Play it again, Sam (Eddie)

Eddie Van HalenI just had the pleasure of seeing Van Halen in concert for the first time.  I’ve been a fan since the early 80s and being a guitar player, it seems that I would have already seen them in a live performance, but no.

The boys came out and put on an energy filled, kick-butt show playing all of my favorites and then some.

One of the things I’ve always taken issue with, however, is when artists change critical portions of their material.  What does that mean?  It means there are certain key phrases lyrically and musically that should never be changed.  It means that Eddie Van Halen should play Eruption to where it more sounds like Eruption instead of like pieces of the familiar song mixed with forgotten strokes.  I’m assuming everything they did was intentional, but hey live is dynamic.

Eruption is so ingrained in the minds of Rock enthusiasts that when there is a deviation from the recorded version, it’s readily noticeable.  What I would prefer is for Eddie to play it very closely to the recorded version then ADD to it or lead into it from a different set of riffs (just don’t change the middle).

I would imagine some artists get pretty bored doing the same material the same way every time, but they should keep in mind; if it doesn’t make it better, leave it alone.  That sound, pattern and feel are what made you successful and unfortunately are your payments back to us.  If you really want it changed THAT much, make a new song — and we’ll probably gobble that one up, too!

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