Van Halen Concert

Sharon, Mark, Lynae and I went to the Van Halen concert at Kemper Arena last night.  Since Sheri wasn't feeling well, Mark asked Lynae to go.  The concert was excellent.  It was loud.  The band played all of their classic songs, a few new songs and each member of the band had a solo.  Eddie, of course, demonstrated his mastery over the six-string once again.  Simply stated, that guy can do some amazing things with a guitar.  Eddie's son Wolfgang joined him onstage, and played duet with him toward the end of his solo.  He appeared to be about 15 years old, but that is just a guess.  Eddie introduced him as the "future", and gave him a big hug and a kiss after the solo, and again after the show.  Sammy Hagar was his usual self, pumping energy into the crowd and leading what must be one of the greatest live bands in the world.  We all remarked afterward how every member of the band always looks like they are enjoying themselves onstage, smiling, laughing and playing jokes on each other.  It's a wonder that they were able to get by without touring together for so long.  I guess the break probably did them some good.  They all seemed to be getting along fine onstage, and there wasn't any sign of animosity between any of the members.  Michael Anothony's wails were fun to listen to, and his bass solo was entertaining, and not too long.  And Alex played a drum solo worth remembering.  I remarked to Sharon how in-shape he must be to be able to bang on the drums like that for so long.  Our seats were decent, not excellent.  We were close to the floor, on the side, but quite a ways back in the arena.  I would have liked to have sat closer, but I have definitely had seats that were worse.  I thought about bringing my MP3 player to record the concert, but in the end decided against it, since I'm not even sure how to record on it.  I also thought about bringing binoculars, but also nixed that idea.  I don't like carrying too much stuff around.  Sharon and I were starving before the concert, so I had some fries and she had some nachos.  I drank three beers, most before Van Halen started playing.  There was an abundance of Mary Jane burning close by, which became annoying after awhile.  However, everyone around our seats seemed well-behaved and polite.  Not any fighting or shoving.  We stood for the whole concert, which is not always the case for concerts at Kemper that I have been to.  We parked pretty close to the arena for $10, and we got out suprisingly quick.  We all ate at Denny's after the concert, which is somewhat of a tradition, both in Cedar Rapids and Kansas City.  (Sidenote:  I think I remember Todd telling me that the Denny's in Cedar Rapids is no longer there.)  The opening band at the concert was Shinedown.  The lead singer had a great voice, and I recognized one of their songs, which had a lyric such as "staring down the barrel of a .45...".  They also played "A Simple Kind of Man", which I think the singer said was a Lynard Skynard song.  I recognized it, and sang along.  Shinedown was clearly making the most of an opportunity that they seemed genuinely grateful for.  It was nice to see them thank Van Halen for "the opportunity of a lifetime."  They played about 5 songs.  There didn't seem to be too much time between the bands either, which was nice.  I don't like when I have to wait an hour for the main band to come on stage.  Van Halen opened with Jump, and Sammy introduced himself by his customary "Hello, Baby".  Sammy signed autographs throughout the concert, even during songs, which I thought was awesome.  Some lucky fans got to stand inside the 'rings' of the stage.  They seemed to get the most autograph attention, but Sammy was also signing shirts that people would throw up on stage from the crowd.  The second song was Runaround.  I can't remember the order, but here are some of the other songs that were in the setlist:
Humans Being, Somebody Get Me a Doctor (sung by Michael Anothony, after his bass solo), Up For Breakfast, It's About Time, Why Can't This Be Love, Poundcake (complete with Eddie and his power drill), Standing On Top Of the World, Unchained, Dreams, Right Now, The Best of Both Worlds, Panama and When It's Love.  The band came back for two curtain calls, and I thought they were going to come back for a third, but then the lights came on. 

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