February 14, 2008


Christmas on Valentines Day...a night with Van Halen and my Baby! Whew what a night!

This was actually my 2nd VH show, the first was them opening for the Rolling Stones at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando 10/24/81. We drove all the way up from Miami, for an amazing show. Stones were great, Van Halen was great, and the Henry Paul Band was pretty amazing too.
A few songs into that show, David Lee said (speaking to the press box down front)..."Do you know what the first thing the press here in town is going to write about this show in tomorrow's paper?...How F@#K'd UP VAN HALEN was! (the crowd cheers)...and you know what the second thing they are going to write is? HOW F@#K'd UP THE AUDIENCE WAS!! (the crowd goes nuts!) ...well, this one's for THE PRESS!" David the moon's the press box, and the band kicked into So this is Love? Awesome.
There were several other things I remember well about that show. Michael Anthony played the most incredible bass solo I've ever heard, and the Stone's stage went to the sides of the football field, then had runways that went down to the 20 yardline on either side, but the access to the was roped off by Mick. David Lee said screw that, and used the whole stage!

Below is a typical setlist for that Fair Warning tour in 1981
(The last two dates of the tour they were opening for the Stones in Orlando
- the last time VH would open the show for anyone!).

On Fire
Sinner's Swing!
Hear About It Later
So This is Love?
Jamie's Cryin'
Runnin' With The Devil
Dance the Night Away*
Sunday Afternoon in the Park
Romeo Delight
Everybody Wants Some!!
Ice Cream Man
Mean Street
Feel Your Love Tonight
I'm the One
You Really Got Me
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

Last night in Orlando was pretty damn amazing as well! The hardest rocking concert I'd seen in years! The band kicked things off with a very loud "You Really Got Me", and ripped right into vintage VH "I'm The One". By the third song "Runnin' With The Devil", I was not sure if I could handle the volume!...they sounded great, but my stomach was churning (possible from anticipation and lack of food because of it), but anyway, two more songs in was an amazing "Somebody Get Me me a doctor" and then "Beautiful Girls", as I was singing along I just had to laugh at myself..and started to chill!

The Guys looked and sounded great. The stage was kinda different, looking like a big S that rose over the drum kit in the back, and into the crowd in the front....David and Wolfgang used it to full advantage, mostly David. Full of energy as always, you could tell he was happier than a pig in shit to be fronting his band again! As it should be. Next to him, Eddie (and Valerie Bertinelli's) 16 year old son Wolfgang (playing bass) seemed to have the best time. Eddie even seemed to be fine sharing some mic time with Dave.
At the midway point Alex took a long (and excellent) drum solo. Sometimes drum solos seem old fashioned these days, but not when it's expertly handled and with much innovation as big brother Van Halen did.

At the hour and a half mark, the boys said good night, but I knew it wasn't over! As the lights were down we heard the strumming of an acoustic guitar, but ibn the shadows it didn't look like Eddie...could it be Dave? Yes! The lights came up, and he went into a rap about their old hometown Pasdena...stories of girl friends, black lights, beer kegs, early gigs and ice cream trucks. Telling of how he would always promise a young latin beauty that he would play her favorite song for her at the next show if she would only come home with him tonight! He then kicked into the opening licks of one of my all time fave's "Ice Cream Man"..and the band came out and kicked ass!

After a rockin' "Panama", it was Eddie's turn. He came out, bare chested, and sat at the edge of the stage and played a lengthy (and rippin') guitar solo that included "Women in Love" intro, "Cathedral", "Eruption". Wow! Jennifer, who's not usually keen on loud screaming guitars sat mesmerized as the camera man zoomed in on Eddie fingers & smiling face - beaming it up on the big screen. When he ended he pretty much got a standing ovation. Flawless! They kicked into "Ain't talking 'bout Love", and said good night again.

photos by Java John

When the band came back to wrap up the night, they played "1984" and "Jump"...not my favorite of VH songs, byut they were awesome last night....the mirror ball lite up, Dave grabbed a blow-up microphone twice his size, and enough confetti came down to blanket the place. Hell Yeah! What a great show.

I've only got a few pieces of advice for the band...turn it down just a few notches (lots of compliants for folks in certain part of the crowd. AND stay friendly with each other! This is THE Van Halen line-up, and the world would love to hear more NEW music...and see more tours. Maybe for his 18th birthday Eddie will give Wolfie his own solo!!

ORLANDO February 14th 2008 Setlist
(the tix were a great Christmas present - Thanks Bill!).
You Really Got Me
I'm the One
Runnin' With the Devil

Romeo Delight

Somebody Get Me a Doctor
Beautiful Girls
Dance the Night Away

Atomic Punk

Everybody Wants Some

So This Is Love?

Mean Street
Pretty Woman
Drum Solo


I'll Wait

And the Cradle Will
Hot for Teacher
Little Dreamer
Little Guitars
Jamie's Cryin'

Ice Cream Man


Guitar Solo

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love




Below are afew MP3 treats that I gathered for other blogs. Namely: Music Is Music, Rock Music Daily, and Here Comes The Flood. Check 'em out.

Hot For Teacher, LIVE 1984

VanH - HotForTeacher.mp3

You Really Got Me, LIVE 1978


LGrange(!), LIVE 1976



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