Steve Vai at the Fillmore tonight (8/20/2012)
STEVE VAI Thank god the Olympics are over. And I’m not being contrarian here — there are some events I genuinely dig (who can hate archery? Or the high dive?). But there is only so much fast-for-the-sake-of-fast, strong-for-the-sake-of-strong or agile-for-the-sake-of-agile a person can take. After a while, sustained overstimulation simply deadens your nerves, rendering you incapable of any reaction beyond “Oh, gee. That woman can outrun a horse. What else is on?” You probably see where I’m going here, since, if shredding was an Olympic sport, guitar badass Steve Vai would most certainly be on the American team. But for all his extreme speed and agility and whatnot on the fretboard, watching him play can be the real endurance test. Much like with the Olympics, once the superhuman “wow” factor wears off, the acrobatics get a bit tedious. With Beverly McClellan. $33. Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m. The Fillmore, 1000 N.C. Music Factory Blvd. 704-916-8970.