I have to say that this was an incredible show. I haven't seen the mighty Van Halen since the Balance tour in 1995 so this was a real treat. My first ever concert was VH in 1991 on the F.U.C.K. tour so VH is a very special band to me.
We got there at like 8:45 figuring we could skip Laidlaw who were to get onstage at 8:00 at least that's what the ticket said. I heard Humans Being being played on the walk up to the concourse but I figured it was a tape recording or something, not the case, they were onstage into their 3rd song of the set. I was surprised how quick the changeover must have been. The show was fantastic, everyone sounded great, especially Edward. I must say that it's a bit of a bummer knowing that Ed is drinking and smoking again, I don't think the booze is affecting his play, but it's really fucking obvious that he is loaded, especially when he stepped up to the mic a few times to talk to the crowd. Right before 316, he said something to the effect of "I'm either going to fall flat on my face or this is going to be something really special". Kind of sad. Also a bummer seeing Ed light a cigarette in a show off type way garnering a huge round of applause from the crowd. Idiots. But hey, I was in Biloxi. hehe.
Sammy is fantastic, while I love the Roth era songs, he doesn't even come close to Hagar, vocally, or the way he works the crowd. You gotta love Sammy. Mike sounded great as did Alex, although I wasn't all that impressed with Alex's solo. I would have liked to hear Sammy do one or two more solo tunes, like Can't Drive 55 or Heavy Metal, like the old days, but you can't have it all. The show was very well mixed with Roth and Hagar tunes, and that was to be expected at a tour to support a greatest hits anthology. All in all I had a great time, the only downside was missing Jump and Runaround at the start of the show. Hope they come through New Orleans and I can see them again!
Well true to form Van Halen did not disappoint. If you havenÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢t seen the boys on this tour youÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢re really missing out on a fantastic show. Although not sold out, (Mississippi big country music fans ya know) the place rocked beginning to end. Perched from my 3rd row seat (Eddie side) I could feel the energy coming off the stage. Anyone up there with me could see that all four were having a great time, accompanied with the smiles, and joking around (Sammy joining in backup vocals ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“somebody get Mickey a doctorÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â) throughout the show.
Same basic set-list from previous shows. Great stage and sound from where I sat. While very close to the actionÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦the ring seats on the stage almost guarantee a few thingsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦SammyÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s autograph, you may get to sing DLRÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s signature part in Panama, and hell you may even get to give Ed a light for his cigaretteÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦but you canÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢t leave to take a piss or get a beer for the whole show!
Trust me though, right from Jump to When itÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s Love you wonÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢t sit down or have time to catch your breath. These guys came on a mission and they accomplished it soundly. Perhaps they knew they had let their core fan base down for so many years and had to make amends? Maybe Ed and Alex were getting bored? In the end, it doesnÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢t matterÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦theyÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢re back. Up For Breakfast was especially note worthy for a new song.
Finally, donÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢t worry, even if you havenÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢t seen Van Halen for nine years, or had to blow the dust off their CDÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s, as soon as you hear EdÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s classic opening riffs to a song the words will come right back to you.
Being inside the golden ring was the best time I think I have had in a very
long time. From start to finish the whole show rocked! Although Eddie did
break a string on his guitar, and I have heard local radio dogging him for
that, I thought he was right on! Being in the pit did have its advantages,
such as sharing drinks with Sammy, autographs from almost all of the guys
and a kiss from Mike and getting to hug and kiss Sammy when he jumped into
the pit with us ( which also got me 2 autographs and a spotlight on the
jumbo screen). I have had sore muscles all this week form non-stop jumping
up and down for 2 1/2 hours. Worth every ounce of the pain. Wish I had the
same seats for the Little Rock show on Sept 24.
My first impression from this show was that the stage, which looked so haphazard and unwieldy to me in the still photos I had seen, looked incredible when the lighting effects and smoke were added. The video clips playing in the mine-screen added a theatrical element that I have never experienced at a Van Halen show.
When the guys first took the stage, I was expecting a much louder show. Very glad I didn't get it ... I don't know if it was the guy at the mixerboard, or if the equipment is starting to flake out after 44 shows, but the sound was very muddy. It seemed to clear a bit during the show, and was totally absent on Panama, Right Now, and When Its Love.
Enough bitchin .... OH MY GOD the guys kicked unmitigated ass tonight! Sammy sounded better than I have ever heard him sound live! Energetic, happy, and in total command of the show, he gave me everything I expected and then some. Zero missed notes that I heard. His highs were crystal clear to the point of being almost shrill! The little do-rag bit looks good on him, by the way. Eddie was more lively than I have ever seen him. I remember an interview from 1986 where Eddie was backstage, telling the guys ... "Let's get totally silly out there". Well, Mission accomplished...lol!! He was so animated, running around the stage at times and fist-pumping cheers from the audience. Flying Eddies were abundant, and some new move I don't recall ever seeing, which can best be described as The Ostrich. I'm sure you know what I am talking about if you have seen the show ... if you haven't gone, GO!!! Eddie wasn't as technically sharp as I remember, and made a few mis-steps, but his never-ending smile and all around goofiness more than made up for it. The man was just happy, and it lent itself heavily to the show. Oh .. and no Wolfgang tonight. I guess Biloxi just ain't big enough. Mikey was his usual self, a cauldron of energy and contagious smiles. His background vocals and screams were more vivid and clear than I ever remember. This guy is just loveable ... wish I could get him over to the house sometime, my whole family loves him. Alex was rather stolid tonight, but very tight and maniacally proficient. Very reminiscent of Neil Peart at the top of his game, but with a few smiles thrown in.
Best song for me: Somebody Get Me A Doctor. Everybody was on their game and it sounded incredible! It was great to hear Seventh Seal again ... I have to say its my all-time fave Sammy era song. Eagles Fly/Hallelujah on Sam's solos: Sounded great, less filling. He played abbreviated versions of both, and nobody got bored with it. Alex's solo was similarly short. Ditto Mike's. Ed's could have been shorter, but the best part of it was the last half of it, when he was playing stuff we knew. That drew the loudest cheers.
Incredible experience for me and my family, and we can't wait for the next tour!
It was great to see the guys all together again at last! I was a little
tired from the drive from Birmingham. Like most people, we were shocked
arriving at 8:30 just as the first band concluded. No big loss. I
never care much for opening acts anyway. I enjoyed the mine TV screen.
It was awesome especially during Humans Being with the Lighting and
Storm video. All the solos were great. Alex's solo was super. I am
glad Sammy sang "Hallelujah" during his solo segment. I am a little
worried about Ed though for reasons already mentioned. He is still the
greatest. I had a blast and still had time for Blackjack at the Beau
Rivage. I hope the guys make it back to my neck of the woods in
Last night's show in Biloxi was a memorable one. Ironically it was 24
years to the date I saw them the first time in Biloxi and it was an
outstanding show. Their energy was out of control.
The set list was the same as the others. The solo portions of the show
varied more than what I expected. Mike's solo was very brief, Alex had
the usual drum solo. Sammy played Eagles Fly and Hallelujah, his tone
was incredible. Sammy signed everything thrown at him except for some
guy's prosthetic leg!!! It just layed on the stage with a tennis shoe
attached to it. Eddie's solo began with a LOT of experimentation, but
he forwarned us saying he was going to do so and he "may fall flat on
his face" then he thank the crowd for letting him just have some fun.
Then he launched into Cathedral and Eruption.
All around it was the best show I've seen Van Halen do in my 5 previous
times seeing them. Only disappointment was Eddie saying "Thank you
Houston" just before walking off. What?!!!
This was the first Van Halen concert that I have ever been to. It is a shame that I had to wait till I was 35 years old to go see one because I have been a big fan of the bands since Van Halen I came out in 1978. I thought the concert was awsome. I have even more respect for Sammy since I have seen them live. The way he took time to sign autographs and sing at the same time during the show just shows how much he cares about the fans. He is a class act, as the whole band is. Ed's guitar playing is what attracted me to Van Halen and he has always been a hero of mine. I wish he would stop the smoking and any other bad habits he may have because we want to have him around for a long time. Go see Van Halen in concert, it is worth every penny.