Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Van Halen review that is too in-depth for the readers of this blog

Finally, after 25 years of listening to Van Halen, after seeing Van Hagar five times and after waiting through a six week cancellation, I finally got to see the original Van Halen. Well, except for no Michael Anthony.

Here are some pictures from the concert.

First rant - The bass parts on Van Halen songs are not difficult. I have a hard time defending Michael Anthony's bass playing ability when it comes up in conversation, but he made his mark with two things:

Wolfgang Van Halen is a talented bass player, but there was definitely something missing from the show, and that was the showman, Michael Anthony. Wolf was technically very sound, but stood there like a tree. Zero stage presence. I know he's only 17, and I get that, but if Mad Mike was there, the energy level at the show would have been much higher. You always need a guy to chug a bottle of Jack to make the concert better. The good news was there was no need for a bass solo.

I told Tim, I can't believe (Van Halen) replaced their mediocre, fat bass player with a mediocre fat bass player.

Second rant - Who spends $150 on tickets (each) and then brings an eight-year-old girl to a Van Halen concert? I had four girls sitting behind me, giggling every time DLR said a cuss word, screaming at a pitch that only Buckley could hear, and generally just killing the vibe at the concert. Some concerts are family friendly and some are not. This was one that was not. So thank you guy who brought your eight-year-old, the adults really appreciate it.

Now some good times

Wow, what a show! For a hardcore VH fan, it had everything I could ask for. I truly believe that this is as close I'm ever going to get to a religious experience. I was absolutely giddy at times and jumping and shouting like...well, an eight-year-old girl. But I knew all the words, and could appreciate the music. I did that devil horns thing with my hands, which to my knowledge, may have been the first time for a concert. It might be entertaining to see an iso-cam on me during the concert.

When you look at the set list, they played all of their hits (Jump, Running With the Devil, Pretty Woman, etc.), but they also went deeper with Somebody Get Me a Doctor, So This is Love?, Romeo's Delight and Little Guitars. The only clunker song was Little Dreamer, which isn't popular and pretty much sucks.

A surprisingly cut and flamboyant David Lee Roth was exactly what I expected. Several years ago, Eddie Van Halen mentioned that he didn't want DLR to tour because he couldn't hit high notes anymore. That's true, but you know what? That's OK because you couldn't really hear him to begin with. And he's ancient. But he still had enough to carry the show and be the guy that runs around the stage having fun. He surprised me with a mini-guitar solo leading into Ice Cream Man.

Alex Van Halen really brought it. His solo was incredible, and as always, didn't overplay.

Eddie Van Halen moved off of my death list, but not by much. Technically, he played a flawless show. He looked engaged and glad to play. He had a couple of exchanges with DLR where they challenged each other with singing/guitar riffs. That was pretty cool. His guitar solo was also really, really good but it seemed short. He didn't move much around the stage, but that really didn't bother me. His overall grade for me would be a B.

Overall, I'm so glad I went. I would have regretted not seeing David Lee Roth and the chance to catch Van Halen one more time (probably). The seats were good, but I could have sat closer. It wasn't sold out, but the place definitely was full. You'll be happy to know that this will be my last VH post for awhile.

Here's the set list they played:

01. You Really Got Me
02. I'm the One
03. Runnin' With the Devil
04. Romeo Delight
05. Somebody Get Me a Doctor
06. Beautiful Girls
07. Dance the Night Away
08. Atomic Punk
09. Everybody Wants Some
10. So This Is Love?
11. Mean Street
12. Pretty Woman
13. Drum Solo
14. Unchained
15. I'll Wait
16. And the Cradle Will Rock
17. Hot for Teacher
18. Little Dreamer
19. Little Guitars
20. Jamie's Cryin'
21. Ice Cream Man
22. Panama
23. Guitar Solo
24. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
25. 1984
26. Jump

No comments: