Van Halen @ the Staples Center 8/20/04

This is a review I put on a webpage I had a long time ago. I only edited it a little bit to post here. It’s kind of silly but I like it because I was really excited. And this review is with pictures, look at the bottom of the page.Van Halen
August 20th, 2004
@ The Staples Center
Last night I saw Van Halen for the 4th and final time on this tour. I purchased a 5-star package for this show and it did not let me down!I brought a disposable camera since I wasn’t frisked or scanned at the other shows. I also brought a Sammy Hagar t-shirt just in case I was close enough to get it signed. The shirt is red and was given out to those who bought “on-stage tickets” last year. The writing is black and it reads “On Stage Fun Addict” with Sammy’s signature printed on. I also brought a black sharpie so Sammy would for sure have something to sign it with. Before the show, I wrote under the writing with the sharpie: FROM THE “909”, referring to my area. Fontana is neighboring city to mine, which is were Sammy grew up. I thought this might catch his attention.I ended up in front of the line with the other 5-star people to get in. As it turns out they were having us walk through the normal entrance to the Staples Center, which have metal detecters on them. The first time I walked through I set the detector off. They made me walk through again, but first I pulled out my keys and cell phone that I forgot about. Then I walk through a second time WITHOUT setting off the detector! Me and my camera were in!The 5-star experience was the same as Las Vegas. The group of people were cool, as were the I Love All Access girls. When we were receiving our tickets I was the 2nd or 3rd name called off, which was a good sign! It paid off, I ended up with Section 2, FRONT ROW! It ended up being in front of Eddie’s mic. I didn’t win anything during the raffle, again. Oh well…on to the show.The setlist was the same as it has been for the last few weeks. I’m sure being front row helped, but I thought the show was awesome! It sounded better than the first show in Vegas.

Early in the show I held up my t-shirt for Sammy to see, but at the same time the guy next to me was holding one of the new shirts that he wanted signed. I thought this might distract him from mine, but it didn’t. He saw my shirt and smiled. Then he stuck his hand out for me to slap it but at first I couldn’t reach. Then everyone around me held their hands out for high fives but he ignored them. Then I reached farther and hit his hand. That was my moment out of the show and it was totally awesome! I didn’t have to be completely obnoxious and rude to get anyone’s attention and I didn’t have to plow over a bunch of other people.

I held my shirt up later on in the set for Sammy to see and he smiled again. I also tried to get Mikey to see it and I think he did. He kinda smiled at it, but I doubt he got the significance of it as much.

So all night I kept trying to find the right opportunity to get Sammy to sign my shirt but couldn’t find one until near the end. I think it was after he finished singing “Right Now” when he was sitting on the stage, signing a few other shirts. At this point I decided to go for it and chucked my shirt on stage. However, it flew past him. But he saw it go by and looked back for it, got it, signed it and looked for me to give it back, and he did! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

When the band came out with Wolfie to take their bows, someone (I think Wolfie) threw a few picks out. Some fell in the space between the gate I was against and the stage. This event crew guy picked them up and gave one to some chick two people away from me, and then gave me the other. A picture of it can be found below. The back reads “Mad Anthony’s Cafe 2004.” AWESOME! The Mr. T imagine is cool.

Take these three suggestions into account when you make a banner for the band:

1. For the love of God make the print or images dark so that people can actually read it! Colored pencils won’t do…DUH!
2. And please keep the writing to a minimum! One of the banners last night was like a damn novel! Can’t read that either.
3. Don’t just chuck it up there when Sammy’s not looking. You have to find the right moment to get it up there. The best bet seems to hold it up first so that he sees it, then throw it up.
4. Last tip. Don’t make it big! Can’t read that either. Make it small, portable and readable.

Anyway, it was an awesome night I’ll never forget!

Mike's Mr. T pick says...
Eddie Van Halen
Sammy and Eddie
Mike and Sam
Sammy with a beanie
Al Ed and Wolfie
Eddie Again!
Ed Sam and Mike
Mikey open your eyes!
T-shirt Sammy signed