Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Van Halen

Freakin sweet!!!

Last night Van Halen stormed into town with Diamond David Lee Roth (Finally!) and blew me away. The only thing that disappointed was that the night eventually had to end.

It was one of the greatest concerts I have experienced. Yeah, technically, there have been better concerts, but this was Van freaking Halen, the band that weaned me off of my dads music. Before VH it was John Denver, after, rock and roll! The started rocking with 'You Really Got Me' and didn't stop until they walked off the stage before their encore. I stood and sang out loud with the familiar lyrics along with everybody else, occasionally whipping out the old air guitar. Probably one of the most electric crowds I have been apart of. The energy there could have lit the city for a month.

It wasn't the whole Van Halen. Michael Anthony was replaced with Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie's son. It was 3/4 Van Halen, but unlike the past two decades, it was the proper 3/4. Yes, I like Michael Anthony on bass, but if made to choose between him or Dave, I'll go with Dave every time. ...and he didn't let me down last night. He is a fantastic front man for a rocking party band. I love the campy Vegas off-the-strip lounge act.

Eddie was Eddie (read: amazing). As a guitar hack, I was mesmerized by the close ups of his fingers. The guy makes it look as easy as breathing. At almost 53 years old he was bounding around the stage like a 30 year old. :) Is there any greater?

Wolfgang was great on the bass. My friend complained that he didn't have much of a stage presence, but what do you expect from a 16 year old? He was like an active John Entwistle. When I was 17 I spent the summer working with my dad (I now work for the same company again..) but it was nothing like that! It was pretty cool seeing him and Eddie singing background vocals into the same mic.

Again, as a huge DLR era Van Halen fan that was in elementary school when their last album together came out, the show was sweet. Sadly I know it will never happen again. If they stick together with Dave (wagers anyone) they'll tour with some new music. This show didn't. It was every song that you could possibly want to hear. there was no playing of Van Hagar songs* and no David Lee Roth solo stuff. Face it, that is what you want when you go see a band that is 30 years (!?!?!?) old.

The highlight of the night for me was 'Ice Cream Man'. Dave came out with an acoustic guitar, and told a story about growing up in the suburbs, "where they cut down all the trees and name streets after them", before getting into the son. If you know the song, they stayed true to it and rocked out at the end. Fantastic!

Set list:

  1. You Really Got Me
  2. I'm the One
  3. Runnin' With the Devil
  4. Romeo Delight
  5. Beautiful Girls
  6. Dance the Night Away
  7. Atomic Punk
  8. Everybody Wants Some!
  9. So This is Love?
  10. Mean Street
  11. Pretty Woman
  12. Drum Solo
  13. Unchained
  14. I'll Wait
  15. And the Cradle Will Rock...
  16. Hot for Teacher
  17. Little Dreamer
  18. Jamie's Cryin'
  19. Ice Cream Man
  20. Panama
  21. Guitar Solo
  22. Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love
  23. Encore
  24. 1984/Jump

*- during his solo he played some 316 but we'll give him a pass on that as it was written for Wolfgang when he was born 3/16/91.


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