Sunday, September 30, 2007

Van Halen Reunion Concert

Amos' Epics
The 2nd show of the 2007 reunion tour with David Lee Roth on vocals and Wolfgang Van Halen on bass. I am a long time fan. VH was the first big concert I attended. When I was 15 years old, I rode the bus to Hampton VA and my sister Susan picked me up at the bus station and got me to the Hampton Rhodes Colliseum that evening. Clara and I saw them again at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre during the Sammy years. I think I have all the VH / Roth era CDs except 1984.
Greensboro Colliseum seemed to be full except for the seats right behind the stage. Our seats were high but we had binocs and the big screen helped even though part of the PA was obstructing the view.
Killer Show!
The song list:
1) You Really Got Me
2) I'm The One - One of my favorites of the evening and one of my favorite VH songs period. They did a great job on this one.
3) Running With The Devil - People were still singing this one in the parking lot after the show.
4) Romeo Delight
5) Sombody Get Me A Doctor - DLR played a harmonica and bull horn at the beginning of this one. It was great.
6) Beautiful Girls - most excellent
7) Dance The Night Away - and Eddie did w/ DLR at the beginning ofthis song. They seemed to be getting along well.
8) Atomic Punk - Another of my favorites of the evening. They were tight. I dont think DLR improvised as much on this one and they nailed it tight as a band.
9) Everybody Wants Some!! -
10) So This Is Love -
11) Mean Street - Dave and Wolfie sing together in same mic and harmonize well.
12) Oh, Pretty Women - Dave and Wolfie sing most of the song together (duet). It sounds really good - they harmonize together well on it. A positive surprise to me since this is not one of my favorite songs on the playlist.
Drum Solo - a good time to sit and take a load off. By the last third of the solo most everyone had stood back up and were stomping or clapping. Go Alex!
13) Unchained - Dave had some big chains.
14) I'll Wait - By far my least favorite tune of the evening. Also my least favorite song on the play list from my least favorite album of the DLR era. Three words I dont like to hear about a live show, especially a VH show: Prerecorded keyboard track. It they need to play a sap song like this one cant they afford to pay a keyboard player?
15) And The Cradle Will Rock - Kicked Ass! HAVE YOU SEEN WOLFIES' GRADES?
16) Hot For Teacher - Tappty tap tap... Killer
17) Little Dreamer -
18) Little Guitars - Pulled out Frankenstein. Up to now, Peavey Wolfgang.
19) Jamies Crying - Excellent! Better than I could have imagined.
20) Ice Cream Man - DLR reminiscing. Cool break for story time.
21) Panama - Great
GTR Solo - Back with the Peavey. Started out with some nice finger slide stuff with a spanish feel then eased into some great volume knob Cathedral like stuff. Meld into some eruption to amazing display of tap harmonics. He is a master of amplification and tone! The maestro was in the house.
22) Aint Talkin Bout Love - YES
23) Jump - For the encore? It actually worked. The disco ball and confetti pulled it off. Stunning ending to a great show. By this point I didnt dwell on the prerecorded keyboard track.
Great show. They still have it and so far everyone seems to be getting along well. Eddies sound was impecable, of course and he seemed to be in good physical shape. EVH was thin, trim, and ripping. DLR had a good vocal sound. He's not hitting everything just like the albums or jumping as high as he used to but who can expect him to after all these years - he is still getting in plenty of kicks and seems to be in great physical shape for a 52 yer old. DLR is a "one of a kind" original- his vocals just fit the brown gtr sound. His mic stand and pipe swinging was very impressive. Wolfie and EVH's backup vocals were right on time and on key every song - Deuce. Drums sounded good but there is a little but of muddiness in the low bass end. Maybe Wolfies bass was too cranked or maybe an inadequate bass end in the PA: Maybe the only thing that "could have been better", otherwise an exceptional show.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

9/20/07 to 9/24/07 Gauley Fest Kinda Vacation

Day 1, Thursday 9/20 after mowing the yard and doing some chores, I drove up to West virginia and got a campsite at Tailwaters. Woody Calloway had offered up the new Liquid Logic ReMix for demo on BoaterTalk earlier in the day so I called and made plans for Friday.
Day 2, Friday 9/21 I met up with Woody, Boyce, Justin, and Mike and got the ReMix. The plan: paddle the marathon, 26 miles of incredible river: Upper, Middle, and Lower Gauley.The ReMix 69 was the perfect boat for this operation.The run went very smoothly. It was a good day of great lines with a lot of river miles logged. I owe Woody for letting me borrow a boat so well suited for the run. It was in fact a pleasure paddling the ReMix on the marathon. The ReMix was fast, predictable, stable, and fun. That new Liquid Logic outfitting is exceptional.
At the Lower G takeout parking lot after a full day of paddling:I got back to the put-in / campsite / Tailwaters and proceeded to fix a sandwich and cook up some chicken at my neighbors camp. I hung out with Tiskmanikis and friends Friday evening and made plans to play boat the Upper Gauley together Saturday.
Day 3, 9/22 was another excellent day on the Upper Gauley. Scary point was getting hammered by a raft while I was surfing Insignificant Wave. I pulled up the edge of my kayak right before impact and got launched away from the raft. I saved getting stuck underneath the raft for Monday. We hung out at Pillow Rock for some time watching runs. Here are a few photos I took.I dont think this eddy is really big enough for 2 but they tried.I call the next 3 the Green Boat sequence.More upside down Pillow time.Nice crowd for the Pillow action.
That is Boyce in the Green ReMix. He made a sweet ferry from this eddy out into the current and between Volkswagon Rock and Pillow.
Shane in a ReMix.Chris Roberts aka Cranky and John Fuller were out in the squirt boats while Mack was right in there with them in the Scorpion..
The next 2 are John Fuller.
Mack in the Scorpion.
There were some jumpers:
Nice surf across.
The next 2 are the same guy.
River Boarders rule!
Were these guys racing?
A Pyrahna Speeder.
Day 4, 9/23 Paddled with Chris Roberts, John Fuller, Johnny Calhoun, and Gaston and Layla Gagne. I think a good time was had by all. Chris was really ripping it up in the last hole.I took a walk out onto the Dam and got some shots: Kayak on the right and two swimmers on the left: Day 5, Monday 9/24. I woke up not sure who I would be boating with. Of the people left at Tailwaters, the only ones I had talked to were some guys from Colorado who were paddling the Lower and a couple of guys racing.
Anyway, as I was finishing up my breakfast, who drives through Tailwaters but Mike Huggins and RB Bineger, of The Wilson Creek/Watagua Crew. You can see more pictures of RB in the book Carolina White Water by Bob & David Benner. Look at the photo of Cathedral on the Linville River and Watagua Falls, RB firing them up in an Overflow. I really lucked out to get to paddle with these guys. A day on the river with them is sure to be a fun day and since Wilsons and Watagua hasnt been running too often, I had not seen them much.
Taking a lunch break and watching some action at Pillow:

Sliding back in:We stopped at Sweets to watch some of the Upper Gauley racers finish, hoping to see Dennis Huntley at the finish line. Unfortunately we were asked to leave the rock overlook by a raft company bouncer before we got to see Dennis. Congrats to Dennis for winning the OC-1 category. Some race pics. The guy in the first picture won the Wildwater class. I had talked to him for a while at Tailwaters Sunday night. He was a nice guy and hails from the Potomac area. This next one was Chris Hipgrave. Tupo Duo racing:This guy wasnt racing but had a great boof. It was another good day on the river in spite of being run over by a raft in the pool below Sweets Falls. As I ferried away from our observation point, I got plowed over by a raft. It was partly my own fault for not paying better attention. I swam out of my boat because all I could see or feel was rubber above me. RB and Mike had to head on back to Hickory so I headed over to Mountain Lakes campground to do some mountain biking.I rode for about an hour and a half. There are some very nice trails around the campground. The maps from the Mountain Lake Campground office were a huge help navigating around / through the campsites.