It Was All Eddie as David Lee Roth Barely Showed At The Van Halen Show At Rogers Arena, Vancouver, B.C. May 7, 2012
By Paul Fitzgerald, photos by Paul Fitzgerald
A Different Kind Of Truth is the new album. It is one of Van Halen’s best in my opinion. Van Halen is on tour to promote the new compilation and they played to an almost sold out show. I am proud to be a fan of the original Van Halen, I like Sammy Hagar too, but the original ‘Roth’ Tunes is what I grew up with in the Seventies. Sammy was with Montrose and in a stellar solo career back then.
The line up; Eddie, Alex, Wolfgang Van Halen ( Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on Bass) and of course the always flamboyant front man David Lee Roth were highly anticipated to put on the “Show of Shows”
I was lucky to see the reunion tour back in 2007 and that show was one to see. Some thing was off this time. I think it was time. Time has caught up to Diamond Dave and he was doing a little too much reminiscing of the old days and his sexual prowess. We didn’t need to here about your conquests from 30 years ago. I would have been impressed 30 years ago but it was not necessary. Your voice was still pretty good, Opening with Unchained, my favorite Running With The Devil was next and then She’s the Woman. The high kicks were impressive and the comedic poses and gestures had me laughing, especially the one where you did the second set of splits and pretended to use a walker after, that was funny. You seemed to accept that one day you won’t do those crazy stunts, but it is cool to see. You were pretty good on acoustic to for Ice Cream Man. Yeah Dave played acoustic guitar.
Dave, you disappointed us when you rambled on, forgot the words to China Town and didn’t really do your new album justice. ( I still call them albums because I am one of the most vinyl album listeners I know and my collection reflects it.) It is on CD but you can order it on vinyl.
The savior was Eddie. He is still one of the most revered Rock Guitar Gods today. We are all humble before you. There was the huge video screen behind that showed everyone, even in the back, the phenomenal guitar playing you are so famous for. Your solo, which started with Eruption and carried on for such a mesmerizing and mind-blowing portion of the show right after the hit Panama was near the end of the show. Eddie has been an inspiration and leader in his field. The field of playing stellar riffs and blowing our minds, Man!
Alex, on the eve of his 60th Birthday showed us early that he still can beat the skins like those half his age. Eddie and Alex need each other, they feed off each other. Alex’s Intro’s like for Eruption, Hot For Teacher, and the heavy beat on other hits just work the magic that is Van Halen.
Wolfgang has matured into a great bass player, he is a veteran now. Five years playing with Van Halen and I have to say from my Row 8 seat , right in front of Wolfgang, I was able to see his style. He’s got it, he has the gift that makes Van Halen. He sings, harmonizes great with his Dad and Uncle and picks those hits like they are his own. No offence Michael, Wolfgang is pretty good too. I was honored to get a WOLF guitar pick. Thank-you to the fan in front of me who got two and gave one to me. He just handed it to me. I wish I knew your name friend. Good show, friendly audience, It was quite entertaining even though the sound was off, too loud, which pretty well most people agreed. Also we wanted to hear all of the new album, especially Frosty. That and forgetting the words to China Town.
The encore and finale was spectacular. Red, Black and White confetti with Dave handling that oversized Checkered racing flag was truly an amazing visual for the sight to behold. So much confetti Dave was invisible right at the end of Jump, the encore song.
The most unsuspecting turn was having Kool and the Gang open for Van Halen. I like Kool. I grew up with Jungle Boogie, Ladies Night and of course the popular Celebrate.
These were some of the hits played by the twelve member Kool and The Gang. Unfortunately even with four original members still in the band, It was not Disco Night. Wrong opener dudes but I loved that jazz!
I can’t give a five out of five but I will give it a four. I’m sure the shows coming up will be better, maybe a bad night?
I will always be a fan of My 1970’s Van Halen.
Running With the Devil
She’s The Woman
Everybody Wants Some
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Hear About it Later
You Really Got me
Trouble With Never
Dance the Night Away
Hot For Teacher
Woman In Love
Outta Love Again
Ice Cream Man
Ain’t Talking About Love
ENCORE-didn’t leave stage
Huge Confetti and Racing Flag Finale