Van Halen is a Force of Nature.
I saw them in 2007 on the reunion tour when David Lee Roth had rejoined the band, and was pretty much blown away by the fact they were reunited albeit sans original bassist Michael Anthony. Last night they returned to Philadelphia for the long awaited tour supporting their new album A Different Kind of Truth.
When the album was released last month I was skeptical about how good it would be. In my experience when classic bands put out new material it never lives up to their earlier classics. Perhaps that may apply here…but…
The new album actually blew me away.
Eddie’s furious riffing, and solos on A Different Kind of Truth were incendiary; reminiscent of their heyday of the late 70’s – early 80’s. I liked it, and went to the show last night with great anticipation.
How would they blow me away?
What would they open with?
Could Dave’s voice stand up?
Would Eddie be spot on note for note? The last tour the band got a lot of criticism for being off key, and some technical glitches. Van Halen did not disappoint last night.
Kool and the Gang was the opening act, and did a very nice job of getting the crowd ready for some Van Halen flavored Rock and Roll. Performing a series of hits from the early 80’s they got the crowd involved with lots of prompting and hand waving. Surprisingly the older skewing rock crowd ate it up joining the band on Celebration, and Jungle Boogie amongst others.
Around 9pm the house lights went down with the crowd erupting as they knew the boys arrival was imminent. Suddenly crashing through the darkness was that patented Van Halen thunder. Alex’s drums, Wolfgang’s low end bass, and Eddie’s power chords priming the crowd for a riotous evening. What would the opener be? I called it. Unchained!
The boys held the audience captive for the better part of 2 hours playing through one hit after another mixed in with some of the new material which actually played very well. You can see the set list here.
Unfortunately I did not have a real camera with me. In the past I would bring a small point, and shoot in with me. Over time it wore out, and broke about a year ago. I never replaced it, but did take some photos with my Samsung Galaxy S II phone. It had trouble acquiring focus of the distant stage. I did manage to get some HD video that doesn’t look too bad, but the soundtrack contains a lot of audio clipping from the loud distortion. I wish I knew what the people on YouTube with the pristine audio are using to record their video.
My advice to you if you are a fan of VH…go see them because you never know how long the Pax Van Halen between the brothers and Dave will last.