We had dinner at Earl's in Cherry Creek after work, the kids meeting us part way to the office. From there it was straight to the Pepsi Center and into our seats on the third level balcony with a clear, guaranteed unobstructed, row 1 view of the stage. By the time we sat down Kool and the Gang were already making a good impression on what eventually turned out to be a full house.
Once Van Halen took the stage I was well no my way to nirvana, their show pushing me into that voodoo trance state of mind where nothing but the music mattered. After taking a few pictures, I said screw this and just went for the music. The kids got to see their dad get a little crazy: dancing in the aisle; defying security; screaming at the top of his lungs; challanging a female security staff person to show her nipple (after she said she could see mine); standing on the armrests of the seat on the edge of the balcony; and eventually passing out in the car on the way home from the overdose of excitement. Dave miss a few lyrics? Changed some words? What's new? He made it more entertaining than any of the shows I went to on the last tour. I loved it! What a show!!
I was reminded why I love this band so much. And it was the catalyst I needed to convince me to buy a ticket for another show in early June, paying good money for an up front seat close to the stage. The party will continue!
The band ran through a setlist that matched nostalgic faves (“Everybody Wants Some!”, “Jump”, “Dance The Night Away”) with select tunes from their recently released “A Different Kind Of Truth”, some of which worked (the rocking “She’s The Woman”) and some which didn’t (the heinously awful “Tattoo” and dull “The Trouble With Never”).
A high point: the band (i.e. the Van Halen family) — drummer Alex, guitar god Eddie and his young son Wolfgang, who handled himself admirably as replacement for original four-stringer Michael Anthony on bass and high harmony vocals — played mercilessly tight. A master of his instrument, Eddie clearly still has his chops, and it was a thrill to witness his fretboard fireworks in person.
However, Roth was an embarrassment.
The once lionesque front man came off like a slightly creepy fourth wheel who’d forgotten to take his meds for the past several months. Throughout the set, Diamond Dave dropped words, changed melodies and even forgot lyrics to the simplest of songs (“Oh, Pretty Woman”). Thankfully, the crowd knew the songs well enough to really amp up the energy and do them justice by happily singing along (especially on “Runnin’ With The Devil” and “Hot For Teacher”).
In his defense, it didn’t help that Roth’s vocals were buried in a murky mix. And really, it could have been worse — it could have been Sammy Hagar up there singing.
“Runnin With The Devil”
“She’s the Woman”
“Everybody Wants Some!”
“Somebody Get Me A Doctor”
“Hear About It Later”
“Oh, Pretty Woman”
“You Really Got Me”
“The Trouble With Never”
“Dance The Night Away”
“And The Cradle Will Rock …”
“Hot For Teacher”
“Women In Love”
“Ice Cream Man”
“Ain’t Talkin Bout Love”
Read it here with more pictures:
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Download the 320 kbps mp3 file here: