My First Time With Van Halen

Courtesy of Matt Stone

When I heard that David Lee Roth was joining Van Halen for a new album and tour, I rolled my eyes. Having purchased every Van Halen album, David Lee Roth era, I figured this would be a weak attempt to recapture some of the glory the members once enjoyed. We have all heard of the tumultuous sparring between Dave and the Van Halen brothers. They have made attempts to reconcile in the past with disastrous results. Although I was skeptical, there was a part of me that always felt “left out” because I had never seen Van Halen perform live. I decided to make it my mission.

Saturday night, February 18, 2012, Van Halen gathered on stage at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY to begin, ‘A Different Kind Of Truth’, tour. It was opening night for a quartet that briefly played together in 2007, before imploding. But this time the stakes were higher because of the tandem album which could benefit greatly from the additional exposure. When the band took the stage, the arena exploded. I was thrilled to hear the beginning of “You Really Got Me” in tact as it was first presented decades earlier. Dave seemed to hit every note, Eddie was back to his smiling greatness and the rhythm section of Alex and (nephew) Wolfgang, were perfectly in sync. I hoped that the first display would be indicative of the night’s offerings. I was pleasantly assured as the band continued to gel and dig into the very essence of classic Van Halen. One after another the memories of my youth presented themselves as each note was delivered. Even though David Lee Roth forgot the words to “I’ll Wait”, asking the audience for help, I was impressed. Eddie sat down for his extended guitar solo, but sounded alive. Alex whaled on the drums while his face expanded to three stories on the screen behind him. David Lee Roth even played the acoustic guitar as he spoke of life’s beginnings in Bloomington and New Castle, Indiana. He was plucking the beginnings of “Ice Cream Man” with the band in the wings ready to erupt on stage. The hour and forty minute set ended with “Jump”, and even though I had trouble with the presentation of the song, it was one of the most anticipated of the evening’s performance.

Van Halen stops in Indianapolis on Wednesday night. If you are looking for a night of pure entertainment, I would highly recommend catching the show. Every day of my life is about new experiences. Saturday night, I lived a new experience that connected me to memories of another era. It was worth every second spent.

‘A Different Kind Of Truth’ opening night set list, Louisville, KY (Listen)

1. “You Really Got Me”
2. “Runnin’ With the Devil”
3. “She’s The Woman”
4. “Romeo Delight”
5. “Tattoo”
6. “Everybody Wants Some!!”
7. “Somebody Get Me A Doctor”
8. “China Town”
9. “Mean Street”
10. “Oh, Pretty Woman”
11.  Drum solo
12. “Unchained”
13. “The Trouble with Never”
14. “Dance The Night Away”
15. “I’ll Wait”
16. “Hot For Teacher”
17. “Women In Love”
18. “Outta Love Again”
19. “Beautiful Girls”
20. “Ice Cream Man”
21. “Panama”
22.  Guitar solo
23. “Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love”
24. “Jump”

 

“Everybody Wants Some” from opening night 2012, Louisville, KY (thanks, random fan)

 

 

    2 Responses to “My First Time With Van Halen”

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    1. Dave says:

      Enjoyed the show as well Laura #10 show…way better than 2007 tour and great new cd..glad you finally saw them

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