He’s played with everyone from Mary J. Blige to Frank Zappa, and now, world-class shredder Steve Vai is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his Passion and Warfare album with a much-anticipated tour that runs through mid-December. He blessed Ventura Theater last week, playing a set that showcased his technical wizardry, opening with Bad Horsie on his mirrored Ibanez Jem with illuminated guitar inlays.

Later Vai played Passion and Warfare from beginning to end to a dedicated crowd — including one couple in the front row that came all the way from Bakersfield. Like everything touched by the groundbreaking axeman, composer and designer (the guitars he developed with Ibanez changed the way the instrument is made), the show was full of fretboard fireworks.