I wish I could've gone to this show. I was only 9 and my Dad was lucky enough to go to this concert! I still can't believe they played one of my all time favorite Van Halen songs: THE SEVENTH SEAL!
This just in...Right now, Van Halen is kicking ass in America...all over again.
All I can say is it is definitely 5150 time again and it's about damn time. The only other time I saw VH was back on their Balance tour back in 1995. And even though they played 8 songs off the Balance album I was still blown away. This time around, I took the "I Love All Access" route and scored 5th row tickets. I swear it was the best show I have ever seen. And this coming from a guy who never misses a Sammy Hagar concert when he comes through here. With the exception of missing "Finish What Ya Started", everything they did was awesome. It's great to see Sammy back with the boys and I hope it lasts for a long time. They sounded great, they looked like they were having the time of their lives and they certainly held the audience in the palms of their hands.
In anticipation of the big show in St. Paul, I had scoured the internet for reviews of each show. Of course, the reviews were slightly negative because they expected something else. How the hell can you expect anything else? These guys played like the last 8 years was simply a couple of months off. They sounded crisp, they sounded edgy, and they sounded just plain awesome. Oh and to all those so-called music critics that call the Sammy Hagar solo set a "go to the bathroom or get another beer moment", you can all kiss my ass. The guy brought Eddie & Alex back on the road. I defy David Lee Roth to pull that off. It just can't happen, not anymore. Sammy proved it on the big Sam & Dave tour 2 years ago. And even if the reunion doesn't last beyond this tour, I can say I'm satisfied by it all.
I hope Van Halen takes the otherwise dismal rock world by storm and takes it back to where it should have been over the last 10 years. These guys are the ones capable of doing it no matter their ages. Rock & Roll returned to the Twin Cities in a big way on July 22, 2004. I'm ecstatic that I got to be a part of it. Thank you Mike, Sam, Ed, & Al. Thank you for finally realizing it's about the music. Thank you for doing what you should have done 8 years ago. Thank you for kicking my ass for 2 plus hours. I smell a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2005. Rock on guys....
I saw VH at the Xcel in St. Paul, MN. At first the sound seemed distorted,
and maybe a little loud for the venue, but after Hagar did his acoustic
solo, things really seemed to kick into high gear.
This is my 4th VH concert I've seen and it ranks up there as the best or at
worst 2nd best VH concert I've seen.
Sammy's vocal's were explosive. He hit every note with a clarity and energy
only Sammy Hagar could have. He was all over the stage giving the fans
(especially those fans "in the round") alot more than their moneys worth.
He was singing, high fiving, signing autographs and was running all over the
place. I've seen Hagar 4 times outside of VH and his performance was top
notch as usual.
Eddie's guitar playing...what can a person say? This was by a HUGE margin,
the BEST guitar solo I have ever heard. For 15 minutes, everyone I was
sitting (or standing should I say) with was literally listening with their
jaws on the ground. He is THE most amazing guitar player to watch and
listen too. Most of the solo's I've ever heard him play have stayed within
the same basic musical theme or context as every other solo he has ever
played, but on this tour I was simply and completely awed by his talent and
musical imagination. I cannot describe in words how good this guy is. If
you've never seen him play, you owe it to yourself to watch him...you will
be amazed at #1 how good he is and #2 how easy he makes it look. As a
bonus, his son Wolfgang came out and played a small solo with Eddie. It was
an added bonus to an already fantastic show.
Michael's bass playing is as good as he has ever been, although he has had
alot of practice playing with Sammy and his solo band. His
under-appreciated vocals were spotlighted as he took to the mic and everyone
was able to hear the reason that before VH, he was a lead vocalist. His
range and talent exceed David Lee Roth in my humble opinion.
Alex and the drums...there is only one drummer that I would ever rank as
high as Alex and that would be Neil Peart of Rush. There are others that
may have as definitive of sound (i.e. John Bonham), but like Eddie and the
guitar, no one can make the sounds on a drum kit like Alex.
All in all, the energy, excitement and pure enthusiasm that VH shows why VH
still knows how to rock, and why Sammy as front man was the best reunion
tour they could have had. I don't think this concert would have been worth
its weight in peanuts if David Lee Roth toured with them. I don't think he
has the vocal range and the musical talent to bring to the band what Sammy
Overall I rate the concert at **** 1/2 out of 5 stars only because at 2
hours, it wasn't nealy long enough to cover their vast history. Although I
will give Eddie 6 out of 5 stars because it was the best that I've ever
seen...even from Eddie.
West Fargo, ND
I was 20 years old the last time I saw Van Halen with Sammy Hagar; I’m 29 now.
It’s about time.
Van Halen’s July 22nd Show at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul was everything expected--almost exactly.
There they all were again: Sammy, picking up where he left off and even growing some hair back; Eddie, looking happy to be there and like he downed a couple bottles of wine on the plane; Alex, sporting no neck brace and plenty of percussive thunder; and Mike, looking happy he had a job and somewhere to play that new signature bass.
The group stormed through the exact set list that has been posted from previous shows. And we were treated to all of the documented surprises--Wolfgang making an appearance during Eddie’s solo, Mike singing lead on “Somebody Get Me A Doctor,” Eddie giving one of his new Charvel “Art Series” guitars a road-test (a potential sign of his rumored split with Peavey), and so on. Though “Jump” was a fun and enthusiastic opening, the group was rough during the first half of the show. Sammy remarked at one point that they’d been off the day before and had gotten into town just one hour before showtime. Those were apparently two factors that didn’t lend themselves to a quality performance. Still, in come-from-behind-win fashion, they picked the energy up and sounded better as the night progressed. Video shown during “Right Now” was mostly the original video for the song but contained some new footage, including a brief jab directed at President Bush’s lack of foresight--something I personally appreciated--and a tribute to 9/11. (Some may recall that one of the producers of the “Right Now” video, Carolyn Beug, was on Flight 11 that crashed into the WTC.)
As far as individual performances went, Alex wins the Musicianship Award. He was solid and consistent the entire set. Sammy was… well, Sammy. His showmanship during recent solo tours differs somewhat from that of his role in VH. Perhaps it is because in VH there is a more overwhelming force present (Eddie). Either way, he kept his in-between rants to a minimum, and his voice sounded better than any of the old VH shows in the Twin Cities. Mike… uh, played the bass and sang background vocals. (If I’d been near the stage I would have spiked his water with some hot sauce.) Sammy once called Eddie an “alien” who is “not from this world.” I’m beginning to believe him. Eddie was either really drunk or really missing his home planet. Excess is fun and rock n’ roll when you’re young; when you’re 49 it’s a problem. Eddie’s relentless noodling and noise-making was very cool in a few places, but borderline annoying otherwise. He talked--inaudibly--entirely too often and missed most of his background vocal parts. Also disappointing was his tone--maybe just a problem with the house mix EQ and not his amp--but it was ear-piercing in the presence and highs and devoid of anything “brown."
I dropped $100 for my ticket. Was it worth it? Let me put it this way: In 1988 I paid $27.50 to see Van Halen and four other bands, and that was a lot for a concert at the time. If the VH boys end up making a record and going on tour again--and again charge $100 a head--I’ll go, but I may insist that a sandwich and t-shirt be provided with the price of admission.