Concert Reports


Van Halen

07/14/2015, Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre

With a show just over 2 hours and armed with what quite possibly could be the bands greatest set list of all time, David Lee Roth, Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen returned to the Southland to take care of business.







Jaws dropped as the show exploded with “Light Up The Sky.” a song the band has not performed since 1979. In fact, thanks to Wolfgang Van Halen, the entire evening was sprinkled with deep cuts that were either brought back from the dead or had never been performed in the bands 41 year career such as 1981's Fair Warning track “Dirty Movies” and “Drop Dead Legs” off of the 1984 LP.


The magic continued as the band plowed through rarities such as “In A Simple Rhyme” and “Women In Love,” which fans have not heard live since 1980. The show was well rounded and included numbers from each and every David Lee Roth era album: “Feel Your Love Tonight” from their 1978 debut LP; “Somebody Get Me A Doctor” off 1979’s Van Halen II; “Romeo Delight” off 1980’s Women And Children First LP; “Unchained” from Fair Warning; “Little Guitars” from 1982’s Diver Down; “I’ll Wait” from 1984; and “Chinatown” from the bands latest studio venture, 2012’s A Different Kind Of Truth.


Eddie41.jpgRecently, Van Halen, David Lee Roth in particular, has received quite a bit of slack since their recent television performances. Let’s face it, the band (except for 24 year old Wolfgang) are not in their 20’s anymore. Does Roth have the vocal strength and stamina he had back in the day? Of course not. Does the band have the fury on stage that made them the biggest rock band in the world back in the day? Absolutely not. Can the band still play some of the greatest hard rock songs that were ever written? You better believe it.


Sitting on a stool, armed with his acoustic guitar and a harmonica, Roth told stories about the club days on Sunset Blvd., Brown M&M’s, and tales of thievery in order to build the ultimate drum riser for Alex. The fans were treated to a stage filled with handfuls of smiles and fist bumps between the band. Roth’s vocals were stronger and more in line with the rest of the band than they have been in recent years - not perfect, but better. Musically the band was on fire, this was truly displayed in Edward Van Halen’s ferocious 13 minute guitar solo, which in a strange way seemed to be therapeutic for the guitar legend. Wolfgang has really proven himself as a musician and has become quite a monster on the bass and locks in fantastically well with his uncle Alex’s pounding ensembles. Wolfgang’s youthfulness seems to be what is really pushing the band on stage. Whatever the secret it, it’s working – the band has not sounded better in years. This is the tour that should have been recorded for their first Live album.


The last decade has been a whole new era for Van Halen with the departure of original bassist Michael Anthony, the addition of Edward Van Halen’s son Wolfgang, the return of original front-man David Lee Roth, a new studio album, re-dedicating themselves to the road, and the release of their first true Live album.



A lot has changed, but luckily for us, the band still has that same old screwed up attitude that fans have come to love. That is what makes Van Halen great.




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