First up was Echo & The Bunnymen's show in their hometown at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in August of 2001. The track listing almost serves as a 'best of'. Songs from each phase of the band are found on the CD. Early songs such as 'Rescue' and 'All That Jazz' are played with the same vibrant energy as they were in 1980. Will Sergeant unique guitar work shines on cuts such as 'Over The Wall' and 'The Cutter'. Ian McCulloch's raspy voice is in top form, especially on 'The Killing Moon' and 'Nothing Lasts Forever'. The band's performance of 'Ocean Rain' is unbelievable - it seems like it wouldn't be possible to transfer the beauty of the recorded version of this song to a live setting, but they succeed. I enjoyed this commercially available recording immensely!
Owl black against the moon lit sky
Calls into the night
A voice like an angel
Launched into a dream
Searches for what seems secure
Always out of reach
Instead of listening to another hour+ long show, I went for something short and sweet. I popped Van Halen's 1991 F.U.C.K studio album into the CD player. This is their third number 1 album and it's loaded with some of the best Sammy era songs.
According to Ian Christe's The Van Halen Saga:
"Despite Eddie's gestures to sobriety after his father's death, the F.U.C.K. sessions were marked by the frequent pffft of beer cans opening - at least half a case a day. "My problem is that I go to the office to drink," Eddie told Guitar World. "It's completely ass-backwards. And the only reason I kept doing it is because it still works, believe it or not. It just breaks down inhibitions. And I'm too inhibited, ordinarily - I get real nervous."
"Ultimately the album became Hagar's favorite with the band, with 5150 a close second. F.U.C.K. was the hardest rock he'd recorded with Van Halen, probably what Roth-era fans would have preferred at the outset in 1986. At times it resembled the best possible Sammy Hagar solo record imaginable. Though sounding more vivid, Van Halen did seem to be entering a holding pattern - but nobody was going to complain about circling at number 1."