WOW.....how can it be described? Van Halen rocked Tucson Friday night. For the 80th show, it was as good as the first. This was my 25th time seeing Van Halen in concert since 1978 and all I can say is that is was very memorable. For this concert, I made a Red, White and Black stripe VH poster that actually was held up by Sammy (and if anyone has a photo of it, please try to get me a copy of it please) and was autographed by everyone but Eddie. I would say one of my highlights was meeting Sue Anthony prior to the concert. She was very much a people person and even helped me in getting Mike's autograph on my poster.
The concert was great from start to finish, but just wish it wouldnt have ended. You could tell, that even after 80 shows the guys were still having fun on stage. I saw Van Halen in St Louis and Wolfgang came out and performed with Eddie during his solo. In Phoenix the next week, Wolfie wasnt anywhere to be found. But to end this tour, Wolfie emerged again to play along side Eddie, but the highlight would have to be when Wolfie came out and played with the entire band. They all surrounded Wolfie and showed support and he really looked like a real part of the band. Eddie was very emotional after the end of the song and really showed his love for his son.
Alex and Mike played awesome solos, as usual. Sammy showed that Cabo look with the lighted palm tree next to him on stage during his solo performance. The nicest thing about Sammy is that everything that was given to him, he took time out to autograph the item and return it to the owner. Thanks Sammy for acknowledging us.....
VAN HALEN, keep the DREAMS alive, RIGHT HERE,RIGHT NOW, because ITS ABOUT TIME you continue to keep your fans coming back for more and more for many years. Dont let this end.
Thank you goes out to Van Halen, for keeping the music alive; road crew for all the long hours that you put in; Van Halen family, for all the long hours that you have to deal apart from one another, the Tour Manager, for bring us the greatest shows and last would have to go out to Jerry (you know who you are).
Went to the Tucson, AZ last VH show. I flew in from Indianapolis Friday morning, stopping in Denver to pick up my best friend, who is now officially “worse” than I am as far as being a VH/Sammy Hagar freak. We think we understand the real meaning of 5150 now, as we are certifiably insane going to six shows, hitting one each month of the tour (July through November), Indy, Denver, Cincinnati, Las Vegas (Christi only), Ft Wayne, and now Tucson. I thought they would lock me away for deciding at the last minute to fly out, get four star tickets, to see the show. I have the coolest, most awesome husband in the world who talked me into doing this. I can now honestly tell you now, it was WORTH EVERY PENNY. When I made my connection in Denver, a good ten people on our flight were flying in for the show, too cool.
Arrived at the hotel at 11 am, after we inquired about getting a shuttle over to the show, the check in clerk asks us if we are with the “Sammy Hagar group”, and proceeds to slip that the crew is staying at the hotel, and was partying in the bar the night before till 2:30. So Christi and I get settled, and hit the pool and get working on our banner. After a whole lot of racking our brains, we come up with “This IS what dreams are made of”, since being there for the last show truly was a dream for us, we thought it was pretty appropriate. We got to work on it. We start to see road people here and there and hear about some who went golfing that morning, they are by the pool/bar/etc wearing their mandatory black on black attire. At 3:00/3:30 we see the crew load up on a shuttle bus and head over.
We got to the Ampitheatre around 4:00 and hook up with Joe who did five star the night before and is standing at the gates where you can clearly see the stage and soundcheck is getting ready to start. Eddie & Wolfie come out and started fooling with the guitars. Joe tells us the five star group is not even out yet. Next thing you know, Michael and Alex join them and they do two or three songs before the five star folks are there. One song was “Little Dreamer” that Michael sang, sounded awesome. Jumping ahead on that one, at the end of the night we met Eddie’s head of security, the bald guy who caught his smashed guitar who told us that that song was for him, as he had been requesting it all tour. (more on his comments later) Then they brought the group of 60 five star-ers out and security made us move like 50 feet away from the gates, but we could still see the stage and hear the whole soundcheck. BONUS, we got a FREE soundcheck. I am so happy I could die. I heard poundcake, its about time, running with the devil, I’m the one, drop dead legs, …. I realize this soundcheck is like a mini concert in itself. I’d guess it must have been eight full songs! The sound check ended at exactly 6:25pm, five minutes later they opened the gates so we hit the casino for a bit.
AVA is a kick ass place to see a show. Every seat in the house had to be good. Ours was fourth row Eddies side towards the center section. Jonas again, was pretty good, most people we met enjoyed them.
The band came onstage and was playing their screaming guitars, then Sammy kicks it off with his “Hello Baby” and they go into jump. Up until this day, I thought the “hello baby” was prerecorded, but I know now it is definitely not. Sammy was incredibly awesome as always, and this show was hands down the best so far for a lot of reasons, but mainly because of him. Kari and Kama I think are at the side with I think Michaels daughters. The bonus stuff they did for the last show was so very cool. During up for Breakfast Kari and Kama (I think) bring out bananas and Spray Sammy with whipped cream. Very funny, Sam seemed a little thrown by the whip cream in his hair and worked to try to get it out quickly. During Michael Anthonys solo a guy, possibly his guitar tech came out dressed as a conehead doctor serving shots. Very funny. Early in the show Christi sends up her cabo wabo denim shirt she got on her honeymoon just weeks before the band broke up the first time. This shirt has been to every Sammy/VH show since, and she is afraid it won’t make it back. I assure her no worries, it will come back, and sure enough we see Sammy sign it, and send it right to her. BONUS #2 for our “dream”. Although we have never sent up anything to sign before, I came prepared with my Hallelujah shirt. Next thing I know Sammy is right in front of me so I toss it up to him and he catches it and wears it for a while, signs and tosses right back to me. OK Christi and I are totally estatic, and think our lives are complete and the night has only begun.
Sammy’s solo was Tropic of Capricorn/I can’t drive 55. During 55, they sent out remote control cars buzzing around his feet, and got shots of them on the Jumbotron. He was really laughing at that one and said later “welcome to the last show folks” with all the funny bonus stuff. The palm tree was there again. I got most of Tropic of Capricorn on video, I was kind of hoping for Eagles so I could get it recorded, but no dissapointment here its all good for me.
Eddies solo was very, very long HAD to be at LEAST 45 minutes, the rest of the band pretty much cut him off at the end. Looked like he let wofie draw all over him, with wolfies name on his chest and lines all over his back. He mumbled something about not having time to Tan (?) maybe in reference to the 5150 tanned on his chest from the Florida leg of the tour. The solo I saw in Ft Wayne was better for me as I really enjoyed that one. This one was ok and I felt like he just didn’t want it to end and had no intentions of stopping until they made him. I have to say I really didn’t think he was bombed. I did hear he was pounding the wine at soundcheck, but I didn’t see it myself, and I felt his playing was pretty good. In Denver, a lot of the songs you could barely even recognize as he was off in another place, but in Tucson, all the songs sounded pretty darn good to us.
Ok, so directly following the solo, we know its time for our banner when they started up Dreams. Turns out we are THE ONLY banner all night, which I cannot believe. Every show, there are like at least five or six, and the first one we make is the only one for the night. We think this is pretty special for us. Sammy has us throw it up and wears it throughout the song, then tosses it back. We thought it was cool that he wore it but didn’t think he signed it. I don’t know how we missed that, but at the end of the night we were showing our banner to someone at the Embassy bar, and there it was!!! Bonus again! He must’ve signed it while he was wearing it, can’t believe we missed that, but totally thrilled he did. It just keeps getting better for us, and I can’t believe I felt guilty about booking this trip it was totally completely worth it for us. Ok here is the best part, at the end of the song Sammy was walking back over to our side, and looking for us and he said “Where’s my Girls” looking for us…..AUGH….We are now SAMMY’S GIRLS J So, very, happy we are!!!
Ok, Christi saw the Eddie fall, he tripped on his cord she thinks and just laid there for a long time. Sammy eventually walked over and he snubbed him like “go away dude”. Later we meet at the embassy bar Jerrry from LA who is the bald head in my picture of Eddie smashing the guitar, tells me about the “Sammy and Michael are Kings comments” he thinks it was a major put down and reference to his UK guitar world cover “Eddie is the King”. Jerry got his copy signed by Wolfie. Jerry had gone five star, and got a pick from Eddie that night, it has an “X” scratched on both sides, and Jerry thought it was a slam to the fans so they don’t sell on e-bay, looks like he tried to scratch off his name, it’s a red striped one. He said everyone that night who got picks had the X on both sides. My husband would like to give Eddie the benefit of the doubt, and thinks maybe he scratched them to have a better grip. Kinds doubt that theory myself, as this is the first time I’ve heard that one, why wouldn’t he have scratched them before, and why wouldn’t he just order them textured if that was what he wanted. So anyway…
When Eddie started smashing his guitar, I was totally in shock and I have to admit, a little scared for my own safety. We were pretty darned close to him, and I honestly thought he was going to chuck it right into the audience, I had fears of someone getting seriously injured, namely us, and really did not want to ruin what was the perfect day for us. I really was scared. He did the smashing thing for a little while and I managed to catch one on film. The smashing was at the end of right now. After right now everyone left the stage but Eddie, he stayed on stage the whole time, never left. Wolfie came back out and jammed during one of the encores. The “Thanks for Paying my rent” comment came off to me as a put down to his fans like thanks for your money, but I guess you could look at it from a more positive side as a sincere thank you, but didn’t come across to me that way. He was really affectionate to wolfie as always, with lots of hugs and stuff. The father/son interaction was beautiful to see. I didn’t see the emotional, tearing Eddie I had seen at most of the others who seemed to appreciate his fans, and to be genuinely honored to be up there.
Everyone I met all night were huge fans, and pretty big Sammy Fans. . Sammy really does give a lot of love to his fans. The guy next to me brought his tall cabo plastic glass, which I think is from the Sammy tour stage tickets. Sure enough, when Sammy spotted it he called him up to front row, and filled his glass. Another guy sitting near us had gone to all four birthday bash shows, his buddy is a chef at Cabo, we got a lot of good stories from that one.
At the end I don’t believe they did any of the introductions announcing each band member. Sammy did say a special thank you to the Fans, and to the crew.
I was really hoping for the ultimate bonus to be just ONE extra song or encore of ANYTHING different, but now I am just being greedy. I was totally happy with the show.
So we hit the casino, which was pretty lame then head back to the hotel. In the bar we meet Jerry, and later Eddie’s security head who has a bottle of Cabo Tequilla with him signed by Sammy. He said he had a bunch of those, very cool. Jerry said “good catch” to him, he said yeah. Christi and I , not knowing who he was, and thinking he was someone close to Sammy (clue the tequila) ask him what’s next for Sammy, he says a very politically correct canned response about him being busy with his tequila, says for now the tour is over, and we’ll have to see… He doesn’t stay long at the bar cuz there are no single girls there. The roadies started coming in around 1 or so. I was amazed to learn that they only have one stage set up, I ask how they manage some of the back to back nights in cities far away, they all say it is really, really, hard. They all are pretty wiped out after a long tour. There are a bunch of guys from some band from Florida at the bar. They told us they are there for some festival Saturday night. I’ll have to look that one up, they said Shinedown was also going to be there, and are buds of theirs.
Next morning we spend our day reliving our experience, looking at our pix, and signed stuff. We are totally and completely happy.
Thank you Sammy and Van Halen.
PS - I have a picture of your red striped sign held by Sammy email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will send to you.