Why Jerry Garcia wouldn't "seriously" listen to Eddie Van Halen - Page 4
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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Oh man, you really wanted to go there? Lol. Well I’ve got quite a list. And I don’t hate the album. It’s just not anything that I really find the need to listen to it very much.

    1. HATE HATE Ed’s buzzsaw tone.
    2. Hate the distorted bass. Makes for a muddy mix. Not a fan of Wolf overplaying in some places.
    3. Drums sound muffled and lousy.
    4. The brickwalled production.
    5. The fact that the songwriting was non-existent, as they chose to go with so many of the songs from the early demo.
    6. The lack of Mike’s background vocals, which would’ve helped a lot of the songs. The backing vocals just aren’t very good and not VH enough.
    7. Not a fan of any of the redone demos. The only one that is decent is She’s The Woman because they didn’t change it too much. Although I think the bridge that Wolf came up with to replace the Mean Street break is very generic, and is almost a bad version of the original.
    8. The vocals are pretty rough. I can get past it because it’s cool to hear Dave on an album again, but he’s straining all over the place.
    9. The fact that you can hear that it wasn’t really a band effort. The Van Halens do their thing and then Dave does his, separately. You can tell it’s pretty disjointed. It doesn’t sound like a band. At least I feel that way.

    Not trying to be a big downer. Just being honest. Like I said, I don’t hate the album. It’s just not one that I go and grab that often.
    You forgot:

    10. Some sub-par lyrics from Dave with 1800 this and that, Facebook page, etc. Some good lyrics too, but overall, the quality of the lyrics was also less good than on 1984, for example.
    Little Dreamer

  2. #47
    Shalom to the dome, homie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Thereís lots of bands on here I have said suck.
    This one comes to mind!


  3. #48
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    The Cells Halloween Party on Rexwood early 90's? They played GD tunes in the cellar that night. Great times. I'm Dark Man.


  4. #49
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  5. #50
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  6. #51
    IT'S 5150 TIME!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    There's a VH-Dead connection with Sammy and Bob Weir/Mickey Hart. San Francisco buddies.
    Sam and Bob have houses in Marin County close to each other. They hang out and both play at each other's shows. Micky is a friend and part of Marching to Mars. I know you know all this stuff.
    <VH>

    "I'm not like this because I'm in Van Halen. I'm in Van Halen because I'm like this."

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave not David View Post
    I started REALLY getting into the Dead about two years ago. Did wonders for my guitar playing, too.

    If anyone is looking to give the Dead a listen, I can try and recommend a specific era or show that best fits existing listening interests.
    I often recommend '77...or '72...
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

  8. #53
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    Post RIKK's VERY long reply to BRETT's list... (I love talking Van Halen!!)

    ** PLEASE BEAR WITH ME HERE...MINE IS A VERY LONG REPLY. (I took your list to heart and wanted to give my full, unadulterated reactions to your thoughts.) **

    Ha, I put you on the spot!

    It's no worry, brother. Very interesting to read.

    With all the flaws, I enjoy Van Halen's final LP a lot. They made some serious production mistakes. And Michael Anthony being there would have fixed a LOT of the issues. But it's really cool to discuss what works and does NOT work on...gulp...Van Halen's final LP ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Oh man, you really wanted to go there? Lol. Well Iíve got quite a list. And I donít hate the album. Itís just not anything that I really find the need to listen to it very much.
    I hear you, buddy. I am sure there are a lot of people who love FOR UNLAWFUL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE on this site. I have to admit, I actually inducted that whole album into the Sheep Pen at one point. (F.U.C.K. is my least-favorite VH album ever, though I admittedly like one song quite a bit: PLEASURE DOME.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    1. HATE HATE Edís buzzsaw tone.
    K, I will admit that I don't follow you on this one. I really like Ed's sound on most of the tracks on the LP. I'm presuming he's using a Wolfgang guitar on everything here? (That said, my favorite Ed sound, I s'pose, will always be his tone on 1984...on songs like DROP DEAD LEGS, or the Ripley sound of TOP JIMMY...same guitar used in ADKOT's BLOOD AND FIRE.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    2. Hate the distorted bass. Makes for a muddy mix. Not a fan of Wolf overplaying in some places.
    While I do think Wolfie plays well on the album and I like most of what he does, I AGREE with you on this point. Losing that simple center that Mikey provided, with simple, repetitive bass lines, makes the album overcooked. Wolfie TOTALLY overplays. Wolfie was bragging in some recent interview about the fact that he doubles what Ed is playing on the CHINA TOWN intro. I love that intro, but I'd be fine with it JUST being played on guitar. It does NOT need to be doubled on the bass...and it truly feels like he's showing off, doesn't it?

    And yes, Wolfie's bass is freaking distorted at certain points in the album...losing that classic Van Halen sound. It is NOT the bass sound of FAIR WARNING (which I believe is the only Van Halen album for which Mikey uses a pick).

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    3. Drums sound muffled and lousy.
    There are some songs with a nice, big drum sound, like AS IS. But I miss that edgy, brown sound on the drums on some of ADKOT's songs. While I think most of the songs on an album like BALANCE are really sub-par, I will admit that Alex has a really good drum sound on that album. A lot of fans hate Al's electronic drum sound on 1984, but I actually really like it (it was my first VH album...I was 8). And I do wish ADKOT had that ol' production sound...I wish the drums sounded like FAIR WARNING or WACF...or even the drum sound of some of the 1990s Van Halen material.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    4. The brickwalled production.
    Absolutely, Brett. This is, to me, the weakest thing about the album. I really do love ADKOT...but I CANNOT STAND that "modern" compressed, brickwalled sound. They really should have gone for more of an old-school production sound. Don't you agree with me that great Van Halen albums (e.g. VAN HALEN II) always had...room-to-breathe? There is NO room-to-breathe on ADKOT. There's just too much going on, mix-wise...and it's looking to win the pointless, misguided loudness wars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    5. The fact that the songwriting was non-existent, as they chose to go with so many of the songs from the early demo.
    I've gotta admit, this does NOT bother me. When I got the early demos in 1996, I remember thinking to myself: "If they EVER manage to reunite with Dave again, they should use these early songs as the starting point for a new album." I like that they started with instrumental pieces (and some of the vocal ideas) from songs like SHE'S THE WOMAN (that was the first standout to me when I got the demos in '96), LET'S GET ROCKIN' (one of two absolute favorites of the demos for me) and PUT OUT THE LIGHTS (my other favorite of the old demos), plus pieces from 1984 sessions, like RIPLEY. I know a lot of people bitch about TATTOO. Well, I like DOWN IN FLAMES. When I first heard TATTOO, my wife was like, "There's a new VH song with Dave...and you don't like it?" And I was like, "No, not really." But it grew on me. I like that the album starts with something...different. Song grew on me. (Very mid-80s-sounding keyboards on TATTOO...apparently played by Dave, not Eddie or Wolf.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    6. The lack of Mikeís background vocals, which wouldíve helped a lot of the songs. The backing vocals just arenít very good and not VH enough.
    OK, here's another point for which we ARE in agreement. I miss Mikey's background vocals on the album. I loved the band's 2007-2008, 2012-2013 and 2015 tours. I think Wolfie's background vocals were fine. BUT...they were NOT Mikey's backing vocals. And that is a key part of Van Halen's sound. Let's be honest here: nepotism is what happened with Van Halen.

    Interestingly, Wolfie does not do most of the backing vocals. Dave made the strange decision to do most of his own backing vocals. One of the most actually "Van Halen"-sounding backing vocals on the album is YOU & YOUR BLUES. Wolfie & Ed decided to just record that after Dave did his leads. And I think it sounds pretty sweet.

    I love ADKOT...but it would have sounded a LOT more like classic VH if Mikey had been around to NOT overplay and to provide his classic backing vocals sound.

    And it is weird that Dave insisted on doing most of his own backing vocals. A lot of the backing vocals on ADKOT sound like that old Roth solo tune, SHE'S MY MACHINE. It's a strange sound. Yes, Dave is able to sing with himself just fine... But it's NOT the classic Van Halen sound.

    And even when Wolf is doing the backing vocals, it's STILL not the classic Van Halen sound.

    Of course, if Wolfie had not been in Ed's corner those last years, they would NOT have reached out to get Dave back in the band.

    And Ed would not have gotten that kick in his ass to make a new album.

    But none of that changes the fact that you need ALL FOUR of the original band members to get that classic Van Halen sound back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    7. Not a fan of any of the redone demos. The only one that is decent is Sheís The Woman because they didnít change it too much. Although I think the bridge that Wolf came up with to replace the Mean Street break is very generic, and is almost a bad version of the original.
    I'm in the middle on this point. I agree with you on some of the elements...but I also like some of the changes to the old tunes. It's a bit back-and-forth for me.

    Outside of the debut LP, no Van Halen recordings truly show off the youth and hungry energy of the early band like those demos (both the '77 Demos and Gene's '76 ZERO demos).

    I think OUTTA SPACE captures a lot of the energy of LET'S GET ROCKIN'. And as much as I love LET'S GET ROCKIN', it does include some of Dave's silliest, dumbest lyrics. I love Dave growling "Outta space, outta space" on the NEW version (after what is the chorus in the original version). But, as good as the playing is on OUTTA SPACE, the ferocity of Ed's original LET'S GET ROCKIN' solo is sorely missed. You know that great, DESCENDING bridge that occurs after the main solo, during which Eddie is repetitively hitting those high notes in the solo while Alex almost plays a straight beat (Mike hitting 11 descending notes on the scale)? They (for some reason) got rid of that part in OUTTA SPACE and replaced it with an ASCENDING part (admittedly Wolf-sounding), Alex no longer playing a straight beat and instead doing a more show-off snare/bass drum part. I HATE that change. I miss the original part in LET'S GET ROCKIN'. (Its inferiority is similar to the lack of quality in the new part Wolf wrote to replace the original post-chorus sequence in SHE'S THE WOMAN because that was borrowed for MEAN STREET.)

    PUT OUT THE LIGHTS is one of my all-time favorite Van Halen songs...even just as an early demo. That riff is SO mid-late-1970s sounding. I was so happy the band decided to recreate that song (and use that riff) on ADKOT. And, that's one case in which I think Dave improves the vocal melody of one of the old demos. I love the new chorus melody on ADKOT's BEATS WORKIN'. I think it's better than the kind of over-simple "Put out the lights!" part.

    But yes, not all the recreations were successful...

    BIG RIVER is a great song, with a guitar solo that is actually better than the solo on the old demo version. But the song, overall, loses the funky, freewheeling feel that makes the original demo version of BIG TROUBLE so joyful.

    There ARE some GREAT new Van Halen compositions on ADKOT. I think STAY FROSTY is a really great song. I really like Dave's simple guitar-pickin' on the intro...and while the arrangement with the band coming in after the second verse is predictable, it really is exciting and fun to listen to. Yes, Wolf was clearly looking to just copy almost exactly the ol' ICE CREAM MAN arrangement when he got his hands on Dave's old demo of STAY FROSTY...but it's really cool. It's old-school-sounding Van Halen.

    Of the new songs, I also like YOU & YOUR BLUES a helluva lot. But not ALL of the new songs made me happy when I first got the album. THE TROUBLE WITH NEVER...it's ok. But it's the least-interesting song on the album to me. I think Ed is trying too hard to emulate some sort of FIRST RAYS-era Jimi Hendrix-style riff/playing on this song.

    I wasn't crazy about AS IS or HONEYBABYSWEETIEDOLL when I first got the album...but I really dig them now.

    My daughter absolutely loves BULLETHEAD. I'd read about that song back in the day (reading about Ed & Dave writing it in Dave's dad's basement the same day they wrote AIN'T TALKIN' 'BOUT LOVE)...but I don't think I'd actually heard the song itself (it wasn't on the old demo tapes). It IS a fun, ferocious, old-school Van Halen song. But it would have truly hit that sweet spot had Michael Anthony been the one doing those "B-B-B-B-B-B-B-Bullethead!" chorus vocals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    8. The vocals are pretty rough. I can get past it because itís cool to hear Dave on an album again, but heís straining all over the place.
    Dave in 2011-2012 was truly NOT the Dave of 1983. I agree. That said, I think, for the most part, his vocals do the job on this long-awaited LP. And I agree with you...it IS so freaking cool to hear Dave singing on a Van Halen album again. I basically was driving fast in my car on Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway with major goosebumps going... "Wow, that's Dave...SINGING ON A VAN HALEN ALBUM! WOW!!" (And yes, even with my speeding-on-the-highway, music-blasting goosebumps, I was still missing that old-school, freeze-dried David Lee Roth classic-era vocal sound.

    It's like WALKING INTO CLARKSDALE. A lot of people bitched about that Page/Plant studio reunion LP. But I really warmed up to that album a few months after I got it in 1998. No, it wasn't Led Zeppelin. But it had elements of Page's old guitar sound (though was missing a lot of the multi-layered guitar army Page would put on some of the classic Led Zeppelin LPs) and it was Plant singing with Page on a new studio LP. But...Plant's voice in 1998 had none of the old-school "Percy" punch that Plant's vocals had on the classic Led Zeppelin albums. Plant had lost his vocal range...BUT it was just cool to hear him singing vocal parts on new Jimmy Page riffs (and some older, recycled riffs too).

    On A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH, Dave is NOT the 29 or 30-year-old Dave we heard on 1984. It is TOTALLY legitimate to miss his old vocal sound/abilities.

    One thing, though: Dave still sounds like he's having fun. He's definitely putting in the effort to make this the best Van Halen album that he & Ed could make in 2011-2012. Even better, Dave offers some absolutely hilarious, creative and awesome lyrics. He still has that gift with words. He NEVER lost that talent. Dave was ALWAYS (by far) the best lyricist that fronted the wonderful band Van Halen.

    Lyrics like "She wanted something to regret, tomorrow morning" or "There's a trick to Christian values and its compulsory" have that old magic back in spades.

    I'm NOT here to re-ignite the old Dave vs. Sam war. That war is as old and dusty as Dr. Ruth Westheimer's labia. But Sam really proved how lazy & mediocre a lyricist he truly is on those 2004 reunion songs. If I woke up one morning and realized that I had voluntarily written a lyric like "Woo, cherries on bananas...you gonna need a second helping," I would have, without hesitation, gone and sat down in my own time-out corner after making my own DUNCE HAT. Those UP FOR BREAKFAST lyrics are as embarrassing as O.J. Simpson's attempt to "go rap" in the mid-2000s.

    Dave has some GREAT lyrics on A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    9. The fact that you can hear that it wasnít really a band effort. The Van Halens do their thing and then Dave does his, separately. You can tell itís pretty disjointed. It doesnít sound like a band. At least I feel that way.
    This is one of the MOST valid criticisms on your list.

    And for this, I will 100% blame my (by-far) favorite Van Halen singer, Diamond David Lee Roth. I don't know why he needed to grumble like a child and do most of his tracking in his own sandbox at Henson Studios.

    It really seems like Dave was never crazy about recording at 5150, doesn't it?

    a) He wasn't ecstatic recording there for the 1984 album...and had to leave the studio often (being driven around by his assistant, while the rough mixes of 1984 songs were blaring in his car stereo) to write his lyrics.

    b) His early work for the 5150 album (until he quit the band) was not satisfying for him. I think it's probably true that he didn't actually put much down on tape.

    c) He did not like the experience/vibe while recording the 1996 reunion songs (for which he admits, in his book, that he wasn't crazy about the vibe from being segregated in the isolated vocal booth)

    d) There was (from the stories told) plenty of tension when Dave was working on the 2000 reunion tracks at 5150. Hey, they DID do 5 or 6 songs that both Dave & Mike really captured the ORIGINAL band's magic. And unlike ADKOT, it was a new album being attempted by ALL FOUR ORIGINAL VAN HALEN MEMBERS!!...
    ..... I remember posting at the Links that summer of 2000, having great conversations with so many talented posters from THIS SITE (this was WAY before I started posting at the Army)...
    ..... Brett, do you remember the EXCITEMENT we all felt? The "leaked titles"?
    ..... Do you remember "Independent's Day"?
    ..... "Tabula Rasa"?
    ..... "Red Bull and Pop Tarts"?

    I guess after not being crazy with the vibe at 5150 Studios through the years, Dave ended up working at his own creative pace for A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH...away from Eddie's domineering vibe. He didn't want the three Van Halens (Eddie, Alex & Fatass) directing how he did his vocals. (Hell, Wolfgang could almost count for TWO people and make the whole situation even HEAVIER.)

    Hell, some people say that Dave ended up in a band with three Van Halen family members...but frankly, Wolfie almost counts as TWO band members. Not one.

    And YES...as you accurately stated, you can hear that sort of separation between vocalist and band on Van Halen's FINAL studio album. You have a truly legitimate point here. (I really think that separated feel would NOT have been nearly as noticeable if Dave had NOT insisted on doing most of the backing vocals himself!)

    ...I guess it's possible that Dave didn't want one of the backing vocalists to have part of a hero sandwich still in his mouth while singing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Not trying to be a big downer. Just being honest. Like I said, I donít hate the album. Itís just not one that I go and grab that often.
    Oh, no worries at all, brother! Being honest is the best...and makes for fun conversation and interesting debate!

    Yes, I really love A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH. I'm just so very glad that it exists. And it is SO shitty that Eddie Van Halen is dead...it is SO shitty that Van Halen is completely over. But I am still SO very happy that there is one final Van Halen album with Diamond Dave.

    You made a lot of good & legitimate points. I don't agree with every point you made, but if one could go through those points, one by one, and make some alterations to the album and how it was made, Van Halen's final album (and only post-1984 Dave LP) would have been even stronger!

    I'M SORRY THAT THIS WAS SUCH A LONG REPLY I MADE, so anyone who read it through all the way, I THANK YOU for your PATIENCE!!

    I can't help it. Van Halen inspires and excites me SO MUCH...after all these years!!

    It's been really fun to be posting at this site again. I'll stick around, posting at both the Links AND The Army. (I missed reading the words of some of the fine posters at this forum.)

    Anyway, I really appreciate the fact that we have A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH...

    ...because for all it's flaws, we at least got that ONE LAST shining Van Halen effort.

    Eddie & Dave pushed each other, one last time, to do great things.

    That combination of Eddie Van Halen's creative, frantic guitar-playing AND David Lee Roth's unique, badass lyric-writing is one of the most exciting and volatile creative endeavors in the history of American art and culture.
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

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  10. #54
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    Love your passion for VH Rikk!
    Beauty is life when life unveils
    her holy face.

    But you are life and you
    are the veil.

    Beauty is eternity gazing at itself
    in a mirror.

    But you are eternity
    and you are the mirror.

    -Kahil Gibran

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  12. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by James in New York View Post
    Love your passion for VH Rikk!
    Thanks, buddy!!

    It's so fun to talk about this amazing band, isn't it?
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikk View Post
    Thanks, buddy!!

    It's so fun to talk about this amazing band, isn't it?
    Yes! It never gets old! And there's just so much greatness, creativity, fire, passion, and joy in the music!
    Beauty is life when life unveils
    her holy face.

    But you are life and you
    are the veil.

    Beauty is eternity gazing at itself
    in a mirror.

    But you are eternity
    and you are the mirror.

    -Kahil Gibran

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  15. #57
    The Full Bug

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    Favorite VH Album

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    Me Wise Magic
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    Quote Originally Posted by James in New York View Post
    Yes! It never gets old! And there's just so much greatness, creativity, fire, passion, and joy in the music!
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

  16. #58
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    Dude, there might be some gems in your post, but that's too long for a web forum.
    If I don't respond to you it means I have you on ignore, which means you are a douchenozzle.

    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!

    A man's rights rests in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box

    Hurricane Halen - Let's all gingery touch our sword tips!!!

  17. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    You forgot:

    10. Some sub-par lyrics from Dave with 1800 this and that, Facebook page, etc. Some good lyrics too, but overall, the quality of the lyrics was also less good than on 1984, for example.
    I am not sure I have ever met someone that I disagree with more than you, we should hang out.

    I find it to be some of the best lyrics of his career, by far.
    If I don't respond to you it means I have you on ignore, which means you are a douchenozzle.

    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!

    A man's rights rests in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box

    Hurricane Halen - Let's all gingery touch our sword tips!!!

  18. #60
    I'm The One
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    The whole Donna Jean Godchaux era (1972-1980), is the best in my opinion regarding the Grateful Dead- skip the studio albums and go right to all of the Dick's Picks, live albums, etc.
    Wolfie is not Mike, but he's more than ok.
    Mike is gone, but not forgotten. They played some amazing shows from 2007-2015; some people are in denial about it.


    9/27/07- Charlotte, NC
    10/1/07- Philadelphia, PA
    10/20/07- Detroit, NI
    11/3/07- Meadowlands, NJ
    11/13/07- The Garden

    05/13/08- Meadowlands, NJ II!!!!!

    2/28/12- The Garden
    3/1/12- The Garden
    4/21/12- Greensboro,NC

    8/9/15- Holmdel, NJ
    9/13/15- Tampa, FL

 

 

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