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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    09.03.08 @ 07:34 AM
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    Oww! Woo!! Uhhhhhhhh!

    Got back a few hours ago from the David Lee Roth/Sammy Hagar show in Tampa and I'm still energized! The show was spectacular mostly thanks to Sammy, who tore the house down.

    The Ice Palace was mostly full save for the very upper seats and the far end bleachers and Roth opened. This was good because Roth tried gallantly but just couldn't create the energy. With guitarist Brian Young, who is an excellent Eddie-style impersonator who improvises a lot on his own, the band sounded alright but to my ear the mix was poor. I think the bass was turned up too much because sometimes I couldn't make out the guitar's leads or the solos from the rest of the noise. This was also a problem for Roth's vocals, when he sang them, which were sometimes hard to hear over the din. Wearing a golden suit and red neckerchief, Roth came out and did all his usual tricks, kicking and squiggling his butt around all over the stage, even doing his best 40-something split off the drums to close the show. One of the musical highlights was Young's own rendition of Eruption that he played by bringing both hands over top of the fretboard and literally playing the guitar like a keyboard! I don't think I've even seen Eddie do that one!

    Hey, it was great to finally see Dave live, but I was disappointed that he really doesn't sing half the songs, either leaving the main lyrics omitted or replaced with some sort of lame chit chat. When he does remember the words, he just sort of "says" them without singing. Clearly he has pretty much "lost" his voice. But people who've seen Roth over the years say even back in the day Roth wasn't all that much into singing the songs properly and he certainly did his best to look 25 out there on the stage. His set was all classic VH plus Yankee Rose from his solo career and some of the really old stuff was cool to hear live like I'm The One and So This Is Love? But again, Roth missed most of the lyrics so it was difficult to get energized. He also seemed to be rushing the songs, with barely 5 seconds in between each and the show just seeming rushed.

    After Roth played for 90 mins there was a 30 minute interlude to set up Hagar's stage and I was getting sleepy and starting to yawn. That disappeared as soon as Hagar took the stage. A huge curtain with a picture of his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas spanned the stage and was back-lit before he came out and then wiped away as Sammy was introduced.

    Beginning his set with Shaka Dooby off his most recent solo albumn, Sam's band and sound were instantly louder and tighter than Roth's imitation. Sam's guitarist is awesome and while he doesn't try to impersonate Eddie's solo licks, he mimics the general flow of them with his sort of creation and you know what, it sounds just kickin'!

    Then he went into Van Halen's "Runaround" followed by his own "Three Lock Box/One Way to Rock" and the crowed just started to get into more. Pointing our fingers in the air to "there's only ONE way..." started to unite the crowd and then it happened.

    The band starts going into "When It's Love" and Michael Anthony (Van Halen bassist) emerges on stage and the crowd just goes nuts! Sam and Mike put their backs together and it just starts looking like a Van Halen show and something just clicked inside me (and the crowd) that totally owned us. It was like magic, suddenly everyone was singing and doing the Van Halen hand sign in the air, and screaming at the top of our lungs!

    Mike stayed as the show became more and more energized with virtually half of Van Halen on stage jamming like the good old days: Top of the World, Right Now... it's just getting crazy! Then Vic (Sam's guitarist) strums the opening chords of "Best of Both Worlds" and Sam runs across the stage and yells "It's 5150 timeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!" and man o man was it all over! Sam owned us entirely. Sam and Mike and Vic all got together and strutted across the stage in the 5150 dance that they used to do with Eddie on the 5150 tour and in the video Live Without a Net video and I swear it was as if we were transported back to 1986! This was followed by Why Can't This Be Love, which the crowed absolutely loved because it's such a hugely popular song. People all around us were just jamming and dancing and it was crazy, dude!

    Then Sam picks up his guitar and starts strumming it while he tells the story of how he and Eddie wrote "Finish What Ya Started" late one night when they were living next to each other and you really get the vibe that Sammy looks upon his VH years with nothing but affection and the crowed went crazy when he did his famous "0 U 8 1 2!!!" line and then they pounded into a great rendition of the song with Vic on elec guitar and Sammy playing rhythm. Right before it started Sam talked about how he got in trouble with his wife that night because he had been at Eddie's all night writing and he joked about coming home in the morning and even made fun of Roth, reaching down to his crotch and saying "I reached down, b/w my legs, and eased the seat back..." (from Roth's Panama). Everyone loved that, hehe!

    Then Mikey departed the stage and Sam went into a half acoustic/half-electric version of Eagles Fly. This was accompanied by video on the big screen behind the stage of a bird's eye flight over mountains and such, interspersed with Sam playing live. This was much better than Dave's video stuff, which would show some pre-recorded "Dave silliness" during songs and would distract you from the live performance.

    Anyway, Sam did Hot, Sweet and Sticky from his Montrose days, Can't Drive 55, and then closed with a great performance of Mas Tequila... the party song of his second-to-last solo album. By this time everybody was just so into the show that we were all raising our hands to the "one shot... two shots... three shots...!" and then at the end a giant tequila bottle came down over the stage, Sammy smashed it with his guitar and out flew a spectacular flash of confetti into the audience almost like fireworks, it was just great!!

    For the encore Hagar played his solo hit Heavy Metal and the sound was just so good. The guitar, everything. Sam's voice throughout the whole show is just amazing and puts Roth to shame. Sam sings EVERY WORD of the songs and does it with huge passion. He holds notes and pulls off spectacular "shrieks" with his killer vocals and they come through loud so you can hear them perfectly. Then Mike came back on the stage for a Van Halen finale of "Dreams" and by this time I was doing the pogo and had lost my voice and was flinging the Van Halen hand sign in the air the whole time. Vic did a really good Eddie-imitation of the Dreams solo and it was just magic!! It was like Van Halen but not, LOL.

    Sam basically proved that he can command an audience and that Ed and Al should beg him to come back to the band. His voice is spectacular at 55 and he puts on a great show with care to the songs and passion in his voice. Seeing him and Mikey on stage again was just amazing and what I wouldn't give to hear new VH music with Sam and more tours with the boys!
    -Steve Krutzler

  2. #2
    Romeo Delight
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    09.03.08 @ 07:34 AM
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    BTW--I put some of the "explanatory" stuff in here because I posted this review at my own non-Halen web site... hope it wasn't annoying!
    -Steve Krutzler

  3. #3
    Little Dreamer
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    geez man, are you a Hagar fan or what???longest one sided review i have ever read!!!
    at least Dave was there !!!hope that continues to happen foa a little longer....!!!
    i used to have a drug problem,but now i can afford em'...D.l.R<br /><br />let me tell you about dinosaurs....Rick Johnson/creem mag./ review of vh1

  4. #4
    Top Of The World
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Originally posted by SteveKrutzler:
    ...great to finally see Dave live, but I was disappointed that he really doesn't sing half the songs, either leaving the main lyrics omitted or replaced with some sort of lame chit chat. When he does remember the words, he just sort of "says" them without singing.
    Steve: That's Dave!! Always has been. Always will be.

    BTW - Great review.
    LightBulb5150<br />I bring things to light.

  5. #5
    Romeo Delight
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    09.03.08 @ 07:34 AM
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    One-sided? I knew someone would say that. It's just my honest impressions of the show. Even people around me were saying Dave sucked compared to Hagar. All I can say is what happened at the show and I can tell you that while it was great to see Dave, he didn't put on near as energetic or professional a show as Hagar. I like both lead singers just as well -- Dave is AWESOME in the recordings, even his new songs on the Best Of. But even most of the concert reviews here have agreed that Sam does a much better show.

    I will admit, however, that the addition of Mikey to Sam's show really gives Sam an edge. I mean, it's like you're watching VH when you see both Sam and Mike up there jammin' together!
    -Steve Krutzler

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight
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    09.03.08 @ 07:34 AM
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    Additionally, even with Mike, I must say that doesn't excuse the fact that Dave doesn't sing half his songs or that his band's sound mix didn't sound good. Maybe Roth diehards will say "that's just Dave so you can't fault him for that" but whatever. His show was cool, it was great to see the moves, but his vocal ability and performance just DID NOT move the crowd like Hagar did.
    -Steve Krutzler

  7. #7
    Little Dreamer
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I have learned one thing about these "reviews". Most reviewers are biased towards one singer or the other, so they feel compelled to review the show in a light so they can prove "my singer kicked that other singers f#@(ing ass". People that do this, ignoring the crowd reaction and show put on are buttheads (cough steve uncough).

    I was there, and this is how it was - They BOTH rocked.

    Dave - When he walked on, the whole place went ballistic. The crowd let Dave know they loved him in no uncertain terms. I really have to hand it to Dave - his voice was on the money, Brian was the second best thing to Ed live (maybe even better - he captured the recorded VH vibe perfectly, and he wasn't at home on the sofa). I didn't see anyone sit down, or leave at all at any time during his set. I've seen quite a few "Dave is shot" posts around so I was prepared for the worst. But...he opened, and he rocked the house. Fantasically performed VH songs beat me into sonic submission. I was floored. After I was done I went to get a beer in a daze, half deaf from the screaming crowd, feeling like I'd had sex with the whole Swedish bikini swim team. The only things I can say negatively is that Dave looks older than Sam, and occasionally he would speak the words rather than sing them. But honestly, this did *not* affect the songs, or the vibe. He rocked, and his band was INCREDIBLE. He was a lot more animated than people have reviewed him as, had me laughing my ass off multiple times with his witty comments, and exuded the Mojo, baby!

    Sam - That curtain dropped and then everyone around me lit up a doobie lol. Dave must be a really hard act to follow, I was thinking it must truly suck trying to top those great VH tunes. He started with solo/montrose stuff and got a lukewarm reaction (starting the show with it was a bad idea i think). But thankfully he went into his VH era stuff which rocked. My only gripe here is that his guitarist really couldn't capture those trademark EVH solos. As a guitarist, and after seeing Brian first, there was no comparision - he sounded like just another bar band guy improvising. I'm not saying he should have done them note for note, but he couldn't imitate the "feel" of them. Mikey on stage helped pump everyone up, but something was wrong with the mix - I couldn't really tell a difference between Mike and Mona's backgrounds lol. Very dissapointing, as I really think Mikey's vocals were the glue on both Sam and Dave era VH music. Seeing Mikey again was great, and he obviously is great friends with hagar. Apparently Sam has never read (or cared about) the first leg tour reviews - when Sam did eagles fly, 1/3 of the arena went to get more pizza and beer, and remained sitting for the next non- Van Halen song. It put a clutch on the excitement. But he does know how to win the crowd, and he really knew how to project that - pulling out I can't drive 55 got everyone back on thier feet. Sam put on a great show, being the reknowed party animal he is.

    I think I'm in the 5% of VH fans who like both eras. They are the only ones who can see both sides of the coin. So, I ended up with 50% more of my ticket investment than those poor unfortunates. You HAVE TO SEE THIS SHOW IF YOU HAVE ANY INTEREST IN REAL ROCK AND ROLL!!!!!

    I must say, Dave won in my eyes, but that's probably because I favor the early VH material. He's got the mojo, and still has the voice. The incredible interlude in the middle of Pretty Woman, where Dave was singing/crooning/and hitting the high notes with Brians guitar playing and then they launched into a bluesly jam session for a time proved that to me. My wife, who is a Bon Jovi fan (lol), said "Dave kicked Sam's ass - Sammy used way too many props (pinyata, bleachers, jester hat, funky mexican stage setup, stripper girls, Mikey, the intro video, etc). He's nothing but a chubby Tequila salesman. He must be insecure" LOL! I had to defend him, as I thought it wasn't really that bad (I liked the girls [img]tongue.gif[/img] ). She now loves Dave, and I haven't actually seen her since last night....hmm.

    Ed- He was the shadow on the show, and I kept thinking what it would have been like with him up there with either/or both of them last night. Ed is my all time guitar hero, but after being such an ass for so long, I really think Both Hagar and Roth should go on without him. Roth and Hagar didn't miss you much last night old boy.

    Alex- Er does anyone really care? I'd be afraid the guy was going to mug me lol. ;P

  8. #8
    Little Dreamer
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    OK, I feel like I have to post an "unbiased" review of last nights show in Tampa. I won't go through all of the stupid details like set lists and how many high kicks DLR could make. What I will say is that I got my money's worth out of both performers. I've seen both Sammy and Dave in a couple of different settings prior to this show, so I had a benchmark as far as what I expected.

    To preface my review, I will say that I am partial to DLR VH. I like Sammy's solo efforts, but never felt like Sammy added that immortal sound to VH. The music was always good, but never legendary (IMO).

    That being said, here's my take on this show. Dave started the show with a bang. It was weird because I was looking at the stage and then looked away for a second and BAM...the band is on stage playing Hot For Teacher (good way to start the show...love the song). It was like they came from nowhere. Dave did his usual antics all through the show. I don't really know why people keep saying that he's lost his voice. His voice sounded fine to me. He's never been much of a singer anyway, so I'm not sure what people expect from him. I have to admit though that the sound was poorly done. Not mixed very well at all, with too much bass and vocals/guitar too low. Dave messed up a few lyrics here and there, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the last post that I read. That kind of stuff happens all the time...Dave improvises...what's the big f...ng deal folks! It's never gonna sound like it does on your CD. The people around me were getting into the show pretty well. We're all a little older now, so its not like we get into like we did in the 80's, but most people I saw were singing and dancing with most of the songs. You have to remember that most of the songs played never hit the radio much, if at all. Alot of people don't know "So This Is Love" like they do "Jump" or "Panama". Dave seemed to be genuinely enjoying himself and just being Dave. His band was very competent. I can't say much more than that. Technically speaking, they did everything right. I can't say they were inspiring though. The guitarist did a pretty good job with the music without coming off like a total imitation. The problem is that these guys are just hired hands. Its not like a real band with the kind of dynamics that a real band has. That was the missing link in my opinion.

    Sammy of course came on after a brief interlude. His show was very different from Dave's. It was much more of a casual, party atmosphere. The sound was mixed much better. I have to say at the risk of sounding old...it was a bit loud at times. The vocals would sometimes hit a level a little uncomfortable to the ears. I could have seen those down just a little bit, but that is really a minor infraction. Sammy played all the hits, solo and VH. His band is very tight and seem to really enjoy themselves. There seems to be alot of comraderie there. Even when Michael Anthony came out, they seemed to accept his "guest" appearance as just another member of the band. I have to give props to the bassist for letting Mike step into her role for nearly half the show. Its good to see the band is comfortable in that situation and are able to keep their egos in check. I don't agree with the earlier comments that the crowd was so much more into it for Sammy. Crowd participation didn't seem that much different between the two acts. There might have been a slight edge to Sammy because of reasons I will mention later.

    Again, I don't feel it necessary to talk about each song and what every one sounded like. I read several reviews of prior shows before I went to this one and they made me skeptical of whether I would enjoy the show. I've been disappointed that everyone has been so hard on DLR. I was very concerned that his end of the show wouldn't hold up because of many of the things I read here. I'm glad that I was pleasantly surprised.

    Anyway, who wins the battle of the EX's? I have to admit, even as a huge DLR fan, Sammy takes the prize on this one. But its not all Dave's fault. Technically speaking, I think both acts met the challenge. Except for a little mixing shortages, DLR's band hit all the right notes and played flawlessly, while Dave did Dave and sounded very good doing it. He seemed to be enjoying the experience and really put out that energy. Sammy and his band really did the same thing. They hammered out all the songs just like they should be played.

    The difference you ask? Like I mentioned before, DLR's band seems to be the hired hands. There's not the band atmosphere like it used to be with VH. Its just the Diamond Dave show. I don't think that's his fault necessarily...just the way it works out with the situation. Sammy has a band. They work together well and seem to play together well too. That energy just seems to come out to the crowd. That gives Sammy a slight edge in the entertainment factor. He mingled with the audience and especially with the on-stage guests in the bleachers behind the stage. That was very cool.

    Honestly, these 2 performers have such a different way of getting their music across, its really hard to compare them. I believe Dave needs to build some sort of relationship with his bandmates and that will help in his performance and how it comes across to the audience. Sammy sounds as good as he ever has and really doesn't seem to have any reason to ever get back with VH. He is a great live performer.

    All in all, this was a great show!

    Tim C.

  9. #9
    Romeo Delight
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    09.03.08 @ 07:34 AM
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    Everyone seems to be accusing me of going in partial to Sammy, which just isn't true. I love Dave-era stuff as much as anybody. Perhaps I was disappointed because this was the first time I had seen Dave live and I was under the impression that the singer is supposed to sing the songs. I cannot honestly say I recall one time when Dave really gave a vocal workout. Reading other reviews, maybe he was tired from the Palm Beach show because those people say he pulled off lots of vocals. But the mix was also poor and I couldn't hardly even hear Dave half the time, and as others have said, Young's guitar was muffled by the cacophony of the bass and drums so it was hard to hear him pulling off Ed's licks and improvising his own. So I admit, Dave may have sounded better if the sound mix had been better.

    The main example for me was Yankee Rose. Great song, one of the better sounding ones of the night with the guitar really sounding like the record and doing some improvisation of its own. I can hardly recall Dave singing "I'm talking 'bout the Yankee Rose!" once during the song! It's like we're all waiting for it and then he just goes dea when you expect it to come. Maybe that's just Dave and I shouldn't hold it against him, but for me, the enjoyment is in hearing the music I love belted out with a live flavor, and I have to say Sammy's show did that way better. I'm not talking about just mimicking the records, but the vocals are what get you into the show and Dave just wasn't delivering them last night.

    Brian Young was great and as a guitarist I was floored when he played his guitar with two hands over the fretboard like a keyboard... has Ed ever done that?

    Anyway, my review was not to prove anything about Sammy or to diss Dave. It's just an accurate reflection of my impression of the show and how each one made me feel and how I interpreted the audience around me. I think it's impossible for anyone to truly put forth such thing as an "unbiased review" or to have the same feeling from a show like this. It's a visceral experience, maybe the way I was energized is different from how others were. Does that mean I like Sammy over Dave? No. Both singers are very different and brought very different flavors to Van Halen. I wish I could go see more shows so I could get a better impression of Roth since I was underwhelmed so much by last night's.
    -Steve Krutzler

  10. #10
    Little Dreamer
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Well, you are right about Yankee Rose. I love that song and it sounded horrible. The mix seemed to just worsen for that song. I couldn't hardly hear dave or the guitar. That was the worst song of the night for DLR.

    I'm still not sure what you mean about not singing half the songs. What I heard was a pretty accurate live impression of what is on the CDs. With a better sound mix, I think it would have sounded much better, but it seemed to me that Dave didn't give a subpar vocal performance. It just differs so much from Sammy's singing style that it is really difficult to compare.

    Tim C.

  11. #11
    Little Dreamer
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    This is my first post on this forum, but I have been a lurker for awhile. My wife and I went to lastnights show in Tampa with two completely different expectations. She is a huge Sammy fan. I enjoy Sammy but always held a soft spot for the Dave era. At the start of Daves 2nd song some dude threw a cd on stage and Dave pulled his "I saw your girlfriend back stage..." bit. My wife kept asking me how old Dave was , because he looks like hell for late 40's. In between songs he is side stage smoking cigs. As the show continued my excitiment grew to pitty. The only people I saw on their feet the whole time for Dave were those on the floor and thats beacuse if the sat they couldnt see. For the song where Daves range was shot the sound mix had the band overpower his vocals. His trademark screetches were week and personally I found the whole karate bit a tad lame. To verify what was posted earlier people all around me were laughing at Dave. Las Vegas and Loung act were used. They were happy to hear the old songs, but beyond nostalgia Dave has nothing left to offer. Dave closed good and salvaged a horrendous start, but all in all was a let down.

    Sammy came out and rocked as expected. I can honestly say he sounds as good as he did 15 years ago. Mikey coming on stage was big rise. He simply held the crowd far above that which Dave attempted. It was just a good time and you didnt have time to think about how tired you were or how bad your ears were ringing.

    My views on the Dave vs. Sammy era havent changed, but any enthusiasm I help for Dave and VH reunion are all gone. Get back with Sammy or call it quits.

    P.S. It is a MUST SEE show for both fans.

  12. #12
    Eruption Executionor's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:24 PM
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    Great reviews guys. I am so envious of you all that get to go. I missed the KC show because of low fundage. It sounds like Dave needs desparately to find a great sound technician. Are they that hard to find good ones?
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  13. #13
    Sinner's Swing!
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    01.10.09 @ 01:07 PM
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    FUCKKKKKKKK FUCKIN FUCK SHIT FUCK THEY FUCKING SWITCHED THE SET CLOSER AGAIN!!!! FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!!

    Dave was supposed to clse tonight according to redrocker.com and if they keep this shit up, Dave will open the goddamnedtwo shows I am goin to on 8/17 and 8/20 FUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!
    this really really pisses me off...

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 12:13 PM
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    Hmmm, this is a borderline post, since I wasn't at the show. BUT, I talked my brother into going to it, and talked to him first thing this morning and got a full review, since I'm not seeing them until the 28th. He had 11th row floor seats.

    He is a big Ed fan, more so than either singer. He hates schtick, he likes to hear somebody with a good voice sing the damn songs. He summed it up by saying Sam is still in his vocal prime, Dave is not. I'm going to do the rest first person, to avoid repeatedly saying "he said":

    Dave looks great, jumps around, washboard abs, etc., but, like others reported in this thread, that the mix was real bad, he couldn't hear the voice, and that Dave didn't sing a lot of it, but spoke the words. It almost seemed like Dave was trying to save his voice, which may be right on. When Dave did the beginning of Ice Cream Man with the accoustic guitar, the voice was very good, so it's there. Brian is simply not Ed, and tries too hard to be Ed, but can't. Good guitarist, but nowhere near Ed. Thought the set was actually too loud. Overall, though, thought it was a very good show.

    Sammy blew the roof off the place. Voice was great, clear, strong. MA was awesome (my brother never saw VH live either), was a real high point. Very rockin, and kept the place hopping. Vic not a great guitarist at all, but didn't try to be Ed, so pulled it off okay. Thought it was a great show.

    I think he liked the content of Dave's set better, but didn't like the quality of the overall sound, including the mix and the performance. He gave Sam the edge, but had a real good time with both. He was glad I talked him into it. Which as an aside is cool, since my first taste of VH came in his car when he bought Diver Down back when it was released.

    Also, as an aside, he was right next to a guy who also saw them in Cleveland, and talked to him about Dave's show. Was that any of you?

  15. #15
    Good Enough wip5150's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

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    Donor

    Originally posted by SteveKrutzler:

    Brian Young was great and as a guitarist I was floored when he played his guitar with two hands over the fretboard like a keyboard... has Ed ever done that?
    Steve,

    I'm not goint to discuss your review for fear that tomatoes might start flying in my direction. I did, however, want to answer the question above even though this is a review thread. Ed has done that before. In 1984 he actually had a plexiglass stand that attached to the backside of his guitar, propping it up like a keyboard. I actually had a poster of it - very cool. I saw DLR's hired gun at the Dallas Sam/Dave show and he did the same thing. Pretty cool stuff.
    "There is a fine line between stupid and clever" - Nigel Tufnel

 

 

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