Sunday, May 10, 2009


The first half of Saturday was spent ripping old cedar siding off a small section on the front of the house. Before I can reside with new material, I've got to rebuild an entire deck. Ah, the summer renovation season has arrived! No messed up shoulder to save me from the agony. The second half of the day was spent printing up the latest linoleum block print, getting only half of the 9 colors done this evening, with the second half completed the following day. Since it is a large print and it is all done by hand, I did not finish until shortly before midnight. I debated whether or not to do a concert, but the music won out and I popped the CD into the portable player shortly after midnight. Clouded sky with a very light drizzle coming and going for the next 2 hours.

A year to the day. I picked the May 9, 2008 Van Halen show at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. Great quality recording, the band and Diamond Dave's voice coming through loud and clear. One of the better shows from the 2007/2008 tour I've listened to so far. Eddie's playing was superb, getting the sense that he was really enjoying himself and not just going through the motions. I would have to agree with Dave when he said that it must be something in the water because he was very animated throughout the show, ad libbing during many of the songs and constantly running at the mouth during the quiet moments in between. Overall a very good show, classic Van Halen that had a feel like the old days. You can tell that on this night the boys were really into it.

Concert over and in bed by 2:30AM. The phone rang at 7AM the following morning and I decided to get up and begin the day, a dull headache persisting most of the day.

This is an excerpt from Jay Lustig/Star-Ledger Staff's May 12th review:

As David Lee Roth said at one point during Van Halen's Friday night concert at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, "Better late than never."

The show was originally scheduled for March 28, but was postponed when guitarist Eddie Van Halen had to undergo medical tests. Eddie's illness has not been disclosed. But he looked exceptionally fit on Friday, played with dazzling speed and fluidity, and generally seemed to be having the time of his life.

Not bad for a 53-year-old who not only had a serious medical issue in March, but who has also, in the past, had tongue and mouth cancer and hip-replacement surgery, and battled a drug-and-alcohol addiction.

Roth, also 53, seemed just as delighted as Eddie to be onstage, and in just as remarkable physical shape. The two seemed like something out of a health-club commercial, in fact, and, though their past feuds have been legendary, they came off like the best of friends, grinning widely at each other throughout the night, and exchanging high fives and hugs.

Roth's singing, though, was barely adequate -- characterless bellowing that contrasted sharply with Eddie's stunning riffs. While Eddie could reproduce his classic guitar parts live, and even add new enhancements, Roth sang with just a fraction of his old power.

Roth's goofy stage persona did, though, add a theatrical element to the show that was missing in the Hagar days. But with Alex Van Halen (Eddie's brother) drumming up a storm, and Eddie's 17-year-old son Wolfgang playing a solid bass and teaming up with Eddie on high backing vocals, Roth's singing was clearly the weak musical link.

Amped up lead guitar
Nothing subtle 'bout Eddie
Smacks you in the head

It's all about Dave
Narcissus tells the mirror
"Check it out baby!"

Speakers rip the air
Gets the crowd up on their feet
Feeling so damn good

Eddie don't say much
Fingers do all his talking
Just the way we want

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