Van Halen show all revealed at private rehearsal.
Ed and Dave are gearing up for the big re-union tour.
The following is hot off the Internet press. Read on and enjoy.
From VH yahoo list…SPOLIERS NO I DIDNT SEE THIS, THIS IS OFF YAHOO LIST and i got it off Vhlinks.
On Saturday night a friend of mine got me in to see a Van Halen
rehearsal in Los Angeles. (I’ve been sworn to secrecy on certain
aspects of this story, including location. Someone else may fill in
the details, but it won’t be me.)
Photos at: tinyurl.com/ 2yt2sg
We arrived to an empty arena (except for the VH staff) containing
VH’s full stage setup. No one from the band had arrived yet.
The stage has a runway which snakes out into the audience in a giant
"S" shape, which mirrors the lighting rig above it. The "S"
continues behind and above the stage so a band member can walk to the
very top and be standing above Ed’s rig. There’s a giant video
screen the width of the entire stage, but neither the screen nor the
stage lights were tested tonight; only the house lights were used.
(It didn’t matter in the slightest.)
We arrived about an hour before the band while the crew fine-tuned
the equipment. Drums were tested, guitars tuned, and pink noise
blasted through the P.A. The general mood of everyone seemed very
high with lots of smiles and friendly faces. Many people nodded to
us and said, "hello."
Eddie was the first to arrive, and very shortly after that, Wolfgang
and Alex. Valerie was with Wolf as were about five of his friends
from school, I’m guessing. (They all looked the same age.) Alex and
Ed spent about 15 minutes on stage noodling while Wolfie was showing
his friends the venue. The three of them then met on stage and Eddie
said into the P.A., "We’re not opening with it, but let’s play "I’m
The One" just to warm up. And that they did. A funny moment
occurred when Ed screwed up the bit right before they usually go
acapella. He spoke into the mic, "Did I mess that up?" Wolf
confirmed, "Yeah, you were late." Both were smiling.
After "I’m The One", there was a bit more noodling and then some
down time as people waited for Dave. I’m not sure if he was running
late or if that’s just how the schedule was.
When Dave did show up, right from the start, he was all smiles. He
was dressed in tight, flared out leather pants and a black/striped
The rest of the account is going to contain, for lack of a better
word, "spoilers" of the show, including the set list, all though not
in order. If you don’t want to know, fair warning.
Dave addressed the crowd and treated us as if we were guests in his
arena sized house. He thanked us for coming and talked about how
excited he was to be here and what a "privilege and honor" it was to
play with his "brutha’s from another mutha." (And yes, that’s a
quote.) He then went on to great lengths to explain what we would be
seeing tonight: that it was a rehearsal where they would be stopping
and starting, testing things out, etc. (And he did this all very
eloquently with many one-liners, as only Dave does.) Right before
the band began, he explained, "Okay as soon as you hear the first
note, that’s when the curtain comes up." He did that throughout the
show; stopping to tell us what we would be seeing if this were the
actual concert. The constant commentary and casual asides reminded
me of that story I’ve heard where at a concert he wanted to turn the
P.A. around so that "everyone could be backstage." That’s how this
show felt. As if we were being let it on the secret.
The show started with "You Really Got Me." Dave was standing on the
high part of the "S" stage above Alex waving a giant Red flag as the
show began. Then he threw the flag down, and for the first time in
over 22 years, David Lee Roth sang on stage with Eddie Van Halen.
I’d say there were only about 40-50 guests there that night who were
lucky enough to get in. Most of us sat in the "5-star" section
inside the loop of the "S" runway, but there wasn’t even enough of us
to fill it up. And there was a silly L.A.attitude amongst the crowd
of" Oh-I’m-so-hip- I-don’t-need- to-sit-in- the-front- row" thing going
on, as if this event was an every day occurrence. (After the first
song, I couldn’t stay away, and moved from the 5th row to right up
front, just off center towards Ed’s side.) The stage setup has at
least 8 speakers just for the people in the first few rows, so you
don’t have to worry about hearing only the echoey remnants of the
main P.A. You’ll get the full mix nice and loud. But Holy God,
Wolfgang did a fine job, even providing decent sounding backup
vocals. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about him, but I’d be
lying if I didn’t say that Michael Anthony was missed. While Wolf
competently filled the position, he doesn’t have the same sound,
either in his playing or in his voice, as Michael. It’s such a shame
that silly personal conflicts can’t be resolved so that people can
finally see the classic lineup again. I do have to say though, it’s
obvious how much Ed loves playing with Wolfgang. He would be all
smiles when he walked over to Wolfie and after one song, stepped up
to the P.A. and said, "Great job, Wolf. Great."
Over the next hour and a half or so the band played classic after
classic that VH haven’t done in years. The Sammy Hagar era is dead
now, as far as I can tell. (All though when warming up, Eddie ran
the VH-stripped drill across his guitar as if he was was starting
"Poundcake", but no more than that.) I was surprised by some of the
gems they brought out. I’ll post the songs I remember at the end of
the article, but the order will be completely wrong except for the
first song and the encore.
The great thrill of the show was seeing Dave and Ed interact. If
there’s any animosity between them, it didn’t show at all. Both were
constantly smiling, and Dave often did the schtick where he holds his
mic to Ed’s guitar during a solo while he looks at the crowd, open
mouthed in astonishment.
That’s not to say that Dave didn’t get pissed, however. He was
standing out by the far tail of the "S" runway when, in the middle of
a song, he yelled at the soundboard crew with intense anger, "TURN
THE FUCKING VOCALS UP! Don’t make me ask you again!" I turned to Ed
to see his reaction, thinking he would be pissed at Dave’s behavior,
but incredibly, Ed just smiled even wider. As Dave walked past him
returning to the stage, they did a mini-hi-five, low and behind each
other’s back. I don’t know what it meant. I’m guessing it’s one of
those things that only makes sense to two people who have known each
other for decades.
I never got to see Dave sing with Van Halen live. I got into the
band in 1984 when I was 12 and didn’t see them until the OU812
tour. I’ve seen Dave solo multiple times, but am always wonderfully
caught off guard by his stage antics. He really is the clown prince
of rock ‘n’ roll, and I say that with as much affection as I can.
There’s not a moment that goes by where he’s not trying to entertain
you, whether it be with silly facial expressions, dance moves, jokes,
props or stories. He is the former 5 year old kid who ran up to
every new adult and wanted to show them everything he owned and all
the things he could do and wouldn’t stop talking until his parents
told him it was bed time. And that attitude has never quite gone away.
Thinking about the whole experience, I can’t help but smile. I was
going to write a few more details about the show, (like the brilliant
way Dave introduces "Somebody Get Me A Doctor" or the intensity from
Dave that makes "Mean Street" one of the great live VH songs) but I
think it’s probably better to let you all discover that for yourself.
Song list (again, not in order):
******Song list spoiler space*******
YOU REALLY GOT ME
SOMEBODY GET ME A DOCTOR
I’M THE ONE
PRETTY WOMAN (No "Intruder.")
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY
ICE CREAM MAN
GUITAR SOLO – NOT the solo of the 2004 tour. Includes everything you
want to hear: Eruption, Cathedreal, etc.
SO THIS IS LOVE?
AND THE CRADLE WILL ROCK….
EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!
RUNNIN’ WITH THE DEVIL
FEEL YOUR LOVE TONIGHT
HOT FOR TEACHER
AIN’T TALKIN’ ‘ABOUT LOVE