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Van Halen's Roth Reunion biggest rock disappointment?


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Was Van Halen's first show with DLR in 23 years rock's biggest disappointment?

NO FUCKING WAY!!!! IT KICKED MOTHERFUCKING ASS!!!!!!!!! I just got back... show was abut 5 hours ago, but it takes that long to get back home.

So, I live in Wilmington, which, in case you don't know, is a small seaside city in NC. It takes four or more hours to get to Charlotte. I was taking my mom for a 39th Birthday present. The trip there is one of the worst drives there are, just about, and it seemed to take FOREVER, and I was afraid that there would be traffic and we'd be late.

Nope, got there with time to spare. After a bunch of shenanigans finding parking, we grab the banners I made, the tickets, and I change into a shirt I made which was still drying in the back of the car on the way there. We walk toward the arena, and I had extra tickets that I had been trying desperately to get rid of. I sold them for practically nothing to a scalper who was going to turn around and sell them for more for a profit, but I just wanted to get inside. Oh well, it's enough for gas money to the Greensboro show tomorrow night, anyway. So I walk up to the line where they scan your ticket, metal-detect you, etc. "Is that a banner, young man?" "Yes." "Sorry, No banners allowed. Band's request." I was bummed, I worked really hard on them, and one was really cool, for Wolfie, and I thought he would really appreciate it. So I hid them in a bush to pick up after the show.

We get in, pick up some t-shirts (I wasn't too impressed with the t-shirt selection, to be quite honest with you... there were a few alright ones, but nothing WOW), and we go to the next line... the first ushers who will tell you which general section to go to... so we were admitted to the floor... then we hit the next ushers... one looks at my tickets and goes, "oh, follow me right this way, sir!" So we follow her. Now, I know I had good tickets. I had what was by all indications eighth row. However, I was scared that it meant the 8th row BEHIND the VIP section or something.... the usher keeps walking... and walking.... and walking... and every step, my jaw drops a little further, until she shows us our row, and I'm in shock. It was AMAZING! It wasn't even 8th row... it was FIFTH row! She says, "You're down at the end, up against the ramp." I seriously almost fainted. We had the best seats in the house, and I mean it. We were a foot from the ramp, only a little barrier between us and it, enough for a bouncer to sit there. Our seats were closer than many of the VIP's seats, and with a better view. We were completely unobstructed. Not only would they be sweating on us when they came out on the ramp, but the main stage was not far AT ALL and we had the perfect angle and distance so that the sound was mixed great and we could see all band members clearly at all times. I was on Wolfie's side, but if I had the same seats, but Eddie's side (mirror-imaged), it would not have been as good... I would not have been able to see Eddie clearly through the hands. So we had 5th row, but in many ways we had 1st row. There was nobody in front of us. The people in the VIP section had a lot of hands in their faces and it generally did NOT look as good as my seat! I was surprised at how many people in the VIP section were coming and going during the show... I wouldn't miss a minute... lots of people pissed drunk out of their minds, too, which I would NOT do, especially with VIP Expen$ive seats. But I guess if you're a rich asshole... Interestingly, I believe David Coverdale was in the VIP audience. Not 100% on that, but I really think it was him. There was a nice couple in front of us that got there 5 minutes after we did, and the look on their faces was priceless... she was so excited he had gotten her such great tickets she started gasping and jumping up and down and hugging him. I told the guy, "You'll get some leg tonight for sure!"

So Ky-Mani Marley starts, and I was scared of this part. I checked out his music online, and found it to be hip-hop with a Jamaican accent. Not this stuff though. This was reggae, even with a little hard rock mixed in. It was actually pretty decent, though nobody was paying attention. He did play one song by his famous father, Bob Marley. It was alright.

Then they left, and suddenly from the side of the stage, a couple of Van Halen blimps start flying out, and they flew around the arena for a while. It was pretty cool. The lights dimmed, and the place went absolutely fucking bananas. All the sudden, you see Eddie Van Halen out there in front, playing a little lick before starting the riff to You Really Got Me. The curtain in the back was still up, but it was then ripped off, to reveal a certain Diamond Dave at the top in back of the stage waving a giant red flag, and the place was just mad, especially me! I started taking pictures with my phone (not sure how they came out, but eventually the bouncer told me it wasn't allowed, so that was that... I wasn't going to chance being thrown out at THIS show! I will post those pictures after I get some sleep). It was amazing. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The whole, sold-out, packed-to-the-brims arena just going insane. You should have seen Eddie's smile but moreso DAVE'S. He was smiling so wide, I thought his lips would start to rip at the sides. In fact, he was literally on the verge of tears (if not out-and-out crying) by the middle of the second song (can't even remember what it was now), where he stopped the music for 3 or 4 minutes and everyone cheered their asses off. It was a very special moment. Then he said something like, "It only took us over 20 years to get to this point..." I seriously have never seen a man happier. DIAMOND DAVE of all people, for once in his life, was speechless. You could tell it was all really sinking in to him at that moment.

I'll go into more detail after some sleep, but I do want to mention a couple highlights (although the energy NEVER EVER slowed down! They kept playing great song after great song! I was not disappointed ONCE with the song choice, and Dave was usual Dave in top form, talking to the crowd and really playing off its energy).



2) One of those lucky guys on the ego ramp that Zint talked about in the other thread that was slapping Wolfie's hand was yours truly.

3) WOLFIE!!!!! The kid can play! The kid can sing! Seriously, and I mean this 100% honestly... I did not think of Michael Anthony ONCE during this show, not even for a half a second! Wolfie was just the man! He did GREAT! And I was surprised by how comfortable he was on stage! He interacted, thanked the crowd many times, had a spotless musical performance, ran around the stage, was enjoying the hell out of himself... the kid's great and he'll go places... he's still learning stuff about being on stage, sure, but he did one HELL of a fine job. He seemed like he fit right in, the right guy for Van Halen bass.

4) They played 1984 before Jump, and they had this cool disco ball type thing making it look like stars all over the arena... I mean... it looks much cooler in a huge arena than anywhere else. Dave also came back out with the flag and started waving it slowly to the music. Pretty psychadelic, actually.

5) Eddie and Dave were joking, together... and I mean REALLY JOKING, not staged stuff... they were cracking jokes to each other off the mic and slapping each other on the back and had GIGANTIC smiles the whole time.... these both are two different people than they were two or three years ago. I saw them both seperately then, and the difference is undescribable, and I enjoyed them 2 or 3 years ago! The chemistry is really there. I mean REALLY THERE. The magic is there, you HAVE to see it for yourself!

6) Dave literally sweated on me.

7) Dave told us this really really cool interesting story about the old days of playing backyards in Pasadena, leading up to playing Ice Cream Man. I won't ruin the story for those who are going to see the show themselves.

8) Eddie. The guy is back. His solo is truly inspired again, and he has that look in his eye and in his smile. You know the one. The "Yeah, that's right. I'm Eddie Fuckin' Van Halen." one. He was running around like crazy, jumping, Flying Eddies... he ran over to his son on the other side of the stage, slid across on his knees, and did one of those classic rock star poses there in front of him, only to slap Wolf on the ass, get up and Flying Eddie his was back to his side of the stage. In his solo, he dropped to the ground and started spinning around on his side, only to lay there at the end and blow smoke rings into the camera lens and give that sly smile. The real Eddie is here at last. So is the real Dave... THE REAL VAN HALEN IS HERE!!!!!!!

9) Jump. Dave came out on the ramp RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and hopped on this giant inflatable microphone and started straddling it and jumping it back up the ramp. Awesome. A REAL arena show! Inflatable crap, lasers, blimps, confetti... just plain awesome over-the-top stuff we all love Van Halen for. It's back, with a passion.

10) DAVE. Dave was ON FIRE!!!!! Not only did he move around like a nut, do his classic Rothisms. talk to us, etc., the guy can SING!!!!! I am not stretching the truth and inch when I tell you that he sounded JUST LIKE THE ALBUMS!!!! That is how good his voice is! Not only his singing voice, but AT LEAST a dozen times, he did his signature high yelp things DEAD ON EVERY TIME!!!! Dave is in top form. He wouldn't stop going crazy the whole show, yet he never was short of breath whatsoever. His singing was never compensated. The guy is really REALLY in shape. He's actually probably better than he ever was, and I'm not joking. THIS IS THE VAN HALEN TO SEE! THIS IS THE show to see!!! The show of a decade! Or more! Hands down the BEST show I've ever seen, or ever hope to see. Not only was it a historic rock show, it was a perfect one.

Ok, I need some sleep, but I'll add more in the morning (or likely the afternoon). I took work off to recover, so feel free to ask any questions. I'll post pics. Tomorrow night I'm going to the Greensboro show, so I'll also tell you how the second show was in comparison!

Let me just say this in conclusion: From what I saw today, I truly believe that this version of Van Halen will be the one that will stay with us until the end of the band. They will release new albums and tour. They really LOOKED like a "new band." I mean, the passion was REALLY THERE. There was NO BULLSHIT TONIGHT, PEOPLE! This was the REAL DEAL! You can't fake that type of passion and emotion that I experienced tonight. It just can't be done. This is the real Van Halen, and they know it. They were NOT bullshitting you AT ALL in the press conference. They delivered on every account, and I believe them when they say they are sticking together. I really believe it.

Edited by DirtyDeeds
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Great review. I'm planning on seeing them in November, ticket prices are ridiculous however.

It's worth it. I swear to God, it was worth every penny and then some. Besides, these days you won't find an arena act for much cheaper. Unfortunately, it's pretty much the going rate.

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if they come to Australia in any city i'm going to see them with my friend!!!!!

we both are Van Halen fanatics and would do anything to see them, we already got everything figured out if the go to melbourne and not brisbane

It is SO WORTH IT!!! Best damn fucking show I've ever seen! AMAZING! Someone said on a Roth forum I go on that "if VH has 1/3 the energy they did in Charlotte tonight when they play your city, you're in for a real treat!" I couldn't agree more! I can hardly wait for the Greensboro show now!

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I just wanted to say one more thing before I finally sleep (If I can, ears are ringing real bad... one LOUD MOTHERFUCKER OF A CONCERT!)

My background on my computer has been set for a week or two as a collage of the best pictures from that photographer that put his rehearsal photos online. I was SOOOOO excited when I saw these photos and I could FEEL the energy seeping through them.... I was about to log off of my computer, and I looked at them an extra second to remind me of what a great night I had, but I thought to myself, "These photos DO NOT do that band justice!" And it's true! These photos cannot even SLIGHTLY portray how awesome this show is and what these guys are doing now. These photos BLOW compared to what you'll see from even the worst seat if you go to a Van Halen show on this tour. And that's really saying something. Because I thought these pics were some of the most awesome ones I've seen.

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I wanna see 'em so bad now. Van Halen tunes get me pumped.

Do they only play Roth-era material, or do they scrape shit from Van Hagar as well?

No Van Hagar here! Only Roth tunes, brother. Unless you count "316" in Eddie's solo as a Sammy song, but all it is is Eddie, and Sammy has nothing to do with it, so I wouldn't count that. It's just a guitar solo.

Some of the BEST VAN HALEN songs, too... I'm the One, Atomic Punk, Little Guitars (Eddie played "Little Guitars" on a mini Frankenstrat, and Wolfie on a mini Frankenbass! It was awesome!), Romeo Delight, Little Dreamer, So this is Love..... all those great surprises and more... I didn't want to give them ALL away... AND of course all the stuff you should expect to hear at a Van Halen gig.

BEST ROCK SETLIST EVER! It seemed like they played everything, it really did. Yet still, it went by too fast. I wish it never ended.

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Man, your topic title about gave me a heart attack! I thought " Oh No, I hope i didn't just spend 300 bucks to watch bullshit!"

Glad it was a great time. Now I'm even more pumped about the St.Louis show.

How much are T Shirts? Can you post pics of any shirts you got? How long of a wait between Marley and VH?

Thanks for the review man. Between being excited for the VH show, and buying a new house I'm probably not going to sleep much in this next month,LOL.

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Tell me they didn't play Take Your Whisky Home. If you say they did, I may need to kick myself in the balls right now.

I'm afraid they did. It was about 5 songs into it.

NOT!!!! Haha! I made you kick your own balls!!!!!

Nah, they didn't play that one, but they played A LOT and the set makes the hardcore fan VERY HAPPY, I'll say that.

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Dude, awesome review!!!

Good to hear DLR and Eddie were in such good form, and seemed to genuinely get along. I was a little worried about that.

So you didn't miss MA at all? I know Wolfie seems like a good replacement, but still, I always liked him.

Have fun at the next show! Can't wait to see the pics.! ^_^

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Here come pics! These are not show pics... those are still on my phone and will come later. 2i8fxpv.jpgOh my! Is that EDDIE VAN HALEN?!?!! No! It’s just DirtyDeeds in his crazy mega-VH-fan attire!w2ovew.jpg23t2lpc.jpg207kml2.jpg15eg712.jpg30wnjo8.jpg55gr9l.jpgbit0dl.jpgThe t-shirt I made. Got LOTS of great comments on it at the show : ) 16h2i3r.jpg35arcba.jpgMy Eddie shoes I made.

Great review D.Deeds, I get to see them 1 month from today. Couple of questions:When did the confetti come down?Did Ed venture onto the ramp into the crowd?
Confetti came at Jump, which was the encore.Unfortunately, Eddie did NOT come out on the ramp. This is because he refuses to go wireless. He still uses a physical guitar cable, and that restricts him basically to the main part of the stage, though I think he could have come at least a littlel way out on the ramp.... probably didn't want to have somebody pull the cable and unplug him as he was out there.
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Holy shit!

You wrote all that after a 5 hour drive home??

Not too wired up are ya!!

You really encapsulated how the experience played out for you.You're enthusiasm is contagious!

Fucking brilliant review Deeds,you really captured the magic of the evening.

A magic that's been missing in rock for a while.

It's actually been revived.

It really actuslly has.

I'm pleased beyond belief!!

I'm so fucking looking forward to the Toronto gigs...I haven't been this excited about a concert in many many years.

It feels good..........damn good!

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You should have seen Eddie's smile but moreso DAVE'S. He was smiling so wide, I thought his lips would start to rip at the sides. In fact, he was literally on the verge of tears (if not out-and-out crying)

I'd be fucking smiling ear to ear too, if I just hit the damn lottery

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Shirts were $35, except if you are a size XXL or XXXL I think, then $40. The shirts were alright. Mine is actually pretty cool, but I have seen better. I might get another shirt at the Greensboro show for the hell of it... maybe this time the one with the classic logo real big on the front and in plain simple font "Van Halen Tour 2007" on the back.

And I think somebody asked how long between Marley and VH... It was about half an hour, I'd say. Marley has about 20 people in his band, so almost as soon as they got all their crap off stage, the guitar, bass, and drum techs quickly did a 1-minute check, then lights were out and show started.

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