Friday, May 25, 2012


When they announced the tour I knew immediately I'd be going to their show if they ever made it to Denver.  And once those tickets went on sale, I had four in hand, one for me and three for everyone else in the family.  The question I always wondered about was whether, like the 2007-2008 tour, I'd go see them in other cities as they made their way across the country.  Even after listening to several of the bootleg recordings from this tour I was still not convinced, unwilling to shell out big money chasing their party from city to city.  This show was what I was waiting for.

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!

“It’s like a time machine where nothing ever changes,” said original Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth about halfway through their set in front of a mostly enthusiastic crowd at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night. There was a hint of iciness in his tone, perhaps leading one to believe the recent rumors (of the band hating each other) that spread following the announcement of many cancelled dates for the remainder of their summer reunion tour.

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”
“Romeo Delight”
“Everybody Wants Some!”
“Somebody Get Me A Doctor”
“China Town”
“Hear About It Later”
“Oh, Pretty Woman”
"Drum Solo"
“You Really Got Me”
“The Trouble With Never”
“Dance The Night Away”
“I’ll Wait”
“And The Cradle Will Rock …”
“Hot For Teacher”
“Women In Love”
“Beautiful Girls”
“Ice Cream Man”
"Guitar Solo"
“Ain’t Talkin Bout Love”

Read it here with more pictures:

Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang were all in fine form for the most part. Roth seemed to be the weaker link. At times, he seemed to be trying to compensate with antics, the occasional karate kick, James Brown spin and he even did the splits -- which was pretty damn impressive, both that he's still able to pull off that sort of move and that it didn't tear the crotch out of his skin-tight pants. Just the same, dude managed to give a fairly decent performance, hamming it up, sporting a cheesy grin most of the show.

Read more here:

Download the flac file here:!download|540p2|4211101630|VHDENVER120524FLAC.rar|825529|0|0

Download the 320 kbps mp3 file here:

1 comment:

Magnum Opus said...

Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome show.