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Thread: Van Halen Reunion Tour

  1. #61
    FORT Fogey BoBoFan's Avatar
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    Charlotte Review

    www.kansascity.com | 09/28/2007 | CONCERT REVIEW: Seems like old times as Van Halen rocks arena

    CONCERT REVIEW: Seems like old times as Van Halen rocks arena
    By COURTNEY DEVORES
    The Charlotte Observer

    Opening night of Van Halen's long-awaited reunion with David Lee Roth literally kicked off with several of Roth's highflying kicks at Charlotte Bobcats Arena on Thursday, although Eddie Van Halen was the first to appear on stage with one of his own signature hurky-style jumps.

    The last time Van Halen performed in Charlotte with Roth as its frontman, he had just turned 30, gas was $1.21 a gallon and tickets to the show at the old Charlotte Coliseum were $12.50.

    Twenty-three years later, the band's original members are all over 50 and guitarist Eddie Van Halen's 16-year-old son Wolfgang has replaced original bassist Michael Anthony.

    The show sold out in a matter of minutes in August, and the arena was packed when the band hit the stage around 8:30 p.m., following a short but sweet set of pop and reggae-tinged R&B by Kymani Marley.

    Fans assumed after well-publicized fighting, ill will and a couple of false starts over the past 11 years that the group would never reunite. But earlier this year the Van Halen brothers announced that Roth would rejoin the fold. If the group can keep egos and tempers in check (sources say the three original members arrived on separate buses for rehearsals), the reunion could be the biggest tour of the decade.

    Any animosity wasn't apparent on stage as Roth and Eddie Van Halen saddled up next to each other, smiling, during "Everybody Wants Some" and "Dance the Night Away." Roth and Wolfgang Van Halen even sang "Oh Pretty Woman" side by side.

    The younger Van Halen proved to be a showy player and spot-on backing vocalist, although he didn't yet prowl the stage like a seasoned vet.

    His post rehab father looked skinny, but cut, as did his brother. In fact, the original members all looked fit, though none ran around the stage like they did 25 years ago.

    "You Really Got Me" started things off with the band sticking to the set list that was leaked on the internet last week. Highlights included "Beautiful Girls," "Unchained," and "Hot For Teacher." The group saved its biggest single and only #1 pop song, "Jump," for the encore.

    Roth left the band in 1985, scoring several pop hits on his own. His former band outlasted his solo success, topping the mainstream rock charts 11 times without him.

    But to many fans it just wasn't the same without the flamboyant, larger-than-life Roth jumping and posing out front like an uber-charismatic game show host. One fan compared him to Liberace strutting in his embroidered jackets and skintight leather striped pants.

    What might be overlooked in favor of his over-the-top persona is his voice, which was in peak form Thursday. He easily met and held notes that younger singers like Jon Bon Jovi just can't reach anymore.

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    Re: Van Halen Reunion Tour

    I'm getting ready to leave now to see this Ultimate show!!
    When I wake up from my coma tomorrow, I'll let you know how it was! I can't wait!
    I will be thinking of you bbnbama!!!
    Last edited by BoBoFan; 09-29-2007 at 05:51 PM.

  3. #63
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    Re: Van Halen Reunion Tour

    Quote Originally Posted by BoBoFan;2592176;
    I'm getting ready to leave now to see this Ultimate show!!
    When I wake up from my coma tomorrow, I'll let you know how it was! I can't wait!
    I will be thinking of you bbnbama!!!
    I'm so excited for you.........I'm grinning from ear to ear just thinking about you getting to go......be careful and ROCK ON!
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

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    Greensboro Show/My Thoughts

    Everybody!
    I've made it back from an amazing night, with my Pink Van Halen T-shirt in hand. I actually had a great time, and even the company I kept turned out to be much better than expected.
    The Greensboro Coliseum was filled with excitement last night as the sell out crowd was flooding in. Everyone was so pumped! People were partying in a packed parking lot and the tailgating continued as KyMani Marley had already taken the stage. Mr. Marley got his "Reggae" on and even did a version of "I Shot The Sheriff", a song his father Bob has covered. It made me want to head straight to Jamaica.

    Before Van Halen took the stage at 9:00 sharp, everyone was entertained by a giant rubber blimp floating all around the arena, complete with the bands logo. Camera phones were trying to capture images of the blimp as it floated past, while roadies were hard at work getting the stage ready. Microphone and equipment checks made the crowd go into a frenzy as it became apparent that the band would be taking the stage within minutes! The show opened with "You Really Got Me" and the crowd went crazy!

    The song list I posted earlier was "Spot On" and is indeed the correct order in which they were performed. Eddie, Alex and Wolfie were incredible! I was so amazed by Wolfie's talent and how comfortable he was on stage. I loved how he interacted with Eddie. The backing vocals were clear, strong and top notch. The solos by Eddie and Alex left everyone in awe and dying for more.
    As for Diamond Dave, he's as charismatic as ever! Dave didn't do much leaping around as in the past and at times he was even a little off key, but no one seemed to mind. Everyone stood, sang, danced, applauded and were enthused by just the the bands presence alone. During the opener of "You Really Got Me", you couldn't hear Dave until about the third line of the song due to the drums, awesome screaming guitars and backing vocals of Eddie and Wolfie which were overpowering him. When Dave's voice came through, he was a little off, but recovered nicely, managing to catch the right note and carry it on. Eddie and Alex's solo performances kicked butt and were as flawless as you'd ever expect. During a few of the songs, Eddie managed to tease us a little with riffs from "Smoke On The Water" and "Eye Of The Tiger." I love surprises like that, as did the crowd. My favorite song of the night was "Panama." It was unbelievable. The show was amazing, but If you're like me and were fortunate enough to see the 2004 concert, Van Hagar so to speak, in comparing the two tours, in my opinion the '04 Tour was much better and I'll tell you why.

    Sammy's voice was so much stronger and clearer. His knowledge of all of the material both old and new were "Bulls-Eye" on the target. Sammy sang flawlessly on all of the songs that Dave had sang lead on previously and they were equally as good as anything Dave had sang. I really missed hearing some of the songs such as "Why Can't This Be Love", "Dreams", "Right Now" and my personal favorite "Poundcake." I knew going in that the show would only contain the songs that Dave sang lead on, but with Sammy having the versatility to pull off both the old and the new, I couldn't help but give extra points to the tour of '04 for those reasons alone. Don't get me wrong, I'm so glad I went and I'd gladly do it again. It was a blast, but I just prefer Sammy to Diamond Dave. Some things remained the same... Eddie's amazing talent which is second to none and the fact that yet again, just like in '04, I left the coliseum soaking wet from dancing my mad butt off, and my voice... Well, it's totally shot!!
    Not only did I not sit down the entire show, neither did the sold out to capacity crowd! Wow!

    I'm anxious to read the review in my local newspaper in comparison to what I've said. I will post it as soon as it becomes available.
    Last edited by BoBoFan; 09-30-2007 at 04:58 PM.

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    Re: Van Halen Reunion Tour

    So glad to read you had a wonderful time, BoBo! I loved your review, you really put me in the seat. Seeing Eddie and Wolfie together would have made me tear up (once I got over how old it would make me feel). Rock on, BoBo!

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    Re: Van Halen Reunion Tour

    Quote Originally Posted by lopevian;2593255;
    So glad to read you had a wonderful time, BoBo! I loved your review, you really put me in the seat. Seeing Eddie and Wolfie together would have made me tear up (once I got over how old it would make me feel). Rock on, BoBo!
    Thank You lopevian I'm still buzzing from that show!
    It was so impressive!

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    Re: Van Halen Reunion Tour

    My local newspaper has a review today, but the Pansies didn't post it on the website.
    However, someone from the Raleigh News & Observer were in the house, so here's their take.

    newsobserver.com | Van Halen brings back the fun

    Van Halen brings back the fun
    For a few hours, it was 1984 again

    By David Menconi, Staff Writer
    GREENSBORO - It's always a cool moment when the lights go down and a roar goes up. But there are certain shows where that anticipatory energy is just overwhelming, which was definitely the case Saturday night at Greensboro Coliseum. At long last, after 22 years of estrangement, original hambone lead singer David Lee Roth is back in the Van Halen fold and it's about damn time.
    "We came here to entertain you...I'm the one, the one you love," Roth sang on the second song of the set, and there was not a person in the room who doubted it.

    Of course, it's easy to be skeptical or even cynical about this much-ballyhooed reunion tour, and disappointed that original Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony has been seemingly excised from the band's history, replaced by guitarist Eddie Van Halen's teenage son Wolfgang. Nevertheless, there's just something so right about seeing Roth up there where he belongs again, even without the mane of hair he used to sport.

    By the end of the very first song (a crushing "You Really Got Me") Roth was scatting his vocal and Eddie Van Halen was duplicating it syllable for syllable on his guitar. That goofy sense of fun is exactly the dimension Van Halen lacked during those long, dark Sammy Hagar years.

    From Eddie's opening guitar salvo, the band came rampaging out of the gate at a pace that would have been impossible to maintain -- and things did flag a bit midway through. This was the second show of the tour and Wolfgang is still getting his sea legs as Van Halen's bassist and backup vocalist. So there were some rough spots, especially on the songs requiring a lighter touch ("Dance the Night Away," "Jamie's Cryin'").

    Still, there were only a handful of clunkers. It was classic in every sense of the term, right down to the extended drum- and guitar-solo interludes. And here's one aspect where having Wolfgang rather than Anthony in the band is an advantage: no bass solo. Wolfgang did fine, by the way, although he's not exactly overflowing with stage presence. You just sort of lost track of him for long stretches, which was fine because he was anything but the focal point.

    Roth pulled off just about every song credibly, even though his voice has undeniably lost some of its higher range. But he hasn't lost a thing in the showmanship department.

    The set list concentrated on Van Halen's early glory days, 1978-84, peaking with a couple of for-the-ages classics, "Hot for Teacher" and "Panama." The former song was almost speed-metal, multiples faster than it used to be. And on the latter song, Roth hit those high-pitched yelps just right and it felt like 1984 all over again.

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    Re: Van Halen Reunion Tour

    Finally my newspaper decided to "Git-r-done!"
    I'll forgive them for being slow as a turtle.


    "Review: Van Halen remembers how to rock" : News-Record.com : Greensboro, North Carolina

    Review: Van Halen remembers how to rock
    By Parke Puterbaugh
    Special to the News & Record
    Monday, Oct. 1, 2007 10:45 am

    GREENSBORO — It is rare for a rock band to fill an arena these days, but Van Halen sold out the Greensboro Coliseum and virtually tore the roof off Saturday night. Between the lines of this deliriously played and received concert, you could decipher a message: Big rock is back with a vengeance.

    Unlike The Police's spotty reunion tour, Van Halen took the stage well-rehearsed and determined to impress. If the band members' energy, enthusiasm and apparent camaraderie are any indication, they ought to parlay this tour into a full-fledged renaissance. Heaven knows the anemic music scene could use some of Van Halen's old-school swagger and virtuosity.

    For this tour, brothers Alex and Eddie Van Halen hooked up with vocalist David Lee Roth for the first time since 1984 and replaced original bassist Michael Anthony with Eddie's teenage son, Wolfgang. With "Wolfie" on board, Van Halen seems less like a gang and more like a family.

    Van Halen's rowdy persona has been further tempered by a reining in of Roth's formerly oversized ego. He remains a captivating showman, albeit less salacious (except for the occasional expletive) and more genial.

    A huge, appreciative roar greeted Van Halen's arrival, and the crowd — extending up to the farthest reaches of the coliseum — remained on its feet clear through the encore, "Jump," two hours later.

    At one point, the group stopped mid-song to drink in the crowd's frenzied cheering and revel in the minor miracle of their reunion, given all of the subplots that made it unlikely: the extended falling-out with Roth, both Van Halen brothers' problems with alcohol, Eddie's bout with lip cancer and recent rehab stint. There were hugs, huge smiles and — the big screen doesn't lie — a tear or two in Roth's eye.

    Muscular and short-haired, attired only in rolled-up white pants and red tennis shoes, the shirtless Eddie performed like a grateful survivor making up for lost time. He played with blinding speed and exhibited a mastery over the instrument comparable to Jimi Hendrix and very few others.

    Periodically Roth would scat-sing or make a noise, like the sound of a revving engine, and Eddie would mimic it perfectly. During a lengthy solo spot, he cut loose with blinding neoclassical runs and a cacophonous finale during which he rolled about the stage.

    The group, particularly the volcanic core of the brothers Van Halen, were impossibly tight, barely pausing for breath as they tore through nearly two dozen tunes. A sleek, contemporary stage and massive video screen further enhanced the sense of occasion.

    I've honestly never heard a band perform with such controlled fury as Van Halen during "Hot for Teacher," "Panama" and "Ain't Talking About Love."

    Actually, the entire concert was a sustained, glorious,

    high-energy blur — just what the doctor ordered, in other words.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Van Halen Reunion Tour

    Van Halen: reunited and worth the wait (phillyBurbs.com) | Music

    October 2, 2007 1:03 PM

    Van Halen: reunited and worth the wait

    By PATRICK BERKERY
    phillyBurbs.com

    The statute of limitations on anyone willing to give their right arm to see David Lee Roth back with Van Halen expired with the parties' second botched reunion attempt back in the early '00s.

    Yet another announcement earlier this year that Roth and Van Halen were joining forces once more, which was quickly followed by a postponement when Eddie Van Halen checked into rehab for alcoholism, certainly didn't help matters.

    Still, that didn't make last night's show at the Wachovia Center - the third of their reunion tour which finally got off the ground last week - sound any less sweet, or keep anyone from going stark raving bonkers when they heard the opening riffs to classics like "Unchained" and "Panama."

    As Roth explained early on, this wasn't really a reunion, per se. He called it "The New Van Halen. Three-parts original" (Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Roth), "one part inevitable" (Eddie's 17-year-old son Wolfgang, who replaced fired original bassist Michael Anthony). Roth then compared this "new" Van Halen to "watching 'Dragnet' on your iPod."

    That rap came early in the two-hour show, in which Roth kept his trademark shtick to a minimum (save for the hilarious memory lane preamble to "Ice Cream Man"), allowing the band to move from song-to-song with little hesitation.

    Some more Roth spice would've been nice, but it's hard to complain when the "less talk, more rock" approach made room for chestnuts like "Little Guitars" and "Atomic Punk."

    The band established their rapid-fire m.o. right from the start. So show opener "You Really Got Me" quickly segued into "I'm the One," which roared right into "Runnin' With the Devil."

    Eddie, looking as though he just came off the beach in white shorts and Chuck Taylor sneakers, flashed mile-wide smiles all night. He grinned with paternal pride as Wolfgang held down the bottom end and delivered the high harmonies to "Jamie's Cryin'" and "Dance the Night Away" like a seasoned vet. And Van Halen laughed as Roth looked on with typical mock amazement whenever Eddie casually tapped and picked his way through the innovative, dexterous solos that made him a certifiable guitar God.

    Fans might have been forced to wait too long for their liking to see Roth and the Van Halens fire up their signature brew of stellar musicianship, timeless melodies, and hammy showmanship again. But as confetti rained down over the Wachovia Center and Roth rode a giant, phallic microphone at the conclusion of the show-closing "Jump" it seemed as though all was forgiven.

  10. #70
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    Re: Van Halen Reunion Tour

    Live Review: Van Halen in Uncasville, CT >> Tour dates and concert ticket info >> LiveDaily

    Live Review: Van Halen in Uncasville, CT

    October 8, 2007 04:10 PM
    By John Voket
    LiveDaily Contributor
    David Lee Roth tells the story in concert like it was yesterday. As a teenager, you would often find him hanging around his best friend's suburban New Jersey home sitting among a circle of classmates, "... passing joints in both directions."
    As the hazy nights would wear on, he said everyone would become focused on a wall around his buddy's dartboard where errant darts had chipped off the paint. Except, under a black light, those chips would become a field of stars, and suddenly everyone was sharing a mutual experience of deep space flight.

    For me, a common teenage experience involved driving out into the country, and parking my VW Rabbit under a blanket of stars. Standing on the hood with a worn out 8-track blasting, I would play endless air guitar solos along with Eddie Van Halen [ tickets ]'s amazing "Eruption," and most of the rest of the band's 1978 debut project.

    Last weekend, a million "Eruptions" later, the Mohegan Sun arena in eastern Connecticut became a Mecca for thousands of heavier, balder and ostensibly more mature party maniacs and air guitar champions as the latest, and possibly greatest incarnation of Van Halen hit the stage for an incomparable 26 song marathon.

    From the opening licks of "You Really Got Me," through the 10-minute guitar solo that ended with a modified and rapturous "Eruption," to the echoing final power chords of "Jump," the band delivered the goods. Certainly anyone who came through the door with doubts about Van Halen's ability to "a-satisa-fy," had to depart the building with a whole new attitude about this hard rocking and hit-making act.

    With Eddie's 16-year-old son Wolfgang nailing the bass and high harmonies spot-on, the band is more Van Halen than ever before. And it looks like Wolfie's youthful energy has greatly enhanced and not detracted from the formula--despite all the Michael Anthony fans who assumed the departed bassist was irreplaceable.

    Song after song, Wolfgang Van Halen's contributions became more evident, as memories of whiskey swigging Anthony faded into the distance. From the constant ear-to-ear grin on father Eddie's face, and frequent approving nods and smiles from Uncle Alex and prodigal frontman David Lee Roth, the band's approval was shared from the inside out.

    While the set list has been pretty much established since opening night of the "Van Halen Reunion" tour, seeing it in print versus hearing it roll out in its glorious whooping, screeching, power chord glory is something like seeing one of those panoramic postcards of the Grand Canyon versus standing along the edge of it.

    Having been among the rock drummers who pioneered the double-bass thump, Alex has taken his extensive kit to new extremes with, count 'em, four bass drums and some electronics that helped enhance his few minutes in the solo spotlight. The heart-pounding pump and clang of the cymbal bell, which was so prevalent in most of the early Van Halen, material came through loud and clear on every number.

    Switching off on a variety of colorful axes throughout the show, brother Eddie reaffirmed his status as one of the world's greatest rock guitarists. He was not only one with the instrument, his stings and leads were perfectly integrated with each number.

    Casual fans, if there are any, may chalk up the astounding fretwork on Eddie Van Halen's studio tracks to carefully pieced together recording sessions. But once again, as it rolls out in a live format without a net or a particular former singer/guitarist to back him up, Eddie's Hall of Fame status becomes validated.

    His manipulation of the instrument is better than ever, and was as much of a draw as the prospect of seeing Diamond Dave strutting and kicking up his heels again after more than two decades. Having seen each configuration of the band including the anomaly of Gary Cherone at the microphone, it was almost strange to see Roth back in the saddle.
    With a combination of doll-face leering and some pretty campy dance moves, Roth has nonetheless earned the right to belt out a generation's worth of Van Halen numbers many long-time fans thought they would never hear in concert.

    Roth's best work was showcased on "And the Cradle Will Rock," "Atomic Punk" and "I'll Wait." By the time he pulled out the vintage acoustic guitar to accompany himself for the first segment of "Ice Cream Man," he had everyone in the arena eating out of his hand.

    While the latest configuration of Van Halen is certainly not a truly reunited band without Anthony, the current line up deserves all the credit it has coming. The band may have hosted a revolving door of lead singers, but, in the process of becoming one of rock and roll's most dysfunctional families, Van Halen has come full circle to give purists as well as newcomers a taste of vintage musical wine.

    To simply say it has improved with age, however, would be a gross understatement; despite shaking the foundations of rock and roll back in 1979, Van Halen in 2007 may be better than ever.

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