June 11, 2004
Greensboro Coliseum - Greensboro, NC



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Van Halen:

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Van Halen is back! Okay, so it’s not the Van Halen, but if opening night is any indication, this Van Halen will do just fine! The Greensboro stop was the first for the Hagar-led lineup up in nearly a decade so the anticipation was incredibly high. Even before the opening strains of “Jump!” filled the arena, the keyed up crowd was chanting for the band! When the quartet finally arrived, it felt like old times with good friends. Early on, Sammy Hagar expressed his nervousness, claiming that he hadn’t been able to sleep for days but if anyone in Van Halen was tired from lack of sleep, it didn’t show! Most surprisingly, despite his battle with cancer and a hip replacement, guitar god Eddie Van Halen had energy to spare, leaping around the hi-tech stage with a perma-grin. He even stepped behind the mic to sing a verse of “Why Can’t This Be Love” to the delight of the faithful.

  Meanwhile, brother Alex’s trademark drumming still simulates a cattle stampede with remarkable accuracy and Michael Anthony’s invisibly permeating bottom end was just the same as before. In another interesting turn, the usually lost in the shadows bassist got his chance to shine as lead vocalist on a spastic “Somebody Get Me A Doctor.” Obviously, the set list was geared around Hagar-centric tunes like “Poundcake,” “Dreams” and “Best Of Both Worlds.” This worked well enough but when the band slammed head first into numbers like “Panama” and “Unchained,” it was evident where loyalties were. Hagar, having clearly come to terms with the band’s legacy showed a new found respect for the David Lee Roth material, even making “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” the ultimate high as Hagar sang from the catwalks in the lighting trusses.

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Near the end of the main set, Eddie did an extended “Eruption” that featured the intro to “Little Guitars” and repeated bits of “Cathedral” surrounded by stunning new bits that’ll no doubt leak onto future VH discs. During his solo, the excitement was palpable. Seeing him nail those building block hammer-ons, tortured soul screams and laughing hyena licks with perfect precision melted away years from the performer and his fans. The audience even broke into the display with chants of “Eddie, “Eddie” that actually brought the metal man to tears before he murmured something about this being “the best night of my life.” “Right Now” ended the show with renewed potency. Screens showed the familiar phrases from the award winning video of the song. Some, such as “Right now, your government is doing things you think only other governments do” were particularly weighty with the current Abu Ghraib scandal. This is rock ‘n’ roll, though, so the song ended with “Right now, Van Halen is kicking your ass in Greensboro.” No one could argue! Welcome back.

Chris McKay /

Van Halen Set List (June 11, 2004 - Greensboro, NC):

1. Jump!
2. Runaround / My Generation
3. Humans Being
4. Up For Breakfast
5. Bass Solo
6. Somebody Get Me A Doctor
7. Poundcake
8. It's About Time
9. Drum Solo
10. Top Of The World
11. Unchained
12. Why Can't This Be Love? 
13. Eagles Fly (Acoustic)
14. Deeper Kind Of Love (Acoustic)
15. Learning To See
16. Best Of Both Worlds
17. Eruption
18. Dreams
19. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
20. Right Now


21. You Really Got Me
22. Everybody Wants Some (Intro) / Panama
24. When It's Love

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