Van Halen

I'm So Glad

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In the late '70s and early to mid-'80s, no heavy metal/hard rock artist was a more entertaining showman than David Lee Roth, whose humorous, tongue-in-cheek rowdiness had a way of making a Van Halen show a very fun event. Roth sounds like he's having a great deal of fun on I'm So Glad, a bootleg that was recorded live in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 16, 1983. The sound quality isn't great -- not horrible, but certainly not audiophile quality either. Still, the powerful nature of Van Halen's performance comes through, and Roth is in prime form on songs that range from "Unchained," "Secrets," and "Dance the Night Away" to "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love," "Bottom's Up," and "Mean Street." Some of the most entertaining moments come when Roth speaks to the Venezuelan audience in Spanish -- and we're not just talking a few phrases here and there. During "Everybody Wants Some," Roth actually talks to the audience in Spanish for several minutes. Although his Spanish isn't perfect, he's understandable, and the Venezuelans' roar of approval lets you know that they appreciate his willingness to embrace their language. I'm So Glad won't appeal to casual listeners, but despite its imperfect sound, it's a CD that fans of Roth-era Van Halen should be aware of.