On this Day in 1980, Van Halen rolled through Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Keloland, the local news, was there to film the VH road crew settling up. Fans won’t know this, but the young man they spoke to was Patrick Whitley, Van Halen’s stage manager at the time.
Here’s the transcript:
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Sioux Falls has been lucky enough to have a lot of artists perform in the city over the years. And we’ve had a lot of big names come.
In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take a look at how the Sioux Falls arena was preparing for a Van Halen concert in 1980.
Van Halen is one of the hottest names in hard rock music today.
Promoters promise fans who attend a Van Halen concert an energy experience they’ll never forget.
That’s a pretty big claim but Van Halen is a pretty big operation.
A t 6:00 a.m. this morning five semi loads of equipment rolled up to the Sioux Falls arena and about 50 people have been at work ever since setting up the giant stage for tonight’s show.
And it’s some stage sprawling over nearly a quarter of the arena floor.
Overhead is the world’s largest touring lighting system some 800 1000 watt theater lights controlled by a technician offstage.
Also suspended from the ceiling, 1 of the biggest sound systems in the world.
8 tons hanging, another 4 tons of speakers flank the stage.
Van Halen’s equipment alone cost about 10 million dollars, and tonight Sioux Falls rock fans will hear at all.
“We put the entire system in here so everything that people in Detroit and Chicago get Sioux Falls got it as well.
So they’re getting it but they get an added bonus of being closer and nearer and having a nice small arena.
It’s a very nice arena, but it’s going to be very intimate in here tonight and very good I should imagine.”
“Pretty loud too?”
“Yes, I’m afraid so, absolutely.”
After tonight’s show it’ll take about 4 hours for the roadies to tear everything down again… then make it to Des Moines by 6:00 a.m. for an 8 p.m. concert tomorrow night.
Doug Lund, KELOLAND news, reporting.
Apparently, the new crew did not film any of the concert, and there’s no known pro-shot footage from the 1980 tour. So we’ll throw in one of our favorite concert clips from 1979, “Bottoms Up”!
Newspaper ad for Van Halen’s Sioux Falls Oct 15th, 1980 performance
Newspaper mention of Van Halen’s Sioux Falls Oct 15th, 1980 performance
Negative concert review of Van Halen’s Sioux Falls Oct 15th, 1980 performance (from a reviewer who doesn’t like hard rock!)
Thanks to Rodney Carr “ga5150″ for unearthing the newspaper clippings included in this article.