Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good Times Magazine, May 27, 2008 - "Van Halen Returns"

By Erik Badia

Since the long-awaited David Lee Roth-fronted Van Halen reunion tour began in September 2007, the band has had it share of controversies and bumps in the road. Between show cancelations, the Michael Anthony album cover controversy and rumors of Eddie in rehab, things have been a little shaky for the reunited rockers recently.

Regardless, the group has been able to shake it off and get back on track for the extended tour. Their most recent stop at the IZOD Center (formerly Continental Airlines Arena) proved that while there may be some lingering issues between theatrical front man David Lee Roth and guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen, they can still put on one hell of a show.

Playing virtually all of their most popular and lauded David Lee Roth-era hits, Van Halen stormed the stage for nearly three hours, playing more than twenty five songs. The large curved “S” catwalk on the stage proved to be a great spot for both David Lee Roth and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s 16 year old son, who has taken on the role of bassist for Michael Anthony (who was not invited back for this reunion tour), to roam around during the show.

Starting the night off with a bang, the boys served up an energetic rendition of “You Really Got Me Now,” from their eponymous 1978 album. Wolfgang then appeared at the top of the catwalk for the intro to “Runnin’ with the Devil,” thumping away at his bass with gusto. Other VH hits performed include “Beautiful Girls,” “Dance the Night Away,” “Everybody Wants Some,” “Hot for Teacher,” “Jamie’s Cryin’,” “I’ll Wait” sand a raucous version of “Panama.”
Both Eddie and Alex Van Halen got their moments to shine, with Alex doing an extended and vicious drum solo, segueing into “Unchained”; while Eddie mesmerized the packed crowd with a wild solo which included his famous “Eruption,” tapping, plucking and picking his unique Peavey Wolfgang guitar as if possessed. After the dust settled and the lights went out, Van Halen reappeared for their encore, which included “1984” and the ubiquitous hit “Jump.”

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