On this day in 1982, Van Halen performed the second of two sold-out performances at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland.
The lucky crowd witnessed The Mighty Van Halen at the height of its powers. This particular show is historic, simply because it’s the only pro-shot concert to ever surface from the 1982 North American tour.
The only reason this footage exists is that the Capitol Centre was one of the only arenas in the country to have video screens. The “Cap” Centre was the first indoor arena to have them. The four-sided projection video screen was known as the “Telscreen” (or “Telescreen”) on its center-hung scoreboard. For sports games, it was used as a video replay screen. For concerts, it let the kids in the back get an up-close view of their rock stars.
This feature of the arena is the reason why a lot of pro-shot concert videos exist from the era. The Cap Centre would have their camera crew shoot each band that played the venue. Luckily for fans, someone who worked at the venue was wise enough to keep a video recording of what was projected onto the screens, along with soundboard audio. So, because the Van Halen happened to play the Cap Centre on this tour, we have this historic video for posterity. One of the best Van Halen concert videos in circulation!
This recording first surfaced in bootleg collector circles back in the mid-nineties, and is now a YouTube staple.
You can watch Van Halen’s complete Capitol Centre concert in the video embedded below. This video, often referred to as the “Largo, MD” show, is from the band’s second night in the city (Oct 12, 1982). Note that video from the first night (Oct 11th) has never surfaced. (This footage is often mislabeled as being from Oct 11th, but it’s definitely from the 12th).
History of The Capital Centre
The Capital Centre (later named “USAir Arena” and “US Airways Arena”) was an indoor arena in the eastern United States, located in unincorporated Prince George’s County, Maryland, east of Washington, D.C.; it had a Landover address.
Opened in late 1973, it closed in 1999, and was demolished in 2002. The seating capacity was over 18,000.
The first concert ever held at the Capital Centre was the Allman Brothers Band on December 4, 1973, two nights after the first Bullets’ game. (For more about which bands have played the Cap Centre, check out the venue’s page on Wikipedia).
More Van Halen concerts exist from the Capitol Centre that we may never see!
That’s right. Van Halen played the Cap Centre on almost every tour during the original lineup’s legendary run. They played there each tour from 1978 through 1984, except for the 1979 tour. That means the camera crew shot every one of those shows, and we’re guessing that all or most of those performances were indeed recorded by the Cap Centre. This is the only video that has ever surfaced.
For the love of God, we hope that someday more Van Halen performances will surface from the Cap Centre, whether it’s from a former employee of either the arena or the band. Or perhaps Van Halen will license the footage and properly release it, themselves.
But for now, turn it up. crack open a cold one, and enjoy the only pro-shot Van Halen concert from 1982!
The Full Bug
Runnin’ With The Devil
Where Have All The Good Times Gone
Hang Em High
Everybody Wants Some!!
Dance The Night Away
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Ice Cream Man
(Oh) Pretty Women
Ain’t Talkin Bout Love
You Really Got Me
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