Friday, April 6, 2012

Van Halen Recap

So I saw Van Halen last week. Sorry for the delay, I know you have been breathlessly awaiting my report. And on that front I shall say the show was good. Not GREAT!!! just good. It started off on the great side with "Unchained" and "Running With The Devil" and "Everybody Wants Some."

This is the only time I have ever seen Van Halen. Eddie is still the best part of the band, naturally. I've never thought much of Alex, Wolfie comported himself fine in the Michael Anthony role. David Lee Roth  was a goofball, but isn't that what we expect out of Diamond Dave. He forgot the last half of the last verse to "I'll Wait" but it really wasn't important. He did a lot of extemporizing. I would have preferred if his rantings stuck to his rantings from the records so I could rant along.

What was really good was to see Eddie and Dave having a good time. Eddie looked really good, as a matter of fact, even if I was 1000 miles away. He's put on a lot of weight, and I mean that in a good way. He looks like this now when not too long ago he looked like this. So good for him!

So yeah the show started great, but it kind of lost momentum about half way through. Part of that was the obligatory new songs they did and part of it was the predictability of the old songs. The new album is actually surprisingly listenable. It's no FAIR WARNING or WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST. I've listened to it a few times and it has some strong tracks. It's not completely irrelevant, like any Rolling Stones record after, say, 1972. But it's definitely not up to par with say Rush or Iron Maiden's recent albums, two bands that are a) old; but b) still making interesting and fresh sounding records.  I'd say it's better than DIVER DOWN (which upon reflection is not saying much). 

Some of the old songs they did I found timid: "You Really Got Me Now," "Dance The Night Away," "Oh Pretty Woman," "Beautiful Girls" "Ice Cream Man." Those are too obvious. I know, people recognize those, but c'mon, you're Van Fucking Halen. It ain't Gary Cherone up there. Go deep into the catalogue, fellas! Subbing those out with, oh, I don't know, let's say "D.O.A," "Atomic Punk," "Romeo Delight," "In A Simple Rhyme," and...ooohhh...this would have been cool: "Sunday Afternoon In The Park/One Foot Out The Door." Yeah, that would have been epic!

They also did "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love," "Jamie's Cryin'," "Feel Your Love Tonight," "Somebody Get Me A Doctor," "Women In Love," "Panama," "Hot For Teacher," and they ended with "Jump." Eddie did a ten minute version of "Eruption/Cathedral," which was fine. Alex had a drum solo, but once you've seen Neil Peart do it all others pale by comparison. I probably forgot something. What new songs, you ask? Do you really care?

All in all, a good show. Glad I saw them. Got a cool tee-shirt out of it with a pin-up-ish looking girl on a motorcycle. Here's a little taste from our good friends at YouTube:

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