Friday, my wife, Sheli, and our friends, Scott, and his wife Trish, started our road trip to Peoria, Illinois for the Sammy concert (3 hours). We went to the Rock 106 pre party at the Millenium. They did a great job pumping up the crowd. Lots of big giveaways, they must have given 6 pairs of front row tickets away!
At about 7:15 we went to the civic center. Being from St. louis, I was a little surprised at how small the place was, but there couldn't be a bad seat in the house. We were fortunate enough to have front row seats! First time ever! Sammy and the band came out at about 8:10. This "little" arena sounded as loud as any show I've seen at home. He opened with Marching to Mars. I have been a huge Sammy fan since long before Van Halen, but this is the first time I have seen him perform solo. He did songs from every part of his career. During Bad Motorscooter we handed him a red jacket that he wore for a few songs, we were having the time of our life!!!! To make things even better, he threw it back to us! Giving Sammy a high five then topped it! We saw his wife and daugter on the side of the stage, looked like they were enjoying the show also. The band sounded excellent, Victor was in front of us most of the show. That man can play! (he also has a pretty good aim with guitar picks, Thanks Victor!)
The intensity level never goes down. For a crowd of about five thousand, Sammy played his heart out. No breaks, except to mix up a few Waboritas during Cabo Wabo. I heard someone say Eddies a dick, and Sammy replied " he didn't use to be". He really seems to have put the past behind. Nothing bad to say about Van Halen at all. My friend Scott saw Sammy the last time he was in Peoria on the VOA tour in 1985 and was impressed to hear Sammy mention it. He said he missed not hitting the smaller towns with Van Halen and swore to be back again. It was great to see Sammy doing what he wants, and you can tell he's having a great time. I wish i could tell you the play list, but the night was just one great time with the Red Rocker!
Sammy Told us he didnt need to take a break before the encore, and continued to rock right up to the second performance of Marching To mars, this time accompanied by the contest winners who helped with the backup vocals. All the new songs were awesome, The old stuff sounded better than the originals, and the Van Halen songs were stronger than ever!! Two and a half hours went by way too fast. We all agree it was the best concert experience ever!!! We are going to St. Louis's show August 1, and can't wait. Now if I could only find some front row tickets here! Yeah, I know " High Hopes" Thanks Sammy, from a few big fans,
Todd, Sheli,Scott, and Trish
Thanks to Todd Sutherland for this review!