A Major Flip Flop

I can’t believe I’m about to change my position on an issue as important as this…

I think Sammy Hagar might be a better front man than David Lee Roth. Wow. Even now, I can’t believe I’m saying this. Last night’s Van Halen concert featuring Sammy Hagar changed everything. It took seventh row seats and permanent hearing damage to arrive at this conclusion, but I’m officially convinced.

This is not taking anything away from David Lee Roth. He’s a legend. He was one of the few rockers that gratuitously performed the splits on stage. He could pull off the look of sunglasses and a taxi driver’s cap better than anyone. And he put Van Halen on the map.

But after the electrifying show Sammy Hagar and the rest of Van Halen put on last night, I have a hard time envisioning anyone being able to top it. They played over three hours without a break. The audience stood and cheered the entire time. We were losing circulation in our legs and our bladders were uncomfortably full of beer, but nobody left for even a minute. Van Halen flat out rocked. I held a pretty tepid appreciation of Van Halen before last night, but my level of fandom shot up tremendously after seeing them live.

Here are some highlights of the evening in bulleted format…

  • Eddie performed a 20-minute guitar solo. Twenty minutes. At one point he crawled into the fetal position and put his head next to a wall of speakers. His guitar screeched as the audience wondered if he was attempting to commit suicide through massive amounts of feedback. It was a stellar performance though. He played like he had bet the Devil his soul against a fiddle made of gold.
  • My only complaint against Sammy Hagar was that he wore a pair of red Capri pants during the show. This bothered me the whole concert. I studied his pants closely, and honestly, I think my wife bought the same pair of pants at the GAP last weekend.
  • The bass player had a bass guitar painted like a bottle of Jack Daniels. The best part was that his guitar functioned as a Pez dispenser for those little mini liquor bottles you see on airplanes. Periodically throughout the concert, he’d pop out a shot of whiskey, down half the bottle and throw the rest into audience. That, my friends, is showmanship.
  • The band split evenly into shirts and skins. Eddie and Alex Van Halen went shirtless, apparently ready for a pickup game of basketball after the show.
  • Rest assured, Eddie Van Halen is still the master of doing the jumping scissor kick while playing the guitar. He proved this time and time again.
  • Midway through the concert, they announced the score of the Yankees-Red Sox game. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, apparently I am the only person on earth that was rooting for the Yankees. In my opinion, as impossible as this may sound, the Red Sox were less likable than the Yankees.

    Let’s face it, most of the Red Sox players look like juvenile delinquents. If you removed their hats, it wouldn’t surprise me to see curse words shaved into their hair. I don’t know, all the wild haircuts, punk behavior, scruffy goatees… They looked like they belonged at a skate park instead of on a baseball diamond. (I know, I know, as the bumper sticker on the Allen family minivan proclaims: “Skateboarding is Not a Crime!!“) The Yankees on the other hand, looked clean-shaven and professional. They looked like they could have been heading to a job interview after the game. Sometimes it’s just nice to see the team with better grooming habits win. I’ll leave it at that.

  • Remember the scene in the movie “Old School” where Vince Vaughn performs a gymnastics routine while smoking a cigarette? It is arguably the funniest scene in the movie. Anyway, at one point Eddie lit a cigarette and performed his usual jumps and spins around the stage. It was probably the closest thing I’ve witnessed in real life that essentially duplicated that scene from the movie. There were 10,000 people screaming wildly in the arena that night, but I think I was the only one holding in laughter.
  • Throughout the concert, several girls threw their bras and panties up on stage. Sammy would collect these undergarments, hold them up for the crowd, and then drape them over his mic stand. I had no problem with any of this.
  • Like a lot of aging rockers, Eddie Van Halen, sadly, is looking a little fried. The few times he addressed the crowd, he mumbled, rambled and managed to say things that were completely unintelligible. Granted, he’s far more coherent than Ozzy Osbourne, but at the same time, I’m not sure if that is a yardstick you want to measure yourself against.
  • At one point, an audience member threw a giant banner onto the stage that read: “Sammy for President.” Seizing the moment, Sammy waved it around onstage for several minutes and then tied it around his waist like a sarong. I think I speak for most people when I say this: Provided his whiskey-swilling bass player was his running mate, this is one Presidential ticket we could all get behind.

6 thoughts on “A Major Flip Flop”

  1. My love for VH has never waivered through multiple rotations of lead singers…save for the dude from Extreme being the frontman. Although both Sammy and Diamond Dave have their obviously unique styles, whether it be tight spandex or on-stage alcoholism, you can’t help but admire a band that kept on truckin’ even past Van Halen III, the worst album ever. For God’s sake, I worked at the Gorge for a summer in the food service industry to gain access to these guys. No matter who is up there, they were well worth the sweat and nasty drunk patrons I endured.

    Well done MR – I think I’ll put the greatest hits cd into the front of my rotation and unearth my concert tee.

  2. You know, things were going fine until you had to dis the Red Sox. The Yankees may look like a bunch of professionals (professional what, I’m not sure, cheaters and crybabies if you ask me), but they’re not even close to the team the Sox are. Just a collection of overpaid egomaniacs. You have to have love for a team that looks like they rode to the game in a pirate ship. I guess you could argue that I would think like that since I’ve never been into the whole “grooming” or “clean-shaven” things. The only thing that could have made watching the Yankees lose that game any better would have been Fox showing A-Fraud and Jeter, the pricks, embracing each other afterward, streams of tears running down their faces. That would have made my decade.

  3. Try not to worry about MR’s comment about proper grooming techniques. This is an opinion coming from a man who’s rocked the same hair for 18 years, I do give him props though for siglerism/similarism. I’m glad to hear you’ve broadened your musical horizons MR! Sort of like your hair, not much has changed. However, I too have always enjoyed Eddie. Good images in the story, I could almost smell the stale beer.

    p.s. MR that feed back trick is easy, there’s a new technology, in-ear monitors, therefore while he’s destroying 10,000 peoples hearing, edddie’s are not even being bothered at all, sort of like bush.

  4. You’re right Solo…
    Unlike you, I have never gotten a perm, and I don’t alter my haircut with the latest in “Queer Eye” or GAP commercial stylings. For this, I apologize.

  5. What has the world come to when a young man goes to a rock concert and is bothered by a pair of pants. Oh MR have I been gone so long that the masculinity is draining from every pore in your body. Stand fast my friend and never ever again complain about the clothes of any other man unless it is to publically humiliate them in front of their girlfriend. I came I saw I pimp slapped. Peace out.

  6. Ouch, MR! Good one on the perm, that was the probably the worst idea. However I’m no longer with that look you refer to as “GAP.” In fact you don’t know what mine looks like but I know what yours does. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, actually you could say mine is a randy johnson like. Mullet with a stache.

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