Phoenix, AZ -- Thursday, August 5, 2004
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    Default Phoenix, AZ -- Thursday, August 5, 2004

    Five words: you missed a great show.

    The original concertgoer that was slated to go with me bailed out because he was sick over the last 3 days, so I met up with the drummer of my band. Our conversation went like this:

    Me: Hey, what are you doing tonight?
    Him: Uh...the chick wants to go to a movie. Why?
    Me: Wanted to know if you wanted to go to Van Halen...
    Him: I don't have a ticket.
    Me: You could...
    Him: How?
    Me: Say that you could go, and I have a ticket for you.
    Him: Shut up...
    Me: No. Let's go to Van Halen.
    Him: Hell yeah, bro!

    And it was on from there. We met up, then took off to a place called Alice Cooperstown, a sports bar and grill owned by the fellow native himself. Partaked of a few alcohol-treated lemonades, met up with a few of my boys that trekked up from Tucson, and hung. They took off around showtime to go check out Shoeshine, or whatever band was playing before VH. I hung with my man and we checked out the band that was playing at Coop's, etc. (the bassist in the band before these cats was a friend of my drummer's, so we hung and chatted it up).

    We make way to America West Arena across the street, and get in. Beer lines suck, and take forever. In turn, I missed the entry of the band on stage in Phoenix for the first time in 9 years, and almost all of "Jump". I was pissed at first, but when I thought about it, and as my man explained to me, I'm seeing them in Vegas in 24 hours, etc. so I got over it real quick (the beer helped that to go away as well )

    I'll save you the rehash of the setlist, as you can go to to see what has already been typed out. Pretty much spot on, and since I've been reading all of this, predictable. Who cares...this is VH.

    Minus what appeared to be about 400 seats not used in the rafts (though the post concert numbers say more?!?!), the place was jammed. Who says that Phoenix wouldn't fill it up? No technical issues, a spot of feedback here and there (like 2-3 total), and so on. Eddie played a tobacco burst Wolf (sans sustainer) all night, with the zebra cable (which he stepped on/got wrapped around his foot pedals a few times...justification to go wireless?!?!?!) and the alien signal antenna that holds his cable in place. He looked good, hair was down, and he was a rockin'. I caught him trying to sneak a Flying Eddie under my nose as I entered the arena after the super slow beer vendor got us taken care of. Boy was movin and shakin all nite long. Sammy was on top of it all, as was Michael Anthony; broke out the JD bass during his solo, and unlike previous shows, ran around on the stage and rings for a while, also doing the RHRN type "run the bass strings along the grill of the amp stacks behind him". Good stuff.

    Eddie really sounded so good, and I say that both as Superfan No. 99 of EVH, and overall. I am blessed that I had not seen something like what had happened in OKC, and I feel bad for those that did. My heart goes out to you. He hasn't lost a step, in my book. He had the obligatory EVH Art guitar for about 3 songs, the black and white one that you may have seen in pictures that has "W I N" spelled out in black on the top, etc. Also, the obligatory "I have no idea what the hell I'm doing...but I'm having fun" into the mic during his solo, as has been done in the past. The sounds of the arena chanting "Eddie, Eddie" ran friggin chills through my spine, and I actually did well up a little bit as he just stood there, taking it all in with that trademark EVH grin to the crowd. Man...the boy tore it up, nuff said.

    I thank Van Halen for a great show in what has always been one of their strongest markets, Phoenix, Arizona. This is a show that I will always remember, as the band was in top notch form tonight, and it couldnt have sounded any better. If indeed this IS the last time that they tour through Phoenix or EVER, it is a performance that I will remember for a long time to come.

    So now I walk away spent, tired, smelling like a gym sock from all of my sweating, and lacking a voice. But I'm ready to do it all over again in 20 hours in another town.

    Bring it on.

    ADDENDUM 08/18/2004: per, and advised of such per you good linkers, here was the numbers for said show reviewed. Seems that I was off in regards to the amount of empty seats. As quoted by a fellow linker (can't remember to give credit...Rebel? Cabot? Let me know, and I'll correct for credit!), "...though it wasn't a sell-out, I'm proud of my town. We gave the boys a good welcoming. They gave us a kick-ass show, too."

    Artist/ Event Van Halen, Shinedown
    Venue America West Arena
    City / State Phoenix, Ariz.
    Date Aug. 5, 2004
    Gross Sales $929,988
    Attendance 12,327
    Capacity 15,213
    Shows 1
    Sell-Outs 0
    Prices $82.50, $32.50
    Promoter Clear Channel Entertainment
    "We (the British) have hated the French for years. Now you (the United States) have just joined the club. It makes you much more likable."
    -- Simon Cowell (in an interview) on France

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    I saw this show also. I have to agree with you it was great. I will always remember it too.



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