Van Halen Newcastle City Hall 17th June 1980

Van Halen Newcastle City Hall 17th June 1980
vanhalen80tix Van Halen in 1980 was all about crazy, OTT, wild rock excess, and the classiest, loudest rock’n’roll on the planet. We just knew when we arrived at the City Hall and saw loads of mega size trucks parked in a line outside, that this was gonna be some show. That feeling continued when we entered the venue and saw that the stage had been built outward so that it covered the first few rows of the stalls.
Van Halen’s 1980 contract rider says it all. The venue was required to provide: potato chips with assorted dips; nuts; pretzels; M & M’s (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES 🙂 ); 12 peanut butter cups; 12 assorted yogurt (on ice); 48 large, bath-size cloth towels; 100 cups for cold drinks (16 oz., waxed paper); 50 styrofoam cups (minimum 10 oz.) for hot drinks; forks, knives and spoons (metal, not plastic); serving utensils, corkscrew, bottle and can openers; salt and pepper (in shakers); tablecloths; napkins (paper); 2 large bars Ivory soap; large tube KY Jelly! Wow!
Van Halen arrived on stage a little the worse for wear; there had obviously been some back stage drinking activities. Although there performance may not have been as tight as in previous visits to the City Hall, what they lacked in slickness they certainly made up for in craziness.
Setlist: Romeo Delight; Bottoms Up!; Runnin’ With the Devil; Tora! Tora!; Loss of Control; Take Your Whiskey Home; Dance the Night Away; Women In Love; Jamie’s Cryin’; Bright Lights, Big City; Everybody Wants Some!!; And the Cradle Will Rock…; Light Up the Sky; Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love. Encore: Ice Cream Man; You Really Got Me
vanhalenprog80I saw Van Halen on one further occasion, when they appeared second on the bill to AC/DC at the 1984 Monsters of Rock festival at Donington. The word on street (or, rather, in the field) was that Halen would blow AC/DC off the stage, and although, that didn’t quite happen as AC/DC delivered a stella performance (how could they not, as headline act, with a big show, and the darkness of night on their side?) Van Halen were undoubtedly great that day. “Jump” and the album “1984” had just been released and they were on a roll. Dave Lee Roth had some great rap with the crowd, famously saying in reaction at some cans being thrown about: “Don’t be throwing no shit up on stage, but that’s alright I know who threw that bottle and after the show pal I’m gonna f**k your girl friend man”. They played tracks from their new “1984” album, did a great cover of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” and closed, as usual, with their cover of the Kinks “You Really Got Me”. And then a big bell came down from the roof of the stage, signally the arrival of AC/DC (but that’s another story).
Donington Setlist 1984: Unchained; Hot for Teacher; On Fire; Runnin’ With the Devil; Little Guitars; House of Pain; I’ll Wait; Everybody Wants Some!!; Oh, Pretty Woman; 1984; Jump; Panama; You Really Got Me
There really was no-one else like Van Halen in the late 70s and early 80s. Pure rock’n’roll class.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Wow, must’ve been an experience to see the mighty VH in an intimate theatre setting like Newcastle city hall. I didn’t go to my first rock show until I was 18 and it was Van Halen, when they came to play at my home town at Sheffield arena in April 1993. They were phenomenal and the experience was life changing, converting me to a life of gig going. At the time it was massive because I think VH had played one UK show in 13 years, but more significant now because as far as I’m aware they’ve never been back. Enjoying your site, I’m jealous you got to see many bands that are my favs such as queen and zeppelin that I was too young to ever see!


    • Posted by vintagerock on June 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you Trevor I am pleased you are enjoying my blog

      David Lee Roth was incredible; a young guy full of energy and Eddie Van Halen was on fire as a guitarist. You just knew you were seeing something special and that they would go on to great things

      Happy happy days Peter


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