IF YOU WANT IT, GOT TO BLEED FOR IT BABY
Show Date: September 29, 2007
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Venue: Greensboro Coliseum
Band Website: www.van-halen.com
A couple of weekends ago, I attended the Van Halen concert in Greensboro, NC. It was only the second show of the tour, and I am here to tell you that it ROCKED!!
Forget all the smack about Wolfgang, Eddie‘s teenaged son, being unworthy of filling in for Michael Anthony. They sounded GREAT, and it was a high energy, non stop performance of their Roth era-only hits. They opened with “You Really Got Me”, to tumultuous applause and a crowd that stood the ENTIRE show, something that doesn’t happen too often anymore, nowadays. Set list, not in order:
You Really Got Me
So This Is Love
Everybody Wants Some
Running With The Devil
Ice Cream Man
Aint’ Talkin’ Bout Love
Hot For Teacher
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
I’m The One
Dance The Night Away
Guitar solo with some Eruption
And The Cradle Will Rock (Diamond Dave sang “Have you seen Wolfie’s GRADES?!”)
They played over two hours, including the encore, and it seemed to go by really fast. They cranked out the songs. Dave talked a little in between but mostly they just rolled through a barrage of your favorite Van Halen tunes. It was SPECTACULAR! And I mean that sincerely. I never got to see them with Dave back in the day, and I never thought I’d get the chance again – so it was a personal concert moment for me, and I wasn’t the only one – they really had the crowd captivated. I looked around, and I saw EVERYbody standing the whole time, and what’s more – ROCKING and dancing, singing along – feeling good and having a blast. It’s rare nowadays to see that kind of genuine concert JOY, en masse!
Looking extremely buff, all of them, it was an amaaazing show… Dave sings some songs in a lower key now, but it doesn’t affect how good his voice sounds overall. Eddie had a grin on his face the entire night, and seemed delighted to be there. At one point, he gave his boy an affectionate hug and a kiss, then ruffled up his hair – and he stood with him a lot, sharing a mic on background vocals, standing back to back as they played. Eddie seems really proud of him. Wolfie is content to stay in the background. The close-ups of Alex‘s face showed him grinning and banging away on the drums – I think all of them were enjoying themselves.
Eddie and Dave also shared a lot of camaraderie, laughing together and kind of shaking their heads in a can-you-believe-this-is-happening kind of way. It was good to see them getting along. Yes, who would have thought, after all this time, that they’d be sharing a stage together?
The stage is an S shaped runway with a huge billboard-sized video screen playing behind the band. It had a cool effect, because you’re seeing two of each of them – the one showing on the screen, and the one onstage in front of you. Dave and Eddie would run out to the curved part of the S, which was the pit, and it was a sea of pumping fists, horns up,surrounding them onscreen and also right in front of you. There were also the occasional green lasers, confetti – the stage set up was simple but it worked.
David Lee Roth is one of THE greatest frontmen around. He’s still rocking the leather pants and a series of fun buttoned silk shirts that showed off his tight abs. He was looking mighty fine for 52, or however old he is now. There was also a series of hats that he wore – a Willie Wonka-ish top hat, a ten gallon…he also twirled a huge baton and did a few scissor-y karatekicks and generally ran around all night and was really happy to be ON: “I heard you missed us, we’reBAAACK!” he said during “Hot For Teacher”, and the place just erupted while he stood there, grinning from ear to ear.
The brothers Van Halen also looked healthy and fit. Eddie was shirtless and showing off his 6 pack andwiry arms, every tendon and vein standing out – especially in his hands, the way that all good guitar players’ hands are. He was laughing and having a good time. One thing I did notice: his guitar is still plugged in – I thought most guitarists use the wireless now? Looks like Eddie is still old school…there was also a huge stack of his EVH amps.The cameras showed a lot of close-ups of his hands while he was playing, and during the show there was chanting for EDDIE, EDDIE, EDDIE…he’s still a huge guitar hero. The audience was predominantly male, I noticed, and spanned all ages.
Wolfie stayed low-key, and sang a lot of back-up vocals. He looks like the perfect blend of Eddie andVal with a slightly chubby baby face, cuuute and boyish-a teenybopper’s dream. He’s not the focusthough – it’s all about those other Van Halens and Diamond Dave, who also straddles a giganticphallic-looking blow up microphone towards the end ofthe show, and rides it around the stage to a roaring crowd. So what if he’s cheesy – he’s Diamond Dave, and he can get away with it because he’s never taken himself too seriously. And – he’s David Lee Roth!
If you go, you won’t be sorry. Who knows how long thehoneymoon between DLR and the Van Halens will last? Idon’t know, but I do know that I saw three separate tour buses as I left the Coliseum! lol I’m glad that I made the road trip to NC to be there – it was a worthy journey and a kick ASS show!
I guess I should mention that the opening act was oneof Bob Marley‘s sons – not Ziggy, but one of the others whose name I can’t recall. I only heard him and his band do “No Woman No Cry” and “I Shot the Sheriff”- I couldn’t tell you if they were good or not because I didn’t pay attention 😉