Watch Steve Vai give a young shredder a moment of magic he'll cherish forever

Young guitarist playing Steve Vai's guitar at a show in Barcelona
(Image credit: Steve Vai)

Magic happened on the last night of Steve Vai's Inviolate European tour, at Barcelona's Tivoli Theatre last month.

In the kind of serendipitous moment of audience participation that Dave Grohl seems to specialise in, Vai handed his guitar to an audience member during the show-closing Fire Garden Suite IV - Taurus Bulba, and the recipient left his seat to join the band onstage. The young guitarist, Daniel Jiminez, delightedly soloed with no small amount of confidence, at one point even falling to his knees as he shredded.

Vai has now revealed the full story behind the surprise guest appearance, and it's rather lovely.

The guitarist writes: "On the last show of the European Inviolate Tour on my way to the venue in Barcelona, there was an excited cab driver that wanted me to get into his car to take me to the venue

"During the drive, he was very excited to show me a video clip of his son playing For The Love Of God and I was actually pretty impressed with the way this boy played.

"During the concert that night, I saw the boy with his dad sitting in the audience, so I decided to make his day... and he certainly kicked some ass! It was a splendid way to cap off an outstanding tour."

Jiminez posted his own version of events on Instagram, writing [machine translated from the original Spanish], "Yesterday I lived the happiest day of my life. I'm still processing that it was real. Thank you Steve Vai for inviting me to your concert, thank you for giving me the wonderful surprise of going on stage to play with your own guitar.

"When you approached me and you offered me your guitar I was in shock (I don't know if you can see it in the video but I didn't have the strength to continue playing because I started to cry), and above all, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to let me know you as a person and being able to chat with you about music.

"This day is going to be burned into my memories; you are a great musician and a great person, you are an example for me to follow." 

The US leg of the Inviolate tour starts on September 28 at The Magnolia in El Cajon, CA, and climaxes at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on December 3. Full dates below.

Steve Vai Inviolate US tour

Sep 28: El Cajon The Magnolia, CA
Sep 30: Riverside Fox Performing Arts Center, CA
Oct 01: Las Vegas House Of Blues, NV
Oct 02: Scottsdale Celebrity Theatre, AZ
Oct 04: Salt Lake City The Rockwell at The Complex, UT
Oct 05: Boulder Theater, CO
Oct 07: Oklahoma City Tower Theatre, OK
Oct 08: Dallas House Of Blues, TX
Oct 09: San Antonio The Aztec Theatre, TX
Oct 11: Austin Paramount Theatre, TX
Oct 12: Houston House Of Blues, TX
Oct 14: Birmingham Lyric Theatre, AL
Oct 15: Macon Hargray Capitol Theatre, GA
Oct 16: Atlanta Variety Playhouse, GA
Oct 18: Clearwater Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, FL
Oct 19: Ft. Lauderdale The Parker, FL
Oct 20: Orlando The Plaza Live, FL
Oct 21: Ponte Vedra Beach Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, FL
Oct 22: Charleston Charleston Music Hall, SC
Oct 23: Charlotte The Fillmore Charlotte, NC
Oct 25: Alexandria The Birchmere, VA
Oct 26: Bethlehem Musikfest Cafe, PA
Oct 27: Port Chester The Capitol Theatre, NY
Oct 28: Glenside Keswick Theatre, PA
Oct 29: Red Bank Count Basie Theatre, NJ
Oct 30: Huntington The Paramount, NY
Nov 01: New Haven College Street Music Hall, CT
Nov 02: Providence The Strand, RI
Nov 03: Boston The Wilbur, MA
Nov 04: Rochester Kodak Center, NY
Nov 05: Albany The Egg, NY
Nov 07: Greensburg Palace Theatre, PA
Nov 08: Warren Packard Music Hall, OH
Nov 10: Detroit Masonic Cathedral Theatre, MI
Nov 11: Morgantown Metropolitan Theatre, WV
Nov 12: Nashville CMA Theatre, TN
Nov 13: Louisville Old Forester’s Paristown Hall, KY
Nob 14: St. Louis The Pageant, MO
Nov 16: Chicago Copernicus Center, IL
Nov 18: St. Paul Fitzgerald Theater, MN
Non 19: Lincoln Bourbon Theatre, NE
Nov 20: Kansas City The Uptown Theater, MO
Nov 21: Sioux Falls The District, SD
Nov 22: Des Moines Hoyt Sherman Place, IA
Nov 23: Fargo Theater, ND
Nov 25: Bozeman The ELM, MT
Nov 26: Missoula The Wilma, MT
Nov 27: Seattle Moore Theatre, WA
Nov 28: Portland Roseland Theater, OR
Nov 30: Turlock Turlock Community Theatre, CA
Dec 02: Napa Uptown Theatre Napa, CA
Dec 03: Los Angeles Theatre at Ace Hotel, CA

Tickets are on sale now.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.