Des Moines, IA - Iowa State Fair
August 11, 2003
From: Amanda

Last night was AWESOME!!! After the show, I got one of Robby's picks. My bro got Mike's setlist and a water bottle from the front of his drum set. My original seats for the show were in the 7th row, but at a far, far, FAR left angle. Fortunately, I was able to sneak into a Row 8 that was MUCH closer to the center. On our way past the merchandise booth, we saw Jason on the cellphone. He was standing in the middle of the crowd. We didn't bother him since he was on a cell. He also watched most if Lisa Marie's set from the right side of the stage. The band had a great, great twist to their "Naked" entrance than what they've done in the past. Very cool. They've also added TWO songs from SSCW to the setlist - INCLUDING "We Are the Normal"! I was sooo shocked and happy to hear that live! The other was "'Cuz You're Gone" with "A Thousand Words", and John messed up the solo, which was entertaining. He was like, "So I messed up...I got MOST of the notes right!" Robby sang four songs! None of this "two-songs-in-a-row-and-that's-all" stuff. He even sang "Burnin' Up"!!! John also forgot some of the words in "What a Scene", *L*. Oh, and before "Think About Me", he said that the song was about this one girlfriend he lived with for FIVE years. She was sweet and nice, but he didn't like her. So he moved. Then someone in the front asked if he gave her a Dear John letter. His reply? "Her name's not John . . . all the letters I get are Dear John letters." (Mike made the appropriate drum noise for jokes, and Jason did a similar thing on the keyboards. Very funny.) Early in the show, John had all the stage lights turned on, and the houselights came on as well. He pointed up the spectacle and said, "Van Halen wants his lights back." Following that, John was like, "Can we get some Van Halen?" I think he was looking at Jason, but then Greg started playing this INSANE riff. John then said, "Just because you can play it doesn't mean you have to." They kept the alternate ending to "Iris". I wonder when they did that in Minneapolis if it was deliberate or a good mistake. . . ?? Before "Broadway", they played a version of how it would sound in true Buffalo style. It was REALLY funky! I'll post more hightlights as I think of 'em...and photos to come very soon! Ooh, I remembered some more things! John started playing "Sympathy", and there was a strange sudden sound, kind of like an electronic ripping noise. John kind of laughs, then stops the song to ask, "What the hell was that?!" Robby held up a cord (hard to tell from where I was) that had caused the sound. Ok, I think it was one of those things where you had to be there to appreciate the humor of the moment...