Instead, they booked the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for a private concert.
They were both fantastic! Traffic getting into Toronto was super stupid so we missed about half of the Hip, but we still got to hear Bobcaygeon and 100th Meridian, and I found out from people who got there before us that they didn't play either of my favourite songs before we got there, so I don't really feel like I missed anything.
At intermission we discovered that we'd been sitting in the wrong section! That's why the photo of the Hip is at a different angle than the other ones. As it turned out our actual seats were even better than the ones we accidentally stole. I couldn't figure out how to get the BlackBerry camera to zoom in more, so it looks like we were farther away than we were. The seats we had would have cost over $200 each at a regular concert!
For a group that's been playing since 1972, Van Halen is still just so fantastic! I actually think they may be better musically now that they're living less of the "rock star" kind of live. David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen are in phenomenal shape (one was in leather pants, the other shirtless - my friend Leslie was thrilled!), and David can still get those high-kicking split jumps going! Eddie's 16 year old son is touring with them playing the bass. From his stage presence he seems shy, but wow! what a talent that kid has! And I can only imagine how amazing it must be for him and his dad to be touring together, and sharing this passion.
This is Leslie being thrilled. *grin*
The drummer (Alex Van Halen, Eddie's elder brother) did a 15 minute drum solo that I thought was going to be the highlight of the night. Then David told a story and sang while playing an acoustic guitar, and I thought that was going to be the highlight. THEN, Eddie did a 20 minute lead guitar solo that, well, as Leslie said "I didn't know it was possible to make that many different sounds with one instrument!" It was awesome, in the proper sense of the word. They saved "Jump" for the encore, and pretty much everyone in the stadium (14000 people) were on their feet for it.
It was definitely better than any Christmas party could ever be!