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Van Halen concert reviews

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Hookpunch

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Has anyone seen them yet? I would be interested to hear some reviews.
 

barkup69

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july 28 2004 saint louis

i love van halen but this show was not very good. ed seemed real messed up or something is truly wrong with his stability. over and over he kept messing up tunes and would just stand there in a daze. when he could remember the tunes he was acting REALLY GOOFY! laying down on the stage, flopping around. at the end of the show he could not figure out how to get off the stage and had to be shown. i truly hope he was on a good high and just messed up, if he was not, somethings seriously wrong with him. best part about show was seeing the king live again, although i left very dissapointed and wondering what is wrong with ed. do not get me wrong here this is not a bash, but that was not the ed i have idolized for 20+ years!
 

Ali

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I have to wonder just how much the chemo and radiotherapy have mucked him up. Throat and tongue cancer require a lot of intensive therapy and, knowing how our son is reacting to his own chemo following a kidney tumour, I reckon these could be effects of the treatment. I just hope he's not resorting to the bottle again after going through what must have been hell!
 

Bassplyr

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I Also caught the July 28 concert in St. Louis. I thought the guys were kicking some ass but I do understand what barkup69 is talking about when he says Ed was goofy. Ed spent about 25 minutes making weird sounds out of his guitar that didn't impress me too much. I'd much rather have them rocking on classic VH tunes they didn't play. Alex had a great drum solo that I really liked, and Michael Anthony did a solo that....well was a bunch of bass effects. Not impressive. But Sammy was rockin' as he always does and really pulled the show together. He's a great musician and front man.

All in all, since this was my first time seeing VH, i enjoyed seeing Ed play but I have no way to compare it to other shows. Wolfgang also came out on stage and did a little guitar thing with dad. I'm sure it was cool for the kid. You have to be a hard core fan to spend $85+ for tickets. I dont think the show was good enough for me to do it again at that price.
 

martin

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Whats wrong with eddie?

I saw the van halen show in st.louis last night and was a little disapointed in eddies performance.I have been a huge Van halen fan for years and have liked every version of the Van halen line up.I even have van halen tatoos all over my body.I have seen eddie drunk before but this time it really effected his playing.Im not even sure he knew where he was.I was so shocked by is guitar solo that I was just waiting for someone to pull him off the stage.It truly hurts me to speek about eddie this way because the man is my hero.I think the rest of the band was even a bit disturbed by what was going on.He seemed to start the show ok but he got worse and worse as the night went on.I wonder if he was under the influence of somthing other than alcohol because eddie has always played drunk and still played great.This time it was different,It was almost as though he had never played the guitar before.I sure hope Alex has a heart to heart talk with Ed about this because if he carries on like this it will kill his reputation for the next generation of kids who attend the show for the first time.The rest of the band was in stellar form.Thank god for sammy, He really saved the day.I kind of want to go again to the show tonite just to see if eddie gets it together.I really hope he does because I can't imagine Sammy sticking around if eddie continues on this way.
 

Ali

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martin said:
I really hope he does because I can't imagine Sammy sticking around if eddie continues on this way.

So true. Sammy has an A-class band in the Waboritas. Of all the members he needs the reunion tour the least. He always said he'd do it for the fans and he was true to his word, unlike DLR. Maybe the Van Halen legacy should have been left in the past. Such a shame as even on the '98 VH3 tour Eddie was absolutely tight and together. It really sounds like what he's been through has affected his health more than he'll admit. I have to wonder and worry whether using Morphine/Pethidine during his treatment may have stuck. That may sound like scaremongering, but coming from a medical background and having a good number of hospital doctor friends, I've hear many patients that became addicted to their pain killers after chemotherapy. Eddie is an obsessive and addictive personality. I really hope not. :(
 

barkup69

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i am glad i was not the only one to have been disapointed. i would also like to attend again tonite. i think i can agree to the morphine addiction. i too have an addictive personnality, i have been down that path before and it is hell!!! i sure hope ed pulls it together if indeed that is the case.
 

dwf1004

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This is NOT what I need to hear a week before my show in Phoenix (and 2 in Vegas).

Then again, maybe it is...hmmm. :(
 

Shnook

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I saw VH opening night in Greensboro. They gave a great show and looked to be having a very good time being back onstage together. Sam, Al, and Mike were on. EVH on the other hand was nowhere near the top of his game. Of course we all know the reason why that'd be the case. His over use of the Sustainer pup and general poor guitar sound left me wishing for the EVH of old.

That said, I think it's worth the bucks to see one of these shows. With the way things have gone with VH and EVH's on and off again health problems, this could be the last time to see 'em live. They have fun playing and as long as your musical expectations aren't out of this world, you'll have a good time too.
 

lowdbrent

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I got free tickets at the last minute and it was worth every penny.

I was a huge Van Halen fan. I wish I hadn't seen him in OKC, OK. My image of them is now tainted.

A friend of mine said that the band and Toby Keith were back stage doing shots. Eddie had gear/cable holder problems all night. He couldn't hear jack on the songs that had sequences/tracks, because he was WAY off. He did manage to burn through a solo just like the record while calling a tech onto the stage and chewing him a new anal passage. He kept those guys busy all night.

The house mix was entirely too loud, and there was no bass. I have never heard a Showco Prism system sound so harsh.
 

rulin5150

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Van Halen /OKC review

Hey Man,

I would like to chat with someone that is a huge Van Halen fan and saw the OKC show.
What type of problems do you think Eddie was having? I went with a couple of musician/Van Halen fans and they loved it. I still contend that from the moment he turned up the volume knob, he sucked all night long. Every song had some type of major mess up. He even played the solo to Ain't Talking bout love with a wah wah....His solo flat out sucked, he missed all kinds of tapped harmonics and then he had some type of feedback/sustainer toggle switch on his guitar. What's up with that?
 

dwf1004

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From what I heard about the OKC show, there were many an issue with Eddie's equipment. Guess he was so mad that he literally took the guitar off at the end of the show and threw it at his guitar tech. (Anyone have the number of one Matt Bruck?)

There are also HEARSAY and UNCONFIRMED reports that he also trashed his dressing room after the show as well, but don't hold me to that one.

I can only keep my fingers crossed for tonight...
 

lowdbrent

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dwf1004 said:
From what I heard about the OKC show, there were many an issue with Eddie's equipment. Guess he was so mad that he literally took the guitar off at the end of the show and threw it at his guitar tech. (Anyone have the number of one Matt Bruck?)

There are also HEARSAY and UNCONFIRMED reports that he also trashed his dressing room after the show as well, but don't hold me to that one.

I can only keep my fingers crossed for tonight...

1. I did not hear the dressing room bit.
2. Yes, he threw the guitar. I thought that it was out of anger. The tech walked out just in time to catch the badly flown guitar.
3. I agress that he had gear problems all night, and that he was very sloppy. It was disheartening.
4. When EVH played the first song, I could have sworn that I saw him trip over that stripped chord. I can't understand why he wasn't wireless.
5. That switch on the guitar intrigued me as well. I would like to know what the pick-up/coil/wiring config is. Maybe the pick-ups are wired with seperate outputs, thus the need for staying cabled to different amps/processors (ala Steve Ripley, Ripley Guitars).
6. If a fan can go to that show and be impressed, then good for them. They have no discernment of good and bad EVH. I don't see how people can say that a show was great and in the same breath say that Eddie played bad. Can you have one without the other?
7. I hate to bash other mixing engineers. They have to do things that the artists wants, that make little sense to the audience. I know that when I was mixing Junior Brown, people would yell at me to crank up (we were already at 120dB at the mix), when Junior wanted it lower to save his hearing. But this guy abused the Prism rig. It sounded like stinky butt. I have mixed on that system many times as have thousands of others, and it is a very, very good system. There is no reason to make it sqwaul like that.

So you have a band doing a show, playing music. So you make it so loud that people either stuff earplugs/toilet paper in, or just go deaf above 4kHz. What's the point? Why not turn it down so that everyone can enjoy the highs and not suffer permanent nerve damage? Sammy's vocals were harsh at first, but then improved. Michael could have just stayed on the bus, because there was no real bass. Alex's drums sounded like a combination of metal trash cans. They sounded pretty true to the last live DVD, so I have to assume that the mix was intensional. It is sad that such great players have such poor tone.
8. I thought that the camera work for the show was pretty good. The lighting was good, in that it wasn't active just for the sake of being active.
9. The boys seemed restricted up there in there little triangle of a stage. I wonder what the mix was like for those people standing in the stage pits.
 

dwf1004

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How appropriate: a milestone review with a milestone post (400). :)

Five words: you missed a great show.

I guess crossing the fingers worked, and everything happens for a reason.

The original concertgoer that was slated to go with me bailed out because he was sick over the last 3 days, so I met up with another buddy of mine. Our conversation went like this:

Me: What are you doing tonight?
Him: Uh...the chick wants to go to a movie. Why?
Me: Wanted to know if you wanted to go to Van Halen...
Him: I don't have a ticket.
Me: You could...
Him: How?
Me: Say 'yes' that'll you go, and I have a ticket for you.
Him: Shut up...
Me: No. Let's go to Van Halen.
Him: Hell yeah, bro!

And it was on from there. We met up, then took off to a place called Alice Cooperstown, a sports bar and grill owned by the fellow native himself. Partaked of a few alcohol-treated lemonades, and met up with norm and his pal (both great, great guys), and hung. They took off around showtime to go check out Shoeshine, or whatever band was playing before VH. I hung with my man and we checked out the band that was playing at Coop's, etc. (the bassist in the band before these cats was a friend of my buddy's, so we hung and chatted it up).

We make way to America West Arena across the street, and get in. Beer lines suck, and take forever. In turn, I missed the entry of the band on stage in Phoenix for the first time in 9 years, and almost all of "Jump". I was pissed at first, but when I thought about it, and as my man explained to me, I'm seeing them in Vegas in 24 hours, etc. so I got over it real quick (the beer helped that to go away as well :p)

I'll save you the rehash of the setlist, as you can go to vhnd.com to see what has already been typed out. Pretty much spot on, and since I've been reading all of this, predictable. Who cares...this is VH.

Minus 400 seats not used in the rafts, the place was jammed. Who says that Phoenix wouldn't fill it up? No technical issues, a spot of feedback here and there (like 2-3 total), and so on. Eddie played a tobacco burst Wolf (sans sustainer) all night, with the zebra cable (which he stepped on/got wrapped around his foot pedals a few times...justification to go wireless?!?!?!) and the alien signal antenna that holds his cable in place. He looked good, hair was down, and he was a rockin'. I caught him trying to sneak a Flying Eddie under my nose as I entered the arena after the super slow beer vendor got us taken care of. Boy was movin and shakin all nite long. Sammy was on top of it all, as was Michael Anthony; broke out the JD bass during his solo, and unlike previous shows, ran around on the stage and rings for a while, also doing the RHRN type "runt he bass strings along the grill of the amp stacks behind him". Good stuff.

Two things:

1. Eddie really sounded so good, and I say that as Superfan No. 99 of EVH, and overall. I am blessed that I had not seen something like what had happened in OKC, and I feel bad for those that did. My heart goes out to you. He hasn't lost a step, in my book. He had the obligatory EVH Art guitar for about 3 songs, the black and white one that you may have seen in pictures that has "W I N" spelled out in black on the top, etc. Also, the obligatory "I have no idea what the hell I'm doing...but I'm having fun" into the mic during his solo, as has been done in the past. The sounds of the arena chanting "Eddie, Eddie" ran friggin chills through my spine, and I actually did well up a little bit as he just stood there, taking it all in with that trademark EVH grin to the crowd. Man...the boy tore it up, nuff said.

2. My buddy and I, at his suggestion, made an effort to seat jump to get closer. When all was said and done, we befriended some folks and made a little party about 40 feet away from Michael Anthony, and about 60-65 feet awy from the 2nd man that inspired me to play guitar. (The first was my grandfather, rest his soul).

I called norm after the show via cell phones, and he was blown away at this. But, as he said, once Eddie took the stage and started his solo (or any solo for that matter), to use his direct words, "all was right in the world". I felt bad, as if I dissed norm, and wanted to make sure that he didn't think that. After all, if it wasn't for my man norm, my fat butt wouldn't even be in that building! He was in total understanding; this man knows how much this band means to me, and so does my other pal, which is why he suggested what we did. ("Dude, this is your favorite band in the world, and you want a better experience. I will GET you that experience...let's go!" And off we went...the rest as they say is history...)

norm, thank you for helping me to acquire these tickets at a time when I was down, and your patience with me as I worked to get you squared away in my time of "employment freedom". Most importantly, thank you for just being you...you're a hell of a guy, and I would have not been there if not for you.

I thank my buddy for "enhancing" my concert experience with his balls to the wall attitude, and his great ability to get around security in a sneaky, yet hilarious as hell way. He got me to where we were all night after norm and I parted ways, somewhere I have never been in a major concert like this ever. To add to the fact that it is my favorite band of all time made it the icing on the cake. (Just for the record, this cat also had me sitting about 15 feet from Jordan Rudess, the keys player for Dream Theater, when we went in March. Now if only we were on the other side of that stage, where their guitar player stood all night. What was his name again?) ;)

Finally, I thank Van Halen for a great show in what has always been one of their strongest markets, Phoenix, Arizona. This is a show that I will always remember, as the band was in top notch form tonight, and it couldnt have sounded any better. If indeed this IS the last time that they tour through Phoenix or EVER, it is a performance that I will remember for a long time to come.

So now I walk away spent, tired, smelling like a gym sock from all of my sweating, and lacking a voice. But I'm ready to do it all over again in 20 hours in another town.

Bring it on. :)

ADDENDUM 08/18/2004: per amusementbusiness.com, and advised of such per vhlinks.com, here are the numbers for said show reviewed. Seems that I was off in regards to the amount of empty seats. As quoted by a vhlinks.com poster, "...though it wasn't a sell-out, I'm proud of my town. We gave the boys a good welcoming. They gave us a kick-ass show, too."

Artist/ Event Van Halen, Shinedown
Venue America West Arena
City / State Phoenix, Ariz.
Date Aug. 5, 2004
Gross Sales $929,988
Attendance 12,327
Capacity 15,213
Shows 1
Sell-Outs 0
Prices $82.50, $32.50
Promoter Clear Channel Entertainment
 
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rulin5150

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Van Halen / OKC

Anyone else see the OKC show? I am not speaking of the tech issues he had with his amp/guitar/drill stuff, I'm talking about the fact that he just simply messed up playing some part of almost every song. I am just about the biggest VH fan alive and I was blessed to see him play live again, but I just can't figure out why he continued to mess up. He was a 1/2 step off when playing cathedral and even messed up the open e string trill during little guitars, then apologized for it. Jump was out of sync with the programmed keyboards, the intro to top of world was pure messed up. I contend he is either hooked on pain killer/morphine or is drinking big time again. Something is up. I and going to the Dallas show next and we'll see if he improves. He continued to miss tapped harmonics on alot of songs. He even played a solo without mean street intro.
 

tommyboy

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Saw them in Phoenix

This was the second time I saw Van Halen, first was 1979. What I remember most from that first show was the raw energy of the band and the way they fed and fed off of the crowd. Last night was no different. There was a full house of people who spent the entire show through 3 encores on their feet dancing, singing, and yelling. It was an awesome show.

My 15 year old son who talked me into going in the first place thought pops had blown a gasket. I am with the guy who said he started to well up. I have never seen a happier look on a mans face as the look on Eddy's as people chanted and roared throughout his solo. He looked like someone who had it all, lost it, and was now getting another chance.

No disrespect to Sammy Hagar but, I would have prefered to see David lee because that is the Van Halen I remember. Sammy put on a great show but if there is a criticism it is that he seemed more interested in signing autographs than singing when the band did pre hagar tunes.
 

Shnook

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Anyone here see the St Louis show? I just saw some video clips online and it was down right horrible. I was shocked to hear EVH play so badly. He literally could not play the part that comes before the tapping section. Truly sad to see. He seemed like he couldn't get his hands to move. He's obviously been drinking wine on this tour and that's a completely different buzz from his beer drinking past. I wonder if he's not on some kind of medication or something? Maybe that'd explain these wild on and off nights. I've got a few shows from this tour and some nights he's there and others he's clearly 'someplace else.'
 

super77

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VH at the Save Mart Ctr. Fresno Aug. 14th, 2004

I know this is a little late since the concert was over a week ago but I have to say something before I forget most of it.
My brother and I went to see VH in Fresno on Aug. 14th. First I have to say that the Save Mart Center is a great place to see a concert, mostly because it's new and clean. I've been to lots of other places where the vomit from the last concert had just been chisled off the bathroom wall, so this place was a welcome change. We had "All Access" passes which didn't really mean 'ALL' access, but it did mean that we got to eat and drink as much as we liked. We also got a tour of the backstage area where the bands rooms were and where they went up onto the stage. Oh yeah, it also got us in to the VH sound check!
We walked out onto the floor of the arena and there on stage was Eddie and the boys. They were crankin it out pretty good. It was just my brother and I and about fourty or so other people hangin out right at the front of the stage. The house lights stayed on the whole time which was kind of cool cause we were able to see the band members and all the equipment really well. Even though Sammy never showed up for the sound check it was still incredible seeing Eddie play right there in front of us. They played for about fourty minutes and when there were vocal parts Michael stepped up and did a pretty cool job! The sound was really good and there was only one short complaint about the setup when Eddie had a little discussion with one of the crew.
We had a great time eating, drinking the free beer, and seeing Eddie, Michael and Alex so close up, but it got better! We went out later, when most of the crowd arrived, to see where we were seated. We found out pretty quick that we had some killer ****ing seats right up in the front row just to the right. We were right in front of Eddie for most of the concert. He was ripped, kind of like that Iggy Pop look, but later in the show he seemed to get a little tired, dropping his arms to his sides after songs and slowly stalking the stage. We were ****ing blown away though, the band rocked seriously hard. It was truely a life changing experience, I'm definitely going to do this more often!
Not only was Eddie great but Sammy was pretty good too. I've never been much of a Sammy Hagar fan but I think I'll probably check his band out when they pass by my area. He really gave everything he had to the audience. He's an awesome performer, lots of energy and presence. If there is any bad blood between Sammy and Eddie, Sammy didn't let it effect the show.
The worst part of the concert was obviously the end. I wish it could have gone on forever but it was plenty enough to last me a while.
Thanks Eddie, Sammy, Michael and Alex; you really gave me a memory to last a lifetime!
Oh yeah, thanks for the invite little bro!!! I luv ya man!
 

Doshar66

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Ft. Lauderdale/Miami VH Concert

Oh my GOD!!! I just saw VH for my first time. I was in the fifth row...about ten feet from Michael Anthony's side. I have been a VH fan since I was a kid..I'm 38 now. I have seen many concerts in the first ten rows including Pearl Jam, Aerosmith and BillyJoel/Elton John. Prior to this, Aerosmith, "Get a Grip" 2nd row center was the best show I had seen, but VH kicked ASS!!! Keep in mind, the show was originally scheduled for Wednesday, September 8th, but due to hurricane Francis, the show was postponed until Saturday, September 11th....a special day in itself as we all know. I realize that this was one of many shows they had performed over the past months, and I know the play lists and the crowds all look the same to them....But let me tell you...I have never felt so part of a concert in all my life. The crowd, fatigued from loss of power, water and gasoline from hurricane Francis was eager for a hiatus. The crowd was bursting with energy which seemed to feed the band in a way I have never seen. There was this guy standing two rows in front of me equipped with signs for every song. Sammy thought these signs were the greatest things ever. He would hold them up during the song shaking his head in amazement because they were so appropriate to the moment. for example....one sign was held up during "Right Now" which said, "Right Now Van Halen is Kicking Hurricane Ivan's Ass" This was very appropriate because this huge Hurricane (a category 5) was heading right for us. All this after three this year already. Anyway, the solos were all awesome, of course. but when it came to Eddie's, he said, "I really get into this **** so if I go on too long for you all, just throw something at me" He played for twenty minutes, but as far as I was concerned, he could have played for two hours. I looked around at the people around me. People from age 11 to 55 easily.Their mouths hung open in awe of this master guitarist. He would play as he hung his head, apparently looking at where he was tapping. Hair covering his face. Every so often he would look up, seemingly checking if the crowd was still into it, they showed that they had not had enough with their cheers. After the solo, the crowd began chanting EH-DEE, EH-DEE, EH-DEE................ He looked up and, stifling tears, covered his face with his left forearm and pointed to the crowd with his right. He tried to speak, but could barely form the words from emotion. I was so moved by this. The energy of the band after this seemed to explode. Eddie, Sammy and Michael were running, and jumping all over the stage trying to give as much as they could to the audience. Also, while Sammy signed some autographs in the center area and front row, it was not very much and nothing to distract the show. I also noticed that in an effort to appease one another's egos, particularly at the beginning of the show, Sammy would move back when Eddie moved to front stage and vice versa. If you do one thing in your life, see this band when you still have the chance. And whatever it costs to sit close enough for them to see and acknowledge you, it is worth every penny!!! Also, to clear up some things I've been reading. Number one, Eddie was not drunk. He played like the master he is. Two.The band does not seem to be feuding. In fact, they seem like they love each other. I would also like to add that I was thoroughly impressed with Michael Anthony's voice. It rivals David Lee Roth's anyday.
 
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