Though the new tunes went over surprisingly well, the oldies are likely what sold out Chicago's United Center and Van Halen didn't disappoint with pretty much all the Roth-era crests. Fiery album cuts like "Everybody Wants Some!!," "Somebody Get Me a Doctor" and "Hear About It Later" were interspersed with even more explosive sing-a-longs like the guys' signature cover of Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman," "Unchained" and "Dance the Night Away."
A few mid-80s moments derailed the night ever so briefly, mainly "I'll Wait" with its corny, piped-in keyboards and the hokey novelty "Hot For Teacher." But the band rebounded with plenty of bombast come the thumping "Panama" and the pummeling "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love," which for the first time in a long time, helped reclaim Van Halen's rightful place in the upper echelon of hard rock history with plenty of vitality oozing out of the current chapter.
Some refer to DLR's "rock solid" voice, but I would disagree based on my listening to this excellent recording. Pitchy in places and unable to hit some of those high notes, much more noticable in this show compared to his performance during the 2007-2008 tour. That's what four years can do. Go listen to those recordings. And unlike that earlier tour, there was less banter with the audience, just burning through the set list of the old classics with a few of the new songs through in. Unfortunately, Eddie's guitar was somewhat low in the sound mix so even he failed to stand out. When the music ended I was left with the feeling that they were going through the motions to rack up another multi million dollar paycheck by summers end. Somewhat disappointing. But I'm still looking forward to see them live in May.
Download it here:
- Great version of Panama.
- It has the coolest version of 5150 that I've ever heard.
- The band is really tight and Sammy's vocals are right on key during the entire disc.
- "There's Only One Way To Rock", has both Sammy and Ed switching off leads during the whole song. And Ed's guitar solo with "Eruption" and "Cathedral" is top notch.
- This recording is one of the best live bootleg shows I have heard. I highly recommend it.