Steve Vai Plays "For the Love of God" for the First Time in 1991

On October 19, 1991, in Seville, Spain, Steve Vai played his now-classic 1990 track, "For the Love of God," for the first time in front of a live audience.

You can check out the emotional performance, which took place as part of a music festival called ExpoSevilla 1992, below.

“The song is about how far people will go for the love of their god,” said Vai of the standout track from Passion and Warfare.

“When you discipline yourself to quit smoking, to run faster or to play better, you have to reach deep down into a part of you. That is a profoundly spiritual event. That’s when you come into contact with that little piece of God within you. That’s what I was trying to achieve with ‘For the Love of God’—I was trying to find that spot.”

Compare the audience's tepid "Oh, OK, a new song" reaction at :18 to their boisterous applause at 7:59.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.