Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Van Halen

So Diamond Dave is back in the Van Halen family once again. The true fans have been waiting for this one since the 52-year-old singer split for a less than spectacular solo career in '85. It certainly wasn't 1979 last night, even though the set list was solely focused on influential music from '78-'84. The crowd was unexpectedly tranquil, especially compared to the fire in the streets after the Phils swiped the division from the Mets. The over 40 crowd came out in droves. The young frat kid in front of me, hammered out of his mind and dancing the whole time, sang every word of every song. "This is as serious as I'm going to get tonight ladies and gentleman," announced David Lee Roth with a wide grin "It is an honor to be here tonight." The crowd went nuts when Dave came over and gave Eddie a hug, the long time divide seems to be patched up. While meandering back to my car after my 3 song limit expired, I passed a lonesome scalper trying to get rid of 4 tickets with a face value of $85. There was nobody in sight. I offered him $20. He countered with $30, then accepted my $20. As I strolled to the lower level side stage seat that wasn't mine, they broke into "Dance The Night Away." Eddie was tight and in his element, Dave was hitting the high notes, Alex was drumming on beat all night, and Michael Anthony? MIA, no Jack Daniels bass. Hardly a reunion without the charismatic bass player and backing vocalist. 16 year old Wolfgang did a fine job and his dad (Eddie Van Halen) had a blast with the young one, but Anthony's absence was evident. Dude was the back bone. They covered every album recorded between the release of Van Halen ('78) to 1984. The highlight was a surprise spoken word performance by David Lee Roth, acoustic guitar in hand. He recalled the days of early rehearsal's at the Van Halen house, Alex being called to work at 6 pm every day to play drums for his dad, a love that lasted 3 years, growing up in the burbs, and coming of age with the Van Halen family. "We passed joints to the right and to the left." "Pot," he reminisced "had seeds back then." No word on whether or not the band will continue on after the 25 date tour, but Diamond Dave seems to think this is the start of a new era.

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