Tag Archive | Madison Square Garden

Van Halen at Madison Square Garden: The Set List

David Lee Roth, Alex and Eddie Van Halen at MSG
Image Source

Sometimes, life will surprise you. Van Halen is currently on an extensive US tour with original and wildly iconic front man David Lee Roth back on vocals and Eddie’s son Wolfgang on Bass. As an aside, I’ve attended maybe half a dozen David Lee Roth solo shows in the past decade – thanks to a friend of mine having been employed as DLR’s long-time drummer prior to him joining Korn. Dave was always in top form: leaping in the air and roundhouse kicking invisible foes all while hitting those illusive high notes, including the signature, primal yelps he practically trademarked. Because of Roth’s self-evident skill, I easily convinced myself that seeing the DLR Band cover Van Halen songs was essentially the same as seeing Van Halen live. Yes, I just typed that.

Fast forward a couple of years. When I got tickets to the first of Van Halen’s two sold-out shows at NYC’s Madison Square Garden, I seriously wasn’t expecting much. Certainly, I was not considering the possibility of there being any real “wow” factor involved, as I am rock and roll curmudgeon who basically thinks sentimentality is for shit when it comes to a legendary band reuniting with “most of its original members” and blah blah blah. Plus, did you read any of Sammy Hagar’s Heavy-on-the-Eddie-Van-Halen-bashing biography? Yeesh, what hot mess he makes Eddie out to be. And yet, I agreed to get on board for the show, along with a couple of friends, if only for nostalgia’s sake and the promise of an excuse to leave my house on a weeknight. Plus, maybe they would do “Everybody Wants Some,” and that song is just insane.

Well, last night I had a true Come to Jesus moment when Van Halen took the stage for a nearly 2 hour aural assault and reminded me why they are the legends that they are, and why DLR is phoning it in without his on again off again band mates. Because without Eddie Van Halen’s incomparble guitar chops, without Alex the drummer god pounding out the heavy metal thunder and – most importantly – without the Van Halen family’s backing vocals and distinctive harmonies, Roth can’t possibly do a Van Halen song justice. Jesus god, what a great show.

If you weren’t inside Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, this is what you missed.

You Really Got Me
Running with the Devil
She’s The Woman
Romeo Delight
Tattoo
Everybody Wants Some (!!)
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
China Town
Hear About It Later
Oh, Pretty Woman
Drum Solo
Unchained
The Trouble With Never
Dance The Night Away
I’ll Wait
Hot For Teacher
Women in Love
Girls Gone Bad
Beautiful Girls
Ice Cream Man
Panama
Eruption (Guitar Solo)
Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love
Jump

Van Halen Tour Dates for 2012 are available at This Link. Get tickets while you can!

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Led Zeppelin Robbed!

On This Date, July 29th, in 1973: after playing the final show of three nights at Madison Square Garden, Led Zeppelin lost $180,000 in cash when a thief stole their hotel safe deposit box containing receipts from the two previous concerts. The theft – a crime largely suspected to be an inside job perpetrated by employees of the hotel – was never solved.

Happy Birthday, Robert Plant!

Robert Plant
“Yes, Please!”

Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant was born on this day, August 20th, in 1948! I got to see one of the Page & Plant tours that he did with Jimmy Page a dozen or more years ago – from about the tenth row on the floor at Madison Square Garden – and, because I have such a vivid imagination, I was able to actively fantasize that I was actually seeing Led Zeppelin! It was an awesome show. Happy Birthday, Robert!

On This Day In Music: July 29th

Beatles_help__movie_image

Here are a  few interesting events that happened on this date in Music, July 29th!

1965: The Beatles’ second movie Help! premiered at the Pavilion Theatre in London.

Led Zeppelin 1973

1973: Led Zeppelin lost $180,000 in cash, income from two concerts at Madison Square Garden, when a thief  stole the band’s safe deposit box from their hotel. The thief was never apprehended nor the money recovered.

Rush 1973

1974: Neil Peart joined Rush, replacing drummer John Rutsey, who left the band due to health problems.

Cass Elliot

1974: Mama Cass Elliot (born Ellen Naomi Cohen) of The Mamas & The Papas died in London of a heart attack shortly after she performed two sold out concerts at the London Palladium. She was 33 years old.

Motley Crue Kick Start My Heart at Madison Square Garden!

(All Photos by Geoffrey Dicker)

I have said it many times before – and I am saying it again right now – that I would rather listen to Motley Crue songs like “Dr. Feelgood” or “Shout at the Devil” one hundred million billion times than be forced to listen to the majority of today’s shitty, modern alternative trash rock for fifteen seconds. Because, here’s the thing, Motley Crue – undeniable walking punch lines that they are – are nevertheless a bonafide gang of dangerous, ex-drug addict rock stars from an old school of Rock with a Capital R that, really, does not exist anymore. And for this, I worship them openly.

Watching Motley Crue play live is like driving a Ferrari at 100 miles an hour or having endlessly orgasmic sex with the hottest partner imaginable (me: Gael Garcia Bernal). NONE of these emo/screamo “Mommy didn’t love me” bullshit bands get me off at all. None of them have the balls of a Rock God like Nikki Sixx, who is one of the most original, charismatic figures in rock music since John Lennon. None of these new “excuses for musicians” have any rock star cache. And man, I miss that more than you could even imagine.

Today’s pop music sounds like it came from a can, and 90% of these young bands are just a bunch of whiney brats with guitars who aspire to sound like The All American Rejects (worst band ever) because that’s what the little emo kids are downloading from iTunes. Geesus god, when did rock music get so fucking lame? You can keep Panic at the Disco and The Academy Is and I’ll just curl up with Girls Girls Girls and my copy of The Dirt and be just fine, thank you.

I had a fucking blast last night and so did my plus one, Geoffrey, who I brought along with me since he had never seen The Crue before. I figured he’d appreciate their deal, as he is the only gay guy I have ever met whose favorite band is The Doors. Geoffrey knows his shit when it comes to what rocks and what does not rock. I have very few issues with Motley Crue as people, their showmanship or their set list. They played all the hits you could want to hear as a 20-year fan and very few songs from their new CD, which I do not know. Their stage set was awesome. They had so many explosions and bright lights and shiny visual distractions that I’m still deaf and seeing trails. Mick Mars can play his ass off despite being practically turned into a living statue from ankylosing spondylitis (look it up) and both Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee have life-long “Get Out of Jail Free” cards as far as I’m concerned. But…I have an issue with Vince Neil. Please allow me to share.


Vince, Nikki & Mick

Before their set even started (and remember that we had to sit through three opening acts, all of which – thank Christ – were at least pretty decent in the “ability to rock” department), Geoffrey and I were taking bets about whether or not Vince Neil would be fat. “I bet he’s fat,” said Geoffrey. “I bet he’s fat, too,” I admitted. So you can see there was no real betting going on there, since neither one of us had any faith in Neil’s ability to stay away from the pork rinds. But – surprise – Vince is not only slender-ish, but looking quite fit these days. He was full of energy as he danced and pranced about the stage in a manner that immediately brought to mind Billy Squire’s performance in the video for “Rock Me Tonight.”


Tommy Lee

But the gigantic bone I have to pick with Vince concerns his unwillingness/inability to sing any Motley Crue song all the way through from beginning to end without taking a hundred breaks in between. Basically, he sings about every third or forth word and leaves it up to the audience to fill in the gaps. WTF? He has been doing this for about ten years and it makes me want to smash him in the face. Vince, dude, get a little bit friendly with reality here: nobody in Madison Square Garden last night paid $90 for their ticket so they could hear the drunk guy next to them sing the chorus to “Kick start my heart.” I mean, that’s the pay off! If you just sing every other word to the verses and then hand off the mike to the audience to sing the chorus – like a lame, douche bag jagoff – that’s completely unacceptable! I refuse to pretend that we should not call shenanigans on you for this heinous, repeated transgression! I would rather have Vince LIP SYNC the fucking songs then just not sing. Nikki Sixx must agonize over a desire to kick your not-that-fat ass out of the band for how you butcher his music. Fuck you, Vince Neil for not singing the songs!

Thank you for reading, and please continue to rock.

Must See Concert: George Michael’s 25 Live Tour!

George!
Photos Courtesy of April. Thanks April!

I do a good job of keeping this on the downlow, but I am actually completely gay for singer George Michael. So, it was a thrill for me to be able to attend George’s show last night at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where Geoffrey and I found ourselves about six feet from the stage. Insanely gay!

George 2

George’s current tour features an out-of-control light and stage show, the star of which is the award winning, state-of-the art LED video screen designed and developed specifically for George Michael’s 25 Live tour. I am not fronting when I say that George’s show was so mind-blowingly psychedelic that, by comparison, it made Pink Floyd’s laser light spectacular look like Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree before the Holiday Spirit brought it to life.

George 3

The stage is also unique in that George’s fifteen-piece band performs behind him on a three-tier grid stage that looks a lot like the set of The Hollywood Squares. I’ve never seen anything like it. George played for three hours, with a 20 minute intermission at the one hour mark, so you can absolutely say that the tickets are worth whatever you have to pay for them, or whatever sexual favors you must provide in trade.

After the show, Geoffrey and I took our excited little asses backstage, where Geoffrey turned into a little girl and completely lost his mind after talking to George for five seconds. It was really quite adorable. I was also able to hang out with George’s drummer, Carlos Hercules, who had gotten us the sweet list action – thanks, Carlos!

Carlos and Gail
Carlos and Gail

And we both had our photos snapped with actor Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, How I Met Your Mother), who seems like a very sweet and hilarious person (and really cute). All in all, an excellent night out in the city!

Gail and Neal P Harris
Gail and Neil Patrick Harris

Oh, one more thing: one of George’s longtime back-up singers, Shirley Lewis, is married to this guy!

Madison Square Garden

July 21st, 2008 SET LIST:

First Half
Waiting (Reprise)
Fast Love/I’m Your Man
Father Figure
Hard Day
Everything She Wants
One More Try
Different Corner
Easier Affair
Too Funky
Star People

Interval
John & Elvis video

Second Half
Faith
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Spinning The Wheel

Feeling Good
Roxanne
Kissing A Fool
Amazing
Flawless
Outside
Different Corner
Careless Whisper

Freedom 90
Freedom Reprise

Tenacious D Sell Out Madison Square Garden!

Tenacious D In The Pick Of DestinySoundtrack
My Favorite Part of the Show was the Dancing Mushroom. Don’t Ask.

Last night Tracy and I went to see Tenacious D play at Madison Square Garden. I got on the list through drummer Brooks Wackerman, whom I recently interviewed for Modern Drummer Magazine. Brooks is also the drummer for punk rock legends Bad Religion and he played drums on the soundtrack to the wildly successful film, Team America, World Police. Brooks told me that if the Team America gig was the only thing on his resume, he would die a happy man. Because, can you imagine being able to lay claim to having played drums on songs like “Everyone Has AIDS” and “America, Fuck Yeah!”? That’s just crazy.

TD VIP PASS
Front of My VIP Pass for the Show

Anyway, my point is, it was a really good show! I would never have come close to guessing that Tenacious D could sell out a massive venue like MSG, but the place was packed. I haven’t seen the D’s new film, The Pick of Destiny yet, but most of the songs in their set are from the movie, mixed in with some of their classics like “Tribute” (my favorite) and some song about a Sasquatch. I recommend checking out Tenacious D live in concert if they come through your town.

Back Of VIP PASS
Back of My VIP Pass for the Show: Like Me and Tracy, BFF!