Van Halen – Morrison, CO (07/20/15)

Red Rocks Amphitheater
Morrison, Colorado
July 20, 2015

Download FLAC: File Factory or Google Drive

lineage: Sony ECM-717 (mic) / PCM-M10 (recorder) > 24/96 wav > downsampled using Audacity to 16/44 >
CDWav (for track split) > FLAC 8


01 Light Up the Sky
02 Runnin’ With the Devil
03 Romeo Delight
04 Everybody Wants Some
05 Drop Dead Legs
06 Feel Your Love Tonight
07 Somebody Get Me a Doctor
08 She’s the Woman
09 China Town
10 I’ll Wait
11 Alex Van Halen Solo
12 Little Guitars
13 Dance the Night Away
14 Beautiful Girls
15 Women in Love
16 Hot for Teacher
17 In a Simple Rhyme
18 Dirty Movies
19 Tour 1978 Story
20 Ice Cream Man
21 Unchained
22 Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
23 Eddie Van Halen solo
24 You Really Got Me
25 Panama
26 Jump

* I did one small bit of editing between Ice Cream Man and Unchained in EAC, but, this is otherwise raw and unedited

Notes: We’d previously seen the mighty Van Halen in 2007 in Chicago, then again in early 2008 in Denver and figured that was all we needed to see with the Dave-led lineup; we skipped their 2012 Denver area performance. But, when they announced the 2015 tour with a stop at Red Rocks, both my wife and I agreed that the venue choice made one more Van Halen performance
a necessity for us.

But, the truth is: at $185+ per ticket, I’m not sure that it was worth it. We got rained on the entire trip up to Morrison,and the rain fell all through the opener, Kenny Wayne Shepherd (due to the rain, we didn’t try to record him). Fortunately, it stopped just before VH took the stage. But, while they have a lot of great songs, virtually all of them were ruined with mid-song breakdowns where Dave just TALKED. I’ve read other comments from earlier performances on this tour criticizing him for this, but, I didn’t realize how seriously this messes up the flow of the show until I saw it for myself. I mean, I will tell you that the band had the crowd eating out of their hands – until the first breakdown during Everybody Wants Some. At first, I thought, ‘this is cool, kind of like The Doors, where he’s just freestylin’,’ but, by the time he did it again during Feel Your Love Tonight, the crowd was definitely getting restless. By the time he got to the story about him and Ozzy during the 1978 tour, people were starting to leave – the show was REALLY running long with Dave’s constant rapping, and it was
killing the momentum.

When they broke down AGAIN during Unchained – one of my fave VH songs – I decided I’d had enough and went to the bathroom (clipping the mike to my wife’s shirt and handing her the recorder – this occurred at the start of Somebody Get Me a Doctor as well). When they broke down YET AGAIN during You Really Got Me, Dave even says ‘have you ever wondered why there are all these slow spots in these songs?’ I heard someone behind me yell ‘NOOOO!’

Eddie launched into his extended solo, and at that point, my wife was ready to call it quits, but, I convinced her that we were near the end – I’m a guitar player, but, 10 minutes of public masturbation on the guitar does not impress me nearly as much at 44 as it did when I was 17; especially when EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. has already been spread out past the breaking point. I know that there are a lot of guitar players that wait breathlessly for Eddie to break into his solo, but, the screaming banshees around us notwithstanding, there were many more people streaming to the restrooms or for the exits. At this late point in his career, I think Eddie would do well to understand that “less is more.”

Some good things – Alex is an amazing drummer; having seen mostly over 50 acts of late, I was very impressed that he does not seem to have lost anything, and he kept the tempos up. Wolf is a stud on bass and backing vocals – my wife also plays bass guitar and she was totally blown away by his playing. I’d rather have Michael Anthony but…blah blah blah. Also: Ed looks good and sounds good – his playing was top notch, and he had quite a bit of energy. I truly like Dave in Van Halen, and his “singing” does not bother me as much as some – my wife was totally annoyed that he doesn’t seem to sing his own lyrics! But,seriously, Dave – lose 90% of the during-song chit-chat.

My take is that Van Halen has a super strong set of 90 or so minutes of Roth-era material that they ballooned out past 2 hours, which left our group ready for the end when it arrived – and, from what I saw, quite a few people around us had left by the end as well. That’s my 2 cents – your mileage may vary. I have at least two copies of every Van Halen album and know them all pretty well. I’ve seen them (and taped) now 3 times and collect all of their shows up through the Hagar-led 2004 reunion – but, this show left me feeling like I’ve seen them for the last time. Little Guitars is my favorite VH song, and I was delighted to see it back in the set, and the rarities were OK, too – though, placing more obscure songs like In A Simple Rhyme and Dirty Movies before Dave’s LOOOONG story probably isn’t ideal. Lots and lots of bathroom breaks were observed during that stretch.

It was nice that the rain stopped, but, the wind and breeze continued throughout, which was throwing the mix around the whole time – this is reflected in the recording. Also, there was one super annoying woman behind me to my right who insisted on screaming – off key – pretty much the entire time; by the end, I had a pounding headache from her screaching, which might have also had an impact on mine and my wife’s enjoyment of the concert. By and large, I kept quiet, though, you do hear my wife and I talk a little; generally, all things considered, the recording is not bad and a pretty accurate capture of the show we saw.

One last question, that my wife asked me about: so, what does all this mean for the Van Hagar material? Does VH just continue to pretend that those songs don’t exist and never play them again? That’s what I think happens, but, my wife made the great point that ‘there’s at least 10-15 songs from that period that get played on the radio that people remember and want to hear – doesn’t Eddie, at some point, have to bring those back???’

Once this has been shared, it’s out of my control what you do with it, but, I would appreciate it if you kept the all the files intact and not profit from this recording.

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