flipped out for a minute, but then came down pretty hard since the dates did not include a show in the Philippines. Thanks to my wonderful parents, who know how much Vai means to me… (they found out when I insisted for like 3 years that I had to have a Jem and not just any plain Ibanez guitar, which means a price difference of about 500 dollars – they got it for me though!), my father decided to take me over to Singapore to watch the Vai concert there!!! I got myself excused from school for a day or two and early Monday morning, of Feb. 2nd, we took off together to see Steve! The whole trip went well and as soon as we had checked into the hotel I went down to the Hard Rock Cafe to stand in line. Unfortunately the cue was about a block long and they said that they were about to stop letting people into the Cafe. I went up front and told this young lady that I had flown all the way from Manila to see the concert and that I could not live with not getting in… I doubt that she bought my story, since it must have sounded pretty absurd. God thank her though for saving me and letting me cut! My father never got in, but it didn’t bother him all that much, since he only wanted to see the concert because I hadn’t shut up about Steve since I first heard “Passion and Warfare”. Before the show the cool staff of the Cafe even gave a tour poster. It’s now framed in my bedroom.
The show was amazing! I was in the front row and even got to touch Evo at one point. Thanks Steve, I’ll never forget that!
The only thing that was bad about that concert was that the crowd was a bit rough and these guys decided to jump down on us from the second floor. You should have seen the police beat them up, it was scary! Unfortunately I lost my dad’s camrea then and got my ass kicked for that. It was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life!!!
I was a freshman in high school then and my teachers wrote on one of my report cards that I had been a quiet guy before the trip, that they would have liked me to participate a bit more, but that after I had seen Vai I wouldn’t shut up about it! (Of course they knew about Vai, because they were either followers of Zappa or Whitesnake when they were younger, or because they were tortured by me in lectures on him!) Anyway, now I live in Barcelona and today I found out that there is going to be a European Tour coming through here in early 2000. I am really happy about that and already got two tickets for the show. I am also planning on taking a train up to France the weekend after the Barcelona show to see Steve play again. Who knows… maybe I’ll meet him! These two shows are the last great thing that is going to happen to me in high school life (I graduate in June and am off to Berklee) and I am glad to be able to say that I began and ended high school with Vai concerts. They made it all a better experience and gave me something amazing to look forward to… In any case, I just wanted to send this letter to let you all know how happy and excited I am about the two Vai concerts that I’ll be going to see one week apart in a couple of months! I don’t know if this will ever get posted on the site, but that would sure be cool!?!
Mike Simsch from Barcelona, Spain