Archive for the ‘Van Halen’ Category

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.

Van Halen Newcastle City Hall 26th June 1979

Van Halen Newcastle City Hall 26th June 1979
vanhalentix79Van Halen were just about the hottest new rock’n’roll act on the planet. I’d seen them once before when they supported Sabbath on their 1978 UK tour and they blew Sabbath off the stage. This time they were back to play two nights at the City Hall. I went along on the first night (note the typo in their name on the ticket 🙂 ). Van Halen had the perfect recipe for hard rock. In David Lee Roth they had the ultimate flamboyant rock god singer, mane of blonde hair, shirt open to his waist, tight skinny jeans and energy, craziness, and jumping around like you have never seen. Oh and the guy could sing too. Eddie Van Halen was the slickest cool showman guitar player, with a the fastest finger tapping technique you’d ever seen. These two guys were 110% showmen with massive egos, both sparring for the audience’s attention; you could just see why conflict between them would surface in later years. Eddie’s brother Alex Van Halen was hidden behind a massive drum kit pounding away, and bass player Michael Anthony was far from the silent type, providing back vocals and dancing while keeping solid rhythm. vanhalenprog79This tour was around the time of the release of their second album and their set contained classic Halen tracks: “Runnin’ with the Devil”, Eddie’s guitar solo “Eruption” and the band’s first US hit single, “Dance the Night Away.” They also did great covers of the Kink’s “You Really Got Me” and “You’re No Good”. These guys were LOUD, fast, crazy, straight in your face, triumphant and a whole lot of fun. We came out of the City Hall with our ears ringing and smiles right across our faces.
Setlist: Light Up the Sky; Somebody Get Me a Doctor; Runnin’ With the Devil; Dance the Night Away; Beautiful Girls; On Fire; You’re No Good; Jamie’s Cryin’; Feel Your Love Tonight; Outta Love Again; Ice Cream Man; Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love; Eddie Guitar Solo (Eruption and Spanish Fly); You Really Got Me; Bottoms Up!; Atomic Punk

Black Sabbath and Van Halen Newcastle City Hall 1978

Black Sabbath and Van Halen Newcastle City Hall 1978
The Black Sabbath 1978 UK tour was memorable for one reason in particular. The support act on the tour was none other than (relatively) new American band Van Halen. Van Halen has just released their first album and were hot. Their debut album sold over ten million copies in the US alone and is still one of the most successful debuts by a rock band. It features such classic track as Runnin’ with the Devil; Eruption, and their tremendous version of the Kinks’ You Really Got Me. Sabbath, on the other hand, had just released Never Say Die, which was to the last studio album featuring Ozzy. On the night Van Halen were simply stunning. Don’t get me wrong, I went with a group of mates and we all still enjoyed seeing Sabbath, but Van Halen were new, hungry and totally on the money. Sabbath, on the other hand, seemed to be in a routine, and Ozzy wasn’t the same strong, wild front man that he had been a few years earlier. I guess the excesses were starting to take their toll. I was chatting with my mate Norm about the gig the other night, and he agreed that Van Halen blew Sabbath off stage that night, and felt that they were much better than when they returned a year or so later to headline their own tour. This was the last time I was to see Sabbath with Ozzy, and at the time couldn’t imagine how they could possibly continue without their front man. However, a couple of years later they did return with a new singer, and actually they were pretty good. Typical setlist from the 1978 tour: Symptom of the Universe; War Pigs; Never Say Die; Dirty Women; Rock & Roll Doctor; Electric Funeral; Embryo / Children of the Grave; Paranoid; Snowblind; Black Sabbath; Sabbath Bloody Sabbath; Iron Man; Fairies Wear Boots; Hand of Doom; N.I.B.; Gypsy

AC/DC: Monsters of Rock Donington Park 1984

AC/DC at Monsters of Rock Donington Park; 18 August 1984
Line up: AC/DC; Van Halen; Ozzy Osbourne; Gary Moore; Mötley Crüe; Y & T; Accept
This was probably the best Monsters of Rock festival that I attended. I’d won tickets in the local newspaper (note “complementary” stamp on ticket at left), which was a positive to start with, so my mate and I went along free of charge for once! The weather was great, hot and dry, and the line-up was as strong as you could get in terms of heavy rock in the mid 80s. The bottle fights really took off this year, as I recall, with bottles of piss being lobbed across the crowd throughout the day. I have never been one for trying to get to the front at such events, and staying near the back of the crowd was definitely wise on this particular day.
I don’t remember much about Accept or Y&T. Motley Crue were OK, but didn’t have the scale of theatre and excess that I would see on their Theatre of Pain tour the following year (review to follow at some point). Gary Moore played some great blues guitar, as always. Ozzy was at the top of his game during this period in my view. At this time he was playing Mr Crowley, Crazy Train, along with Sabbath classics Iron Man and Paranoid. Van Halen were OK but, for me, had already lost some of the power and hunger they had in the early days when they supported Sabbath on their 1978 tour and on their first UK headline tour shortly after that (review to follow). As I recall there was a lot of talk about Van Halen blowing AC/DC off the stage, which just didn’t happen at all in my view. AC/DC were, as always, excellent and brought a great day to a close. AC/DC setlist: Guns for Hire; Shoot to Thrill; Sin City; Back in Black; Bad Boy Boogie; Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution; Flick of the Switch; Hells Bells; The Jack; Have a Drink on Me; Highway to Hell; Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap; Whole Lotta Rosie; Let There Be Rock; Encore: T.N.T.; For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)