Ask Eddie: The Denver Snow Show

In the latest edition of Ask Eddie, Robert Kelly of New Paltz, N.Y., has an awesome question for Eddie Van Halen about the memorable 1995 Van Halen where snow rained down on the band and the crowd at the Fiddler’s Green in Denver.

Kelly: Hey, Ed! Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to ask you questions! My question is about the Denver show you did on the Balance tour. That was the show when you played in a snowstorm. What was that like? Was there heat on the stage? Could you even move your fingers? I am just so curious about that because it’s so insane and crazy. Thanks- Robert

Van Halen:  Hi Robert, how can I ever forget that Denver show on the Balance tour?

It is the only time I have ever played “music” in the snow. Actually it was more of a snowstorm, and yes it was totally insane and crazy, yet it was so crazy that it was great fun. I remember showing up at the venue and everyone saying, “We have to cancel or postpone the show.” Certain people didn’t want to go out and play because they were afraid of getting sick.

Alex and I took one look at the audience and said “You guys are nuts, we have to play, there are over 20,000 people (who looked like human Q-tips covered in snow) out there that have been waiting in the freezing snow for over two hours to see us play.” I remember saying, “This is Denver, they go to football games in the snow, and if they’re staying, were playing.” So we proceeded to put on extra shirts, cut holes in socks for our fingers and we went out and played. There were heaters but they did absolutely nothing because it wasn’t just the cold, it was snowing. If it wasn’t snowing and the wind wasn’t blowing, the heaters might have helped, but they were useless. Regardless, it was actually a lot of fun sliding around in the snow and playing for our fans, who were completely covered in snow to the point where we could barely see them, but we could certainly hear them. They were as loud and crazy as any other show. Maybe even more so because it was such a crazy night. At a certain part of the show it snowed so hard that I had to stop playing. Of course it had to happen in the middle of my guitar solo spot. So much snow dumped on me that the strings on my guitar would not move or resonate to make a sound. I had to stop, clean off the snow and then would just started playing again. I have to say it was probably the craziest, most interesting gig we’ve ever played. Definitely one for the record books, and yes, it was F’n cold too! But I hope you had as much fun as we did Robert!

All the best, Eddie V.H.

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