Discovering Van Halen
By Charly SHELTON
I don’t like music. I have been listening to the same Disneyland album since 2005. Granted, I have added to it as new attractions arise, but it is largely the same.
I have never really enjoyed music, so I don’t have new albums – or anything else – of bands except the occasional movie soundtrack, which doesn’t last long. I always default back to the Disneyland album.
That being said, I was unenthusiastic in attending a Van Halen concert last week. My girlfriend is a music fanatic and has been talking about this concert since February. I knew there was no avoiding it – I would have to take her.
I told her I didn’t get tickets. I made it painfully obvious that we weren’t going. In fact, I actually had amazing tickets – premium level access, in seat wait service, right off the stage with a great view. I was really proud of those tickets.
So as we drove up, I surprised her with them and she almost starts crying. It was a great moment. Then we get to the concert.
Best part of the night is that we had premium parking, two spaces away from the door of the Honda Center. Best. Parking. Ever. As we sat in our car eating dinner, we saw all the middle-aged fans around us partying like they used to back in the ’80s. I’m sure most of them had to get a sitter for the night, but then they showed up, skanked out. Then they started drinking.
It was so much fun. Seeing these people as old as my parents absolutely blotto, holding their red Solo cups of an unknown alcoholic beverage, making out with their spouses like they were 17 again. It was great to see them cut loose.
But it made me sad to think that when I’m that age, the only reunion tour I can go to will be like Lady Gaga or, “They say I gotta move into an assisted living facility but I said no, no, no.” This made me appreciate the Van Halen concert even more because this was great music by a great band, and every single person in that arena was rocking out, enjoying every minute of it. Even though I am not a music guy, I appreciated how much fun everyone had and what a great environment it was. And hearing Eruption in person for almost six minutes was cool beyond words, too.
It was loud, though. Like shaking the liquid parts of my brain loud. I had to stick Sour Patch Kids gummies in my ears because they didn’t sell earplugs. Unfortunately, no gummies are powerful enough to block out the power of the band’s rocking.
It was a great concert, and I plan on going to my next concert very soon.
Weird Al, here I come.
Concert Lover … for a Reason
By Sabrina WALENTYNOWICZ
I asked my boyfriend to take me to the Van Halen concert back in February. He, only interested in movie soundtracks and Disneyland background music, reluctantly agreed (being the good boyfriend that he is).
After a few weeks of getting the runaround, Charly gave up and told me that we couldn’t get tickets. I understood but was upset because I really love Van Halen and thought that he could make it work.
Fast forward to early June when Charly said we were going to a Disney fan expo in Anaheim. When we got off of the freeway, he asked me in a panic to check the envelope with the evening’s info on it, fearing that he had grabbed the wrong packet. I opened it and to my surprise found two Van Halen concert tickets inside. He had done it! As I started to cry with excitement, he said he had these tickets for weeks and wanted to surprise me. He really came through in the clutch.
The concert was everything I had hoped for: overpriced light beer, scantily clad 50-somethings reliving the 1980s, Eddie Van Halen doing face melting solos, and Diamond Dave doing high kicks. I heard all of my favorite songs and was introduced to some new favorites.
For a bunch of “old men,” these guys really rocked. Not only were they playing well for two hours but they were animated, passionate and visibly having fun.
A concert is more than just the music – it is the atmosphere and experience that people share. I had a complete blast, and even got my music-hating boyfriend to dance to a few songs with me.
And at the end of the night, broke and nearly deaf, I thanked my boyfriend for such an amazing evening.