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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

Last night, walking into the Saddledome was like walking into a time capsule. The hair, the fashion, the feelings and, most importantly, the music was from a bygone era of rock 'n' roll.

VAN HALEN
Saddledome, Calgary
Tuesday, October 26, 2004

It was an era where video made you a radio star, where fluff was considered heavy, where spandex was considered manly, and where Van Halen ruled the airwaves.

A request, if I may -- can we seal the capsule back up again and bury it? Six feet under.

It shouldn't be too difficult as Halen and their almost sold-out show seemed more than happy to supply the justification, if not the shovel.

Their loud, obnoxious set showed off the worst of '80s mainstream metal in a manner that was as laughable as it was meandering.

The band, featuring the core of Eddie and Alex Van Halen, and Mike Anthony, along with newly reunited singer Sammy Hagar -- put o­n a show that was as close to parody as you could possibly get.

Yeah, they had energy, but it was unchanneled and unfocused -- it was like watching a frat party hosted by drunken, feces-throwing monkeys. Much like the music itself.

Charitably, maybe part of that was the sound, which was soupy and almost unintelligible for the first three-quarters of the concert. But the performances were also so ADD and such a mess that unless you were o­n the same level as the band -- gawd o­nly knows exactly what that level was -- it was almost impossible to relate to.

And this, despite the fact they opened with o­ne of their most popular hits, Jump. Well, technically, they didn't really open with that song. They opened with a minute-long instrumental wank-fest that was a pretty good indicator of what was to come.

So self-satisfying was the playing, the concert should have been issued a XXX rating.

Everyone got their solo, but Eddie, who seemed at times a little gooned up and out of it, indulged the most. Of course he's an amazing guitarist, but every second of every song seemed about trying to prove that, much to the detriment of the songs. And his 20-minute guitar solo? If I'm going to spend an evening watching somebody enjoy themselves so much, her name is going to be Trixi and she's going to bring a friend.

The noise made the debate over who should have been the vocalist for the Best of Both Worlds Tour -- David Lee Roth of Hagar -- entirely moot. The vocals were often so buried by Eddie's guitar that it didn't matter who was singing the hits of yesteryear.

Sammy didn't help in putting away the ghost of Roth -- in fact he's a whole lot less interesting to watch.

As for Van Halen itself, they didn't even need to play their embarrassing new song, Up for Breakfast, to show the o­nly thing they have to offer is a o­ne-way trip back in time. o­ne that unfortunately doesn't offer a refund.

To Van Halen's credit, the night's opening act Rose Hill Drive wasn't the nostalgia show norm of being an even more irrelevant act as the headliner.

The trio of stoner rock hairbags riffed up an enormous storm that was as guttural as it was out there. The weight the three of them threw out, a la Queens of the Stone Age-meets-Phish, was heavy, psychedelic bliss.

They provided the gonads to an evening that would have otherwise been sorely lacking that part of the package.


Enough said....lets grab the torches and shot guns, someone bring the hounds, others we need supplies! We are going hunting!

 

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Jeff McDonald
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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

I had the same experience when I saw VH (for the very first time, mind you) about 3 months ago here in Kansas City (USA). I have been a long-time Eddie enthusiast and have named him as being in the top three to five most influencial guitarist for me for many years. But I must say that he sucked royally when I saw him. Many things you mentioned were similar to my experience, almost as if we were at the same show or something. I didn't pay $90 to go watch someone else have a great time (Eddie and his wine). I paid $90 so that I could have a great time and be blown away by a guitar legend and longtime influence for me, but that didn't really happen. I totally concur with your point about their energy level ("Yeah, they had energy, but it was unchanneled and unfocused "). Yeah, they were all jumping around and seeming to have a good time, but at the expense of the overall song/experience. Eddie's solo spot was basically just a bunch of random, uninspired (drunken) noise. He started a couple segments over again cause he screwed them up. Sammy even asked him in the middle of a song if he even knew what song he was playing. it was bad. I immediately grabbed my girlfriend and headed to the bathroom and to get snacks the second Sammy did his solo spot (when he started into that sappy-assed, fluff-filled melodramatic song of his about the Eagles Flying or whatever those really lame lyrics are). I tend to kind of like Mike Anthony as a fun-loving, party guy character, but he basically just made a lot of senseless noise during his solo spot, running around acting crazy. Alex is a fairly skilled drummer but he rarely inspires me creatively. I honestly wonder if people (myself included) actually like his drum SOUND (the unique sound quality of the type of drums he plays) more than the beats he plays. I think his drums sound great within the context of Van Halen, but I do not think he is anything overly special as a drummer. He is not bad or anything, but his creativity nowhere nearly comes close as Eddie's. Eddie's guitar playing abilities and creativity account for probably 80-85% of my interest in Van Halen, and unfortunately he was too drunk at the show to even carry a fraction of that weight.

In contrast, I also saw two of my other top 3 to 5 most influential guitarists/bands this summer (Rush and Joe Satriani), who are all relatively close in age and longevity in the business and the public eye, and in musicianship. Rush and Joe put on completely impressive, top-notch shows. The sound at Rush was just ok, but the sound quality at Joe satriani's show (and Deep Purple, who were the evening's headliners) was perhaps the best I'd ever heard at a live concert. But the mix/sound at VH was absolutely awful. I could see Eddie's hands/fingers moving around the frets on the big screen behind the stage, but I could not hear any difference in what he appeared to be playing. Anyway, i think the whole point of my responding to your post is that, this summer left me with a lasting impression of who really cares about and respects their fans, as well as the legacy of the music they worked so hard to build, and who cares more about being drunk.
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

I was blessed enough to see these guys three times, and they didn't disappoint once. From what I hear they are really tight these days, so I'd love to see how they sound after a few months together.
 

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Jeff McDonald
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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

Yeah, believe me, I WANT to see Van Halen do well on this tour, and I have heard such mixed reviews consistently throughout this tour, so maybe I was just at a show that was particularly bad. I don't feel as condemning as I do disappointed. I have just worshipped Eddie's playing and innovation for so long that I don't want to see a possible final tour go down in disappointment because of his drinking habits. I'm telling you, he is the modern day mozart????

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

I wish I saw them frozen!
I am from Sydney. I was put onto this by another fan in Sydney.

Next time may not happen as my last and first concert was 1998 with Gary. What bugs me is that many reviewers actually don't pay for their ticket and many staff writers are generally baised towards a certain type of music. While this guy/girl (gutless bastard wouldn't put their name to it) may have made a valid point or two, he/she did not actually acknowledge the people who shelled out their hard earned $$$ to see the show. Are these people wrong? Did they all think Van Halen sucked that night? It is a pity that one person has the power and influence to decide for fans wether they should go or not. I will still give my right kidney, arm, leg and my entire bootleg collection to see them again. No staff hack is ever going to change my mind! I am fan who will only be influenced by my own ears. Bring them to OZ I say and let the people decide.
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

I saw them for my first time August 10th in San Jose and they were good, but I didn't feel as though I got my $110 a seat's worth. I was there to get blown away!

But on the other hand, I'm with HOT FOR TEACHER at every one of their shows, and right now, they do Van Halen better than Van Halen does Van Halen. IMHO


Here's a review I just came across from Winnipeg Sun. Pretty rough one.
Van Halen rocks Barn
 
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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

I saw VH in Detroit (5th VH concert I have seen)) which was relatively early in the tour and they were not tight, the sound was too loud and muffled. It's cool to be loud but it has to be clear. The show wasn't bad but considering it was $95 a seat, and taking into account the reputation for a quality show VH has to live up to, the show was certainly not great either,
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

[ QUOTE ]
sphill said:
I wish I saw them frozen!
I am from Sydney. I was put onto this by another fan in Sydney.

[/ QUOTE ] Well good cuz I don't feel sorry for you anyhow
J/K
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

HHHMMM. Sounds like the guy was biased from the beginning. maybe not though. Can be expectations are a little high.
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

I hate to admit it, but this review, although a little harsh with words, sound spot on in terms of what the reviewer witnessed.
I don't think he's making anyting up. Furthermore, what he describes happened in Canada is exactly what I witnessed in L.A.

I am ashamed I brough my son along with me to this concert. Van Halen fucked me royally, took 180 dollars out of my pocket and fucked what could have been a memorable experience for us.

That night I realized that Van Halen is nothing but a distant memory. Van Halen no longer can be called a band at this point, and I don't blame Sammy for cutting his losses.

I hope VH does us a favor and hangs it up once and for all. We've all waited too long for this half-assed reunion. VH made their money, good for them, but they won't screw me twice.

In closing, I feel very sorry for Wolfgang Van Halen, who has to watch his inhebriated father stumble on stage, slur, and play guitar like the sorry shadow of what he used to be. The poor kid isn't getting a good role model there.

Eddie's familly needs to throw him into rehab quick before we find him dead on the control board at 5150, choked in his vomit.
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

[ QUOTE ]
steph said:
I saw VH in Detroit (5th VH concert I have seen)) which was relatively early in the tour and they were not tight, the sound was too loud and muffled. It's cool to be loud but it has to be clear. The show wasn't bad but considering it was $95 a seat, and taking into account the reputation for a quality show VH has to live up to, the show was certainly not great either,

[/ QUOTE ]


Which Detroit show were ya at? I was at the JLA show and it was my first one and I was absolutly blown away!! I thought it was just an aweosme show and the crowd was just so into it!!
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

I was at the Denver Colorado show. I am a bigger dave fan, but I thought Sammy did well. I really didnt see any of the drunk problems. If anything Eddie was going through the motions and was bored.
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

Eddie is an idiot. Nothing against smokers out there, but he's still lighting up, after having mouth cancer. WTF? got divorced from it. He looks like hell too
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

Nothing really new here, this band was dead the minute that ass Hagar was handed the mic. I saw VH fourteen times up until 1984, and found little reason to go see them again but, non the less did this year. Total shit fest it was.
 

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Jeff McDonald
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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

CanyonCarver and Strat, I am kind of relieved to read your comments, as they are pretty congruent with mine and I was starting to worry that perhaps I am too critical because of how mixed the reviews are. I was at a party the other night and was talking to a guy who was at the same show that I saw (here in KC) and he said he thought it rocked, yet I was thoroughly disappointed. I have come across such polar opposite opinions about VH on this tour that it baffles me for some sort of explanation. One conclusion that I have come to is that people who are marginal VH fans (familiar with only the radio hits) and people who are not musicians or who have very little knowledge of what goes into putting on a live show seem to have loved the show. People who are more familiar/intimate with VH music and live music in general saw through the veil of mediocrity and were disappointed with what they got for their money. I mean, I would have paid $25 to go to that show but not $90, that's for sure.

I too was rather disturbed that Wolfgang was there to see his thoroughly wasted father stumble around on stage, slurring words and screwing up songs in front of thousands of people. I can kind of understand if Eddie got a little too drunk one night and made a mistake of exposing his son to this, but it sounds like this is not a one-time incident.
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

I really adore the VH brothers, but there is no excuse for putting on a spectacle of white noise and calling it a rock concert, much less doing it night after night, in town after town. I really think I had some damage done to my ears that night.
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

[ QUOTE ]
kc_artist_rocker said:
CanyonCarver and Strat, I am kind of relieved to read your comments, as they are pretty congruent with mine and I was starting to worry that perhaps I am too critical because of how mixed the reviews are. I was at a party the other night and was talking to a guy who was at the same show that I saw (here in KC) and he said he thought it rocked, yet I was thoroughly disappointed. I have come across such polar opposite opinions about VH on this tour that it baffles me for some sort of explanation. One conclusion that I have come to is that people who are marginal VH fans (familiar with only the radio hits) and people who are not musicians or who have very little knowledge of what goes into putting on a live show seem to have loved the show. People who are more familiar/intimate with VH music and live music in general saw through the veil of mediocrity and were disappointed with what they got for their money. I mean, I would have paid $25 to go to that show but not $90, that's for sure.

I too was rather disturbed that Wolfgang was there to see his thoroughly wasted father stumble around on stage, slurring words and screwing up songs in front of thousands of people. I can kind of understand if Eddie got a little too drunk one night and made a mistake of exposing his son to this, but it sounds like this is not a one-time incident.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not sure that the conclusion you've come too is correct, because I'm obviously not a marginal VH fan, and I'm a musician as well. So maybe I'm the exception to your theory. I call it luck I guess cause the three times I saw them, I thought they kicked major ass.
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

Please Sucka, don't take me seriously today. For therapy last night I watched those old Van Halen clips from 78 where Ed is this incredibly clear eyed and vibrant demon. Watching this and comparing it to the fact that Sammy gave $2,000 to the Republican Party made me see red (and in the end, literally). Deep down, one of my dearest fantasies is to impress Ed with my guitar playing and maybe even meet him. -and to actually hold the Frankenstrat!
 

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Re: WARNING- Poor Van Halen review- This can\'t be love!

Well I certainly see where you guys are coming from, and for the money we all shelled out for the shows, we did deserve guitars that were in tune, a non muddy sound, MORE DAVE SONGS, etc. It just seems to me that the band wasn't really tight early on, and ppl tend to forget about how long these guys had been out of it as a band. They just had to get their road legs back, and most importantly their chops back. Now every review I read is positive for the most part, and the band seems way more tighter then what they were earlier on. So when I read guys negative views on the VH shows from earlier on, I do understand cause we did pay alot of money, but I also see the flip side of the coin. In no way did I expect Eddie to be the Eddie of old after going thru all that he has. Did it bother me that he lit up a cig during the shows? No. It's his life not mine. I care about that guy, but it's his music that I care about most. What he does in his life is his business. I pretty much just let the music do the talking, and for the most part VH were unbelievably good when I saw them this summer.
 
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