I believe I've been to more concerts since I met Gareth than I have in my entire lifetime. If you had told me 3 years ago that I'd be at two Van Halen concerts within a span of two years, I would've laughed in your face and called you crazy.
As it turns out, you would've been right. On Monday night , Dec. 3, I had my eardrums blasted by raucous bass guitar handling, insane drumming and psychotic guitar manipulations. This was the second Van Halen concert I'd been to, but the first one with David Lee Roth back as the frontman. Sammy Hagar was the voice at the last concert.
I have to say, I liked Sammy's singing way better. And honestly, all the Van Halen songs I like are when Sammy was with the band. David Lee Roth is the better showman, but goodness, I couldn't understand a word he sang, nor did I recognize many of the tunes until Eddie & Wolfgang piped up in the chorus.
But I expected this going in. What I looked forward to was seeing how Eddie's son fit in as the new man on bass. I didn't doubt his musical chops ~ look at his bloodline, but it was still gratifying to see him hold his own.
I wasn't thrilled with my seatmates to my right. Right off the bat, the dude next to me asked if I minded if he smoked. I told him, "It's not a matter of me minding ~ it's the usher's and security minding." He said, "I don't care what the ushers think. I just wanted to know if you would be okay if I smoked." I must've sounded really naive to him. What? You aren't going to follow the rules? Oh, dear! It wasn't until midway through the concert that I realized his idea of smoking greatly differed from mine. I thought he wanted to light up a cigarette, but what he was lighting looked awfully short and smelled real funny. Man. I really am naive.
Anyway, I didn't pay them much mind. I was focused on the big screen and watching Eddie Van Halen's fingers make magic on his guitar. It is amazing the sounds he coaxes out of his guitar. I'm not a hard rock fan, but I do love music and the art of making music, and Eddie Van Halen is just unreal. He actually played his guitar with a drumstick at one point and actually made his guitar sound like a flute with just his hands a little after that. Unbe-frickin-lievable.
But the one I stood up and clapped the loudest for was Alex Van Halen. Remember, I'm a wannabe drummer so drummers like Alex are gods in my wannabe world. You watch him with his arms flailing and swinging and blurring from speed, and think, "Holy shit."
Anyway, I just wanted to get this down for posterity before time got away from me.