Van Halen/Alice In Chains Nov 7 1991 Winnipeg Arena
So the big Halen show was hitting the Peg and I was in attendance to watch Seattle upstarts Alice In Chains sludge there sounds across the arena. Kudos to Halen they could have gotten another party rock band to open but na they went with the exact opposite of what there doing. AIC were plugging the Facelift album and although I wasn’t a huge fan per say of them I will say that even today Man In The Box still holds up real well. Also crazy is the half that band has passed on (layne Staley rip and Mike Starr rip) but that night in the Peg they played there album and I just remember the crowd was ok with them. If my memory serves me correct I think the only thing Staley said to the crowd was ‘hey we don’t bite’ as the front rows were somewhat subdued!
So after a quick changeover here comes Van Hagar amped and loaded and there’s EVH Noodling with his drill and were cranking into Poundcake and man Halen are jacked and they look like there enjoying themselves well I sure as hell am as thru a few friends they got me and my lady friend at the time 6 th row on the floor. Holy crap there’s Halen right infront and man it’s loud down here but I wouldn’t want it any other way!!
Second song and were blasting full throttle into Judgement Day and EVH lays down some neat tapping and Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar nail down the vocals and AVH drives the song into the next realm! Two songs down….make that Diver Down in my case!
Runaround follows as the third track played and the third song from the current release and man this is a good song and it comes across great live. Sammy works the stage and someone throws up a tshirt and Sam check is it out and holds out the homemade shirt that says written in marker on the back ‘Juiced For Halen’ and Sammy than puts it on much to the slight of the fans down front from what I could see a bunch of em all had homemade Juiced For Halen shirts! Ahhhh memories!
When it’s love is up next and you know what this is a great Halen song as well and man Sam can sing live he just gives Er and I recall this one having some decent lights twirling around or was that my head?! Ha
No sooner does the song end and boom where into solo Hagar territory with There’s Only One Way To Rock…yes man I love this song and Halen is firing on all four cylinders! This song can get you jacked up and man I was fired up! Great energy this tune especially with the guitar duel with EVH.
And now a blast from the past here comes Sunday Afternoon in the Park from Fair Warning and were into a Michael Anthony bass solo. This solo was so loud that the bass was vibrating my pant leg haha…..Anthony ran around flinging out bass riffs that made no sense to me but man the dude was having a good time and you know what ? So was I M.A so thank u!
Anthony and AVH with Ed head into the Pleasure Dome and were into Alex’s drum solo and man what a drummer one of the greats for sure! Huge drum riser and pyro shooting off and wow man Alex loads up and launches into the drum fill of ..
A.F.U..yeah man there jacked I’m jacked were all fired up what a great song!
Including solos and songs were now into the ninth song and the first DLR tune is unleashed and it’s Panama and the crowd goes crazy. Sammy delivers it and hey I think he may just may dig this tune and if he doesn’t well he ain’t showing it!
After one Diamond Dave track were back to 5150 and Why Can’t This Be Love. This is a good solid rock track and well the new recruits into Camp Halen like this track and me as well. It was the Van Hagar debut single and it showed us there was life after Panama!
Well now so out come some goofy cowboy hats and the Halen boys go acoustic(Sammy) and electric(Ed)with Finish What You Started and Ed shows us the cool finger picking solo that just makes this song come alive.
Now it’s time for SAMs solo spot and that’s Eagles Fly from his 87 solo release I Never Said Goodbye. Good song and man say what ya want but Sammy can play guitar.
We go from nice little acoustic piece into 316 and EVH’s monster solo…Eruption! What is there to say during EVH solo? Nuthin new I can add so why bother but I will say that he is the best of the best from my generation! Ya can’t compete with this guy when he’s soloing. No one comes close!
You Really Got Me is up next and it’s more blistering guitar work from Eddie like I had to tell ya right??
Sammy punches the gas and drives Halen right into I Can’t a Drive 55. This one is a hard rocker now that it’s a keyboard less tune.
Some more from 5150 is coming up and that’s Best Of Both Worlds. I like the interplay between band members on this one like from the Live Without A Net Release! So by now it’s a pretty well known fact that Halen is rocking and pushing the Hagar catalogue to extremes!
The regular Set ends with The Dream Is Over and it’s a great song man and people tend to forget about as it’s buried on side two of the F.U.C.K album. The band rips it apart at the end and bids adieu ! But I ain’t leaving yet!
Here it comes folks..might as well……JUMP!…Sam obliges everyone and plays the biggest selling single of VH’s career by that point well ya have to give the people what they want right.?!?!
And to close off the nights festivities…..Top Of The World! Complete with VH logo torched and on fire with pyro going off left,right and center! The band says cya and Sam shouts a don’t drive drunk message to the faithful and they depart!
This was a great rock show. I mean Halen by this point is a different animal with Hagar fronting as you can tell by the lack of DLR material played and for my money I was ok with it all! Some points of interest were that this was VH’s first performance in the Peg since 1984 and that only 8,000 of a 12,000 seats were sold. But being a professional rock act Halen played to the 8,000 fans not the ,4000 empty seats!