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  1. #1
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:24 PM
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    Brett's Review From "Friends & Family" LA Gig - 02.08.12

    So for the second time in a week, I got to the see the Mighty Van Halen up close and personal. I pretty much can never see another Van Halen show again from a normal seat, I’ve been so spoiled the last week.

    So here’s my day and review.

    Left work around 2, because I wanted to make sure and get down there in plenty of time, I didn’t know how the format of this thing would be, or where we’d have to sit, or stand. So luckily our daughter gets out of school early on Wednesdays, and we took her to my parents again. Off we go.

    Get down to the Fabulous Forum (it will always be the Fabulous Forum to me), a tick after 5. Go up to the Will Call to get our tickets, no problems there. Always a good thing. So we walk over to line up. Jeff Hausman is already there like first in line, with his wife and friend Tony. Tony is a huge fan, had a lot of involvement with the Inside Magazine back in the day. Very nice guy and HUGELY knowledgeable about the band. So we wait in line until 6:30 and in we go.

    Basically we walked in, made a bee line down the stage and plopped ourselves right behind the barricade, front row dead center! I couldn’t believe we were able to get it, but we just got there so early we were able to do it. We stood right next to Jeff and his wife. The only thing separating us from the stage was the 5-foot photographer’s well. I tried to post and Tweet stuff, but the network connection in there was very hit and miss and I was having lots of trouble doing any of it. So that kind of made things hard, I wasn’t as lucky as some with my network connection. Finally got to meet one of the administrators from the Roth Army, Tony (VA Beach VH Fan), who traveled all the way from the East Coast to be at the show, and probably spent more time in the air than he did in LA. He’s another really nice guy, who also shatters all images of the Army, haha…sorry Tony. Got a pic with him and Jeff that hopefully I can get a hold of soon.

    Ran into Ross Hogarth again, you guys scare him by the way. He’s afraid of us, haha. I’ll talk to him about doing a Q&A, I haven’t given up yet on that, but he’s just figuring out how crazy this site can be, I think it was culture shock. He’s a super-nice guy. Also saw the great Shelly who made all this possible.

    So it started to fill up and get really crowded on the floor behind us, and then Kool and the Gang came out. There’s like 200 guys in that band or something. Anyway they were good I guess, I knew most of the songs. I wasn’t honestly paying that much attention, I was too busy just checking stuff out. I have never stood front row center stage for ANY concert, so I was just taking it all in.

    OK so KATG is done after about 45 minutes or so. They start tearing down the stage for VH. I see Alex has his full kit now, complete with gong and it looked like four kick drums. Ed and Wolf’s rigs looked the same as the show last week, just more of amps and cabs.

    So the band comes out, and Dave is pretty much right in front of me. Uh yeah to say that was a cool is an understatement. Seeing Van Halen from the front row?? It was a dream come true. Only issue I had really was frankly there were SO many people on the floor and we were right up against the barricade, it was almost a little claustrophobic in a way. But I certainly wasn’t going to let it affect me…duh!

    Eddie looked great, looked like he got a little haircut since last week. It actually looked a little better shorter. His playing was on fire all night, and the things I thought he struggled with last week, were gone this week. The begining of the “Ice Cream Man” solo was spot on this time, didn’t look like he was struggling at all with the stretch. He was just brilliant all night, and all with a huge smile on his face. He was definitely on his game, and even BETTER than last week, which was already stellar enough. The King of 10 Fingers and 6 Strings is definitely back.

    The highlight of the night for me was actually Eddie’s solo. And that may seem weird since we’ve all seen it a billion times before. But for me, I’ve never been 5-feet from Ed doing all that crazy stuff, and doing it at the level he is back at, unreal. It’s a lot different to witness it from miles away in the seats, the connection is so much different. And to see all those licks right in front of me was mind-blowing, especially for someone who picked up the guitar because of them. It was kind of like a religious experience, as corny as that sounds. The only negative was the freaking smoke machine that pretty much blinded all of us in the front. For a good two minutes you couldn’t even see through it to see the stage or Ed!! Straighten that out fellas!!! Even the security guards in front of were like WTF?!!?!

    Contrary to all these comments about Dave’s vocals not sounding great, I thought he actually sounded stronger than last week. He flubbed a few lines here and there, but for the most part I thought he sounded really good. Not sure exactly what all the complaints are about. Yes “Blood & Fire” wasn’t 100% perfect, neither was “China Town,” but how many times have they done those songs in front of an audience? Oh yeah, this was the first time!!! And Dave doesn’t stop moving the entire show, he still has that incredible showmanship and energy, even at 57. He literally never stops. A few times he preened right into my phone as he could tell I was recording him. I had a ball watching Dave all night, put a big smile on my face.

    Wolfgang was as solid as he was last week. Only flub I heard was he started the intro of RWTD a beat early. Not a big deal at all, but I was like, “Oops.” Vocally he’s doing quite well, and he’s carrying most of the harmonies on his own now, Ed doesn’t sing near as much as he did on the last tour, at least from what I’ve seen of the footage from the last tour of the same songs. Wolf can obviously more than hold his own vocally now. His playing is great, end of story. An amazing growth in just 5 years as I said last week.

    Again there’s nothing to say about Al except he NEVER screws up. That’s my mantra about Al. He’s a rock, he’s always a monster, and it was nice to see him back behind is full kit. He looked funny on those smaller kits. Always cool to see the gong too.

    So they play again a shortened set, clocking in at 1:09, and end it with “Jump” and about 10 trillion pieces of confetti blinding us from the ceiling. No conga dancers this time, haha. The band comes to the front, bows, and off they go. Over too fast!! But wow, what a special memory.

    So we’re hanging around on the floor after the show. I talked to Scott Patterson from the Atomic Punks and his buddy Dave who is around here from time to time. Cool dudes, I haven’t talked to Scott in years since when I used to work on their site. I saw Joe from the Punks was also there (pretty much right behind us), as was former singer and Steel Panther frontman Ralph Saenz, but I never saw him. Also another four or five people recognized me and came over. I didn’t know if they were going to hit me or hug me, but luckily they all just wanted to shake hands. Good thing because I can’t fight. It was really cool. And there were a hell of a lot more than 1,500 people there, I would venture 3,000-4,000 for sure.

    So then we noticed a group of people gathering near the dressing room door and turns out Wolfie was out there, meeting friends and taking pics. Well I definitely wanted to get a pic of him, and thought it would be cooler if a girl asked him for one. Plus my wife has never met any of the members of VH, so we went over there. Security made it hard to get close to him, but my wife was able to get in there, tell him she was from this site, which he seemed to know, and that we love the new album. She then asked for a picture. He was VERY nice and said “Sure,” and I took that blurry picture you saw on Twitter. I suck at pictures. But hey at least we got it. I shook Wolf’s hand, and that was pretty much it, there were tons of people around him, I could do little else. He’s a very genuinely nice kid, and he graciously signed autographs and took pictures with whomever came up to him. Dave, Ed, and Al never came out…no surprise as they’d have been mobbed if they did.

    Apparently there were a lot of famous people there, I didn’t see many though. But someone we were with took pictures with a ton of them. It was funny. People I know who were there…Slash, Duff McKagan, Jon Lovitz, Vivian Campbell, George Lynch, Steve Lukather, Bobby Blotzer (of Ratt), Charlie Sheen (yes he was there apparently), Miranda Cosgrove, the drummer from No Doubt (whatever his name is), Diane Lane, Valerie Bertinelli of course, Wendy Malick (other chick from her show, but no Betty White, haha), oh and Ron Jeremy…yes he was there. There were others but I’m so sleep deprived I just can’t remember right now.

    So after all of this, Jeff and his wife, his friend Tony, and my wife and I decided to go to the Rainbow Room for some food. Tourists! I hate Hollywood, but for them I drove them there, what the hell, we didn’t need to be home early. Actually met up with Brad Starks (remember him), and he chowed down with us too. Didn’t really have a chance to say much to him, it was like 1:30 AM, I was beat, and wasn’t that talkative by then. I was talked out. So after getting Jeff and his gang back to their hotel, we got home at like 3:45 AM. I got up and somehow went to work at 8:30. I’m pretty much a zombie, but again, couldn’t have been more worth it!

    Set List:

    You Really Got Me
    Runnin’ With The Devil
    She’s The Woman
    Somebody Get Me A Doctor
    Tattoo
    Everybody Wants Some!!
    Beautiful Girls
    Ice Cream Man
    ChinaTown
    Dance The Night Away
    Hot For Teacher
    Blood & Fire
    Eddie’s Guitar Solo
    Panama
    Jump

    I took video again, not as much as last time. The video is excellent again, but I had this drunk tool next to me singing over a lot of stuff, so you hear him too much. But the music does sound good, and for the most part the vocals you can hear the band. I’ll get some up tonight. My wife took pics, but a lot of them just seem grainy so we’ll see about getting some of them up. It’s a lot harder to do what you want when you’re getting slammed against the barricade and have absolutely no room to move.

    Ok that is all, thanks for reading.
    Webmaster
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  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing!
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    10.27.17 @ 06:31 PM
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    thanks Brett!

  3. #3
    Hot For Teacher J3FST1's Avatar
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    03.13.12 @ 08:20 AM
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    Cool thanks again
    JX4244Q

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight unchained85's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

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    03.01.17 @ 11:04 AM
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    Nice review. Congrats on all the well-deserved opportunities to see the band up close!

  5. #5
    Eruption
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    01.25.17 @ 04:18 AM
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    Great stuff! Thanks for posting and congrats!
    11-13-2007 MSG NY, NY
    12-28-2007 MGM Grand Las Vegas, Nevada
    12-30-2007 MGM Grand Las Vegas, Nevada
    5-13-2008 IZOD Arena East Rutherford , NJ
    5-23-2008 MSG NY, NY
    5-28-2008 Verizon Manchester, NH
    2-28-2012 MSG NY, NY
    3-01-2012 MSG NY, NY

  6. #6
    On Fire cdvh5150's Avatar
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    07.20.15 @ 05:47 PM
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    Brett you rock... thanks so much i glad y had amazing time....

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk stilleddiesangel's Avatar
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    Have a soft spot for F*U*C*K
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    Unchained/Mine All Mine
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    08.25.17 @ 05:45 PM
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    That was fantastic.. thanks again and congrats!! Your time has indeed come and it is about time too!
    ****Texas - Home Of My Heart****

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk Get The Show On The Road's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:56 PM
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    Nice write up Brett. I'm envious, being front row for VH at the Forum would be a dream come true for me! How's the old building doing? I haven't been there since I was a kid watching the showtime Lakers with my dad. Glad they didn't tear it down, my first concert was there (Metallica) and I have a lot of good memories of that place.
    Last edited by Get The Show On The Road; 02.09.12 at 03:13 PM.
    The only genre I really know is Van Halen.

  9. #9
    Romeo Delight shyboy's Avatar
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    03.12.17 @ 11:30 AM
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    Diane Lane was there ? Wow ! I wonder how she looked ?
    I'm guessing she's still a babe .

  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing!
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    10.27.17 @ 06:31 PM
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    From everything I'm hearing, and the pics I've seen, Eddie looks better than I can't even tell you, he just looks healthier than I've ever seen him I think.

    I'm so pumped for the show!!!!!

  11. #11
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:10 PM
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    Nice review u lucky bitch.

    Sent from my BlackBerry using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Unchained
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    10.19.13 @ 02:25 PM
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    Brett, all I can do is echo your assessment of the show. I stood in three places during the show (specifically to see how it sounded from different vantage points) and middle center, mid-balcony center, and stage right floor, all sounded identically good. The thing I keep coming back to is the ENERGY... more than just "having fun", the whole band feels like a wound spring, just waiting to let loose. With them being SO strong out of the gate, I expected the performance to flag at some point, but with the exception of the vocal issues on BAF, it was consistently strong, driving, powerful. I went in with memories of the 1984 tour, seeing them in Seattle, and thinking "that's the high water mark", but after last night i have to say... the guys may be older, Dave may not be able to do some of the vocal acrobatics of those years, but I think in all honesty they are BETTER because they seem much more "focused"... they hit the stage with the mission to rock your ass off and silence the doubters and naysayers. On the 1984 tour it felt more like "We are the biggest band in the WORLD, and we are here to PARTY and ROCK" so shit would slide here and there... a lot looser by comparison.

    Again, just my opinion, but dear god... I am SO thankful and feel so blessed to have been able to see the show last night. Really a wonderful experience.
    Ain't no school like the old school...
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 03:33 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by shyboy View Post
    Diane Lane was there ? Wow ! I wonder how she looked ?
    I'm guessing she's still a babe .
    Exactly what I was thinking, I would have been looking around for her immediately!
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

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  14. #14
    Sinner's Swing! 79th and Sunset's Avatar
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    Awesome review !!

    This whole new music release is just amazing. Cant say enough.


  15. #15
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    She was hot in the pic I saw.
    Webmaster
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    Tons of Van Halen!

 

 

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