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  1. #1
    Top Of The World
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    05.24.16 @ 04:02 AM
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    Default *** Pittsburgh Reviews ***

    Didn't see a thread posted so I started one.

    This was the 2nd show on tour I saw (Cleveland Oct 10th), I also have many of the DVD's from the tour including Philly, NJ, MSG, Chicago, and Cleveland. I know a lot of people have read the reviews so I'll just post the things that stood out from other shows I've saw and read about.

    1. Eddie was fighting a bad cold but he was in good spirits for the show. You could tell he was really stuffed up and fighting it all night.
    2. Eddie's playing was very good, he didn't improvise much at all and played most things note for note. Overal I rate his performance 2nd to only the Philly shows.
    3. Eddie played the new White Wolfgang for the majority of the night. He played a prototype Wolfgang with a non painted or finished quilted maple top for Jump. On one song he changed guitars and played a backup White Wolfgang that was pretty identical to his main one. The main one had a gouche in it above the pickups. The guy backstage told us that his guitars were going to be available starting January.
    4. Show wasn't sold out, to me it looked like 13,000 with a good number of seats in the front back rafters not sold. The sound was really loud, the vocals were a bit distorted.
    5. Roth was more like Diamond Dave for most of the show and less of a vegas act.
    6. They played crossroads during the break in everybody wants some (I think it was that song). Eddie was on fire with it, it was really amazing.
    7. Eddie came in too early during I'm the one. In came in during the last line of the chorus instead of after the chorus.
    8. We had the 5 star package and had 2nd row seats right in front of Eddie. The 5 star package was really lame. I coudn't believe that they couldn't put more of a food spread out. It was like they had $10 and went to the local gas station real quick. I had the 5 star in 2004 and it was so much better. This time no parking, no food basically, no T shirt in the giftbag and no sound check (which we knew about). If the band doesn't want interrputions during sound check they should at least offer the 5 stars to see the sound check at the back of the arena. They broke up the tour in 3 groups A,B, and C. The A group got to tour while sound check was still going on which sucked because I was in the B group. We could hear the band rehearshing all the way in the Igloo club. They sounded like they played at least 7 songs and Roth was doing sound check with them.
    9. Wolfgang had a little bit of a following. There a few teenage girls that were in the front row screaming for him, and in the arena there were a few I love wolfgang signs. His stage presence was a bit better than on the first leg.
    Wolfs got a bit of acne on his face.
    10. Ryan Shaw opened up, and the drummer for the band came out in the front row during Unchained and did this shtick with Roth. Roth said you'll get some leg for sure line". Wolf said Dave give the guy a break. Ryan Shaw was a bit strange. The lead singer looked like the guy from Living Colour and they were like a cross between a regee band and a blue's band.
    11. The crowd had more hotties in it than most shows on this tour from what I could tell, definetely more than Cleveland which had all guys. The show was still primarily 35 year old or older males with their children though.
    12. Eddie and Dave's interaction was better through the first 8 songs and then tappered off. They seemed like they had a blast together for the 1st part of the show and then didn't pay much attention to one another after that.

  2. #2
    Good Enough wip5150's Avatar
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    02.05.15 @ 11:19 AM
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    I hadn’t planned on going to see this tour for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that after I saw them on the last tour, I pretty much thought the days of the band as an entertaining and cohesive entity were done. But, as fate would have it, a person I work with in Pittsburgh had a box for the show so I gladly went.

    Due to the location of the box, we had a severe side view of the stage on what would normally be Ed’s side but it was still a good view. The opening act Ryan Shaw (I think) who provided some pleasant background music but little more. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, he played only five songs, two of which were covers – a butchered, “Let it Be” and another one (I can’t recall the title but I recognized it as some random hit from the late 70’s). Now, let’s get down to the show with some observations:

    • Solid and was into the show
    • Looked VERY old and his face is melting which was kind of creepy
    • Drum solo was fine but I am so weary of drum/guitar/bass solos I really could have done without it

    • He did a very good job playing the bass last night. From what I could see, he really has a handle on the instrument and laid a very good foundation for his Dad’s guitar work – especially on, “So This Is Love?”.
    • I was surprised with the amount of stage presence he had. I expected him to just sort of stand there like a giant lummox but he ran up the ramp behind Uncle Al a few times and even ran down the ramp once.
    • There was a very nice interplay between Ed and Wolf on, “Runnin’ With The Devil” and they both seemed to be having a great time.
    • I am NOT convinced that the background vocals are live – they are just too perfect for my liking. I’m not sure if they are using a harmonizer or just have the backing vocals piped in but the backing vocals were about as live as the synthesizer on, “Jump”.

    • His playing was spot-on and he looked very healthy
    • The stage setup is very odd with Ed’s pedal board RIGHT in front of Al’s drum kit. He was literally 15 feet away from the front of the stage. Due to this, Ed’s performance felt very “distant”. Like I said, his playing was spot on but it seemed like it was a sprint for him as he just wanted to get to the next song. I’m sure there’s a reason for his loitering with in a 5’ X 5’ imaginary box all night (his hearing perhaps?) but it was just odd
    • Short guitar solo with quite a bit of, “Cathedral”. Much better than when I saw him four years ago on the 2004 tour.
    • Ed sat on the drum riser during the solo for, “Ice Cream Man”. I don’t know why this struck me as odd, but it did.
    • Played two art series guitars: black and yellow during, “I’ll Wait” (hardly a guitar song) and a red, black and white one during, “Cradle”.
    • As I stated above, Ed had some nice moments with Wolf and he did look like a very proud father.

    • Dave was, well, Dave. Didn’t sing all the words but he never did so no issue there. As much as I think he’s a complete whack job, you have to hand it to him as he’s working his ass off to get the crowd into the show since Ed doesn’t seem to be interested or able to do that.
    • I could do without the flamboyant mariachi outfits but, again, that’s Dave.
    • Didn’t ride the microphone during, “Jump” which was a relief. He just sort of tossed it aside after dragging it around for a few seconds.

    In summary, it was a very solid show musically – every note was spot on and Dave did a great job. The sound was very muddy but that may have been due to the fact that the Igloo was built in the late 60’s. Even with the solid show, there’s something about this band that just feels so “off” right now. While Wolfgang did a fine job, I still feel like Mike should be there. I know he’s not but I do feel the dude is being robbed a little bit. As far as Ed is concerned, I think there’s a lot going on with his health that we don’t know about (and it’s not really our business anyway). For what it’s worth, I do hope he finds some peace, health and happiness.

    I’m glad I went but I’m also glad I didn’t have to shell out a single dime for the show. Having seen them so many times before, I would rate the overall experience somewhere in the middle. As I left the arena, I couldn’t get past the thought that I really believe I’ve seen Van Halen live for the final time. Thanks for a great ride boys!
    "There is a fine line between stupid and clever" - Nigel Tufnel

  3. #3
    5150 dropped-d's Avatar
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    10.20.16 @ 10:12 PM
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    My 2 bits

    I did the 5 star and I arrived late but I didn't miss much according to the other 5 stars. I did get backstage and "touch the hockey nets" which was cool for being a hockey fan (Go Pens!). We had a disappointing spread of food and liqueur but I did get free parking. I also won a hat and a shirt.

    I got to my seat (4th row, center) during Let it Be by Ryan the opener. I was expecting an Irish guy crooning country songs. Ryan is instead a black dude with long dyed blond hair who does 60's covers of Otis Reading, Beatles, etc. He did 4 covers and claimed that BET had one of his videos in rotation but this is hard to believe. Imagine a Black dude covering a white dude covering Otis Reading. I was surprised that he didn't close with "Shout".

    I enjoyed the vintage hip-hop between the sets - think Erik B. and Rakim - really 1984. I think the soul music opener and the vintage hip hop interlude really reminded me of the bands ability to take on and incorporate diverse influences.

    VH took the stage early at 8:45 and ended at 11:00. The openers of YRGM/I'm the One/RWTD all performed note for note but with passion and zeal. Perfect openers and brought a geriatric crowd back to the summer of '78 really quick.

    I was surprised that I enjoyed DTNA and Beautiful Girls as I usually skip these songs on cd. Biggest surprise of the night was me actually singing along.

    I believe that the background vocals were live and they were good. Although MA is the gold standard by which I judge all groups background vocals this was strong work. Sure a few flubs but what the hell - IT'S LIVE. Personally, I would rather see some imperfection than cold clinical precision.

    The monitor mix was muddy and Ed was not as upfront as I would have liked. The monitor mix did match Wolfie's, Ed's and Dave's singing and playing. I think that the conspiracy theory about piped in background vocals is because we all are shocked at how well these guys really do sing and compliment each other.

    AL - looks like a 50-some chain smoker. The dude looks his age or rather like he's been hanging around Keef. His drum solo was short but spot-on and the video behind it really added a psychedlic frenzy to it. Al is what he is and that's alright by me.

    Wolfie - outstanding "So this is Love"; Iconic pose for the opening of RWTD; a good singer in his own right. Shy but not as awkward as I had dreaded. He could have hammed it up a little bit more during Unchained.

    Ed - healthy although still smoking off to the side of the stage. Happy and it seemed real. Nice hug with Dave after Jump as they both knew that they had delivered the goods.

    I agree that the "Ice Cream Man" sit down was really strange because he was animated and note for note the entire night. Flu? Vertigo? I dunno. The only chink in his armor - at least we know he is mortal. Ed is the new slowhand as his playing is so economical yet brutally efficient. The real sign of a master like Muddy Waters or Eric Clapton is the ability to slay you with three notes. The "magic Bus" interlude was ok but the "crossroad's" was killer. The intro to Mean Street was sweeeet. I like the shortened solo - much better focused than the recent past.

    Dave- get me the number to this mf'ers personal trainer. Dude is cut like Stallone in the original Rambo's. He was Diamond - no Vegas here. I don't mind the hat's - just get rid of the inflatable microphone - too 1970's bisexual MicK Jagger. Best left in 1972. Dave's story before Ice Cream Man was almost Springsteenesque.

    Dave also added a rap about Pittsburgh about 6 lines long during Mean Street that was killer. Gotta get a bootleg.

    Setlist - Perfect until Little Dreamer - it almost killed the crowd and added nothing. I'll Wait is Dave's little ego trip and it was funny to watch Ed's sardonic smile like "there he goes" but instead of being too aggrivated he seemed to appreciate the humor in the situation. Maybe Ed really is sobering up. They brought out the vintage stuff unfamiliar to the fair weather fans and really kicked there ass with it.

    I can now die happy after having seen this "Hell Freezes Over"- type reunion. I also have a feeling that this is the last time I will see Ed. This is not my favorite Van Halen performance but it was magical.

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight chippertheripper's Avatar
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    08.03.15 @ 06:33 PM
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    Your review is spot on....I had a blast and can die happy,too.Dave was awesome without being pompus.I would have liked to see Ed come out on the ring, but understand if he didn't feel well.Wolfie made a believer out of me...mixing it up with Al and Dave...MA is missed,though.
    I had a 4 Star and glad I did, from what I read, the 5 star wasn't as good as 2004...the soundcheck is where its at (are you listening ILAA?) I was front row to the ring and it was awesome...well worth the price.
    I just hope the boys can keep it going ans give us another record....or at least release some classic concerts...
    It was an awesome show and if youre riding the fence....GO! You'll thank me later!
    "He gives good kids bad ideas" - Ed Rooney

  5. #5
    Romeo Delight PushComesToShove's Avatar
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    02.02.09 @ 09:07 AM
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    The last time I saw VH with DLR was at the Civic Arena in 1984. I have been following the tour and was worried about how good it was going to be. Well, it kicked ass! My wife attended the concert with me and was also happy with the performance. Just a few comments concerning the show:

    Eddie - I don’t think Eddie could have played any better than he did. I truly believe this is as good as it gets (BTW: it’s 2008 & Ed has been through some STUFF). Intro to Mean Street was killer & the solo was short and sweet. Ed is back & actually looks like he is at peace with himself.

    Al - Perfect

    Wolf - One lucky 17 year old. Great bass playing. Impressive talent...

    DLR – DLR (No negativity intended)

    The ugly: I’ll Wait & Jump (If they want to perform these tracks do them correctly <1984 TOUR STYLE>, otherwise shit can the piped synth crap).

    The obvious: These guys are in there 50's (- Wolf) and it's not 1979! If you want to hear DLR do his high chops, split jumps off the drum riser, or you miss Mike's backup vocals / bass solo's, or you want to hear Eddie play Spanish Fly or Cathedral (note for note)... Build a fucking time machine!
    "You've only got 12 notes and however you mix them up is your thing." - Eddie Van Halen

  6. #6
    Little Dreamer
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    05.01.08 @ 05:18 PM
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    Just got back from the Pittsburgh tour, and I agree that everyone seems to be right on with their comments. Maybe this has been discussed before, but we were curious about Ed's wedding band. Has he remarried?

  7. #7
    Little Dreamer vhfan_since_5thgrade's Avatar
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    05.25.12 @ 08:10 AM
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    According to People magazine, Ed and Janie exchanged promise rings recently. ( I think it said at Christmas time) Have no idea if that's the ring he's been wearing lately as I believe he was wearing a ring on the same finger last fall at the beginning of the tour.

  8. #8
    Romeo Delight
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    09.21.09 @ 06:28 PM
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    Default Bootleg?

    has anybody found the bootleg from this show?



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