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Author: Subject: Van Halen 10-3-07 Philadelphia,PA Wachovia Center

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  posted on 10/4/2007 at 07:47 PM
http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/10198071.html


Rock like it's 1984

By Dan DeLuca

Inquirer Music Critic

David Lee Roth is like the guy in that Beyoncé song. No matter how many times his ex tells him what a scalawag he is, he can't help but think that when it comes down to it, he's irreplaceable.
So it was no wonder that Van Halen's original vocalist was smiling ear to ear for a full two hours at the sold-out Wachovia Center on Monday night. Because from the power-chord crunch of the opening cover of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me," it was abundantly clear that he'd been right all along.

Never mind Sammy Hagar, and please don't bring up Gary Cherone. For all of Eddie Van Halen's how'd-he-do-that? guitar heroics, the band that takes its name from Eddie and his drummer brother Alex (and now, Eddie's 16-year-old, bass-playing son, Wolfgang) lost every shred of its showbiz pizzazz when Roth walked out the door in 1985.

But after 22 years in exile, and a sketchy-at-best solo career of his own, Diamond Dave is back in the saddle - even if it was actually a giant inflatable microphone that he was riding like a horse during the encore of "Jump."

Is it as if he never left? Not quite. "We're three-quarters old school and one-quarter new school," Roth said at the start of the show, which he and the Van Halens will put on again tonight at the Wachovia. (Some tickets remain.) "Kind of like watching Dragnet on your iPod."

The "new school" referred to the kid in the Valerie Bertinelli haircut, nicknamed Wolfie, who held his own in the spot formerly occupied by booted-out bassist Michael Anthony. Wolfie earned a paternal tousle of his hair by his proud father after "Jamie's Cryin,' " and he bore more baby fat than his 52-year-old dad and the 53-year-old Roth combined.

The old school element was obvious in both the musical approach and physical appearance of the band's twin stars. The grizzled Van Halen - who managed to delay this, the least pretentious of the year's Big '80s reunions (beating out the Police and Genesis, by a long shot) with a stint in rehab earlier this year - was shirtless throughout.

Eddie looked like the character actor Fred Ward as he moved about as nimbly on stage as he does on the fretboard. And as a guitarist who matches thunderous riffage with delicate subtlety, his virtuosity remains jaw-dropping, even if his 10-minute-plus solo toward the end could have benefited from trimming.

As for Roth, he's not quite the physical presence he was on stage, what with his blond mane now shorn and either his too-tight leather trousers or, perhaps, a bad back keeping him from working the stage with leonine vigor - or even seeming able to bend his knees. He can still kick up a leg like a Rockette, but let's just say that during "Jump," he didn't even try to get up off the ground.

But while Roth has never been all that graceful a singer, he's a born entertainer, a guy who in another era would have been a Borscht Belt comedian or an ingratiating variety-show host.

Sure, it was a bit creepy and a little unseemly when he shook up a water bottle and let it squirt between his legs. But as a lewd-and-louche rock-and-roll lounge lizard, Roth really has no competition. And on a cavalcade of tremendously catchy hits ("Dance the Night Away," "Panama") and even lesser-known album cuts ("Atomic Punk," "Unchained") his voice was in sturdy-enough shape.

He also knows his audience. "I'm from the suburbs," he said before the California country-blues "Ice Cream Man." "You know, where they cut down all the trees and then name the streets after them."

Van Halen's 1978-to-1984 heyday corresponded with the explosion of punk and New Wave, genres that got much more critical respect than Van Halen's carefree and licentious hard rock.

But looking back, did anyone come closer to capturing the American teenage experience in their era than Van Halen? "Everybody wants some!" Roth sang with relish, then and now, in pursuit of pleasure. "I want some, too!"

And on Monday at the Wachovia, longtime VH fans remembering the good times got the dose of Diamond Dave they'd been wanting all these years.


 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 08:34 AM
i went to that show. great. say what you want to about wolfie but he can play and sing[all the high notes] yep, it sucks m.a. is not in the band but it was a great show. if you did not look at him you would never know he is only 16 by listening to him. he will only get better and dave has not sounded that good since 82. he was never the best but i have seen **** ty shows from him over the years. he took some lessons thats for sure.
 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 02:04 PM
After finding out about the childish shenanigans the VH brothers pulled by replacing Michael Anthony's pictures on the original album covers on their website I will never go see them again. Nothing against Eddie's son, but he had nothing to do with the creation of those albums. That is the lowest of low things to do to a class guy like Michael Anthony who was part of the band from day one and never did anything to deserve this kind of treatment. This shows how immature the VH brothers really are. Totally classless.

Could you imagine the outrage if the ABB replaced Dickey Betts' pictures from the LAFE album and superimposed Derek or Warren's pictures in there place. As much as I love both Derek and Warren, that would piss me off to no end. Unlike the VH boys, the ABB would never be that classless.

Pete

 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 02:07 PM
Sadly enough, Pete, I think my beloved Deep Purple did that recently also on some merchandise that had a band photo from "Machine Head" - zapped Blackmore out.
 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 03:28 PM
I saw the Rolling Stone interview with Michael Anthony. I couldn't get a clear idea from that what they had done on the VH website from what he was quoted as saying. So, I went to the webiste and there is no evidence of what he was talking about. I'm not defending the VH bros, but I'm not sure that it happened that way (and if they did take his pic off the site I doubt they actually changed the album covers). Their site is pretty bare bones.

 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 03:48 PM
The website they have up now is brand new. That's why it's so bare bones. The old one that was still up a few weeks ago had the changes to the album covers.

 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 04:03 PM
"But looking back, did anyone come closer to catching the American teenage experience in their era than Van Halen? 'Everybody wants some!' Roth sang with relish, then and now, in pursuit of pleasure. 'I want some too!' "

That kinda sums it up for me. I said it before, I'll say it again, I'd rather see Van Halen than Elvis Costello any day. And by the way, where are all you David Lee Roth bashers right now? The ones who only late last summer were saying that he's washed up, he can't sing, etc, etc, etc??? Why am I not hearing from you now? Everyone I've heard from so far, both critics and fans on this site, so far are raving about this tour.

[Edited on 10/5/2007 by robslob]

 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 04:13 PM
If you even kinda like Classic VH, and you have the means, SEE THIS SHOW!
I've seen a lot of shows over the last few years, and this ranks right up there as far a concert experiences go. Electricity in the air. One helluva party. If DLR, the VH brothers, or the kid sucked, I'd be the first to say so. But this is just a great all-around show.
If anyone has a beat on a good pair of tickets at face, or below, for MSG, please let me know.

 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 06:48 PM
interesting, still nothing from the David Lee Roth bashers, seems they've all run away and hid. Tsk, tsk.........

 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 07:50 PM
I understand his picture was removed, but neither Anthony nor the interviewer said his pic was replaced on old album art on the VH website as is being suggested in this thread. I'd have to see that. Anyone have a .jpg of that?

Either way, looking back at old interviews from last year, Michael Anthony spoke a ton about VH's dirty laundry. If was a guy hoping to stay in the good graces with the others, I'm not sure I would have publicly answered all those questions.

But, I do wish it was a real VH reunion. I'll go see it either way based on the reviews & video evidence so far. I saw the original band and the Sammy lineup twice. All quality, entertaining rock n roll shows.

Tim

 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 08:04 PM
THey replaced M.A. on the VH1 cover with a picture of Wolfie and his Frankenstrat bass in the lower-righthand spot on the album cover where M.A. had been. For the WACF record, they just removed the group photo altogether and it was just a green cover with the type-set from the record. But Wolfie was clearly in M.A.'s spot on the VH1 cover. It was up for a day or two before all the public backlash caused them to make things right. And it wasn't any previous site....it was the same as the current one, where the album covers line the right and left side of the site (after you get past the home page).

There are JPEG's on the VH Links, but I didn't save it.

 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 08:52 PM
I seen the last 4 tours VH did with Roth so I'm going to just relish my memories but if I had never seen them before I would get my a$$ down to the venue with or without Michael Anthony!
 

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  posted on 10/5/2007 at 11:41 PM
quote:
"But looking back, did anyone come closer to catching the American teenage experience in their era than Van Halen? 'Everybody wants some!' Roth sang with relish, then and now, in pursuit of pleasure. 'I want some too!' "

That kinda sums it up for me. I said it before, I'll say it again, I'd rather see Van Halen than Elvis Costello any day. And by the way, where are all you David Lee Roth bashers right now? The ones who only late last summer were saying that he's washed up, he can't sing, etc, etc, etc??? Why am I not hearing from you now? Everyone I've heard from so far, both critics and fans on this site, so far are raving about this tour.

[Edited on 10/5/2007 by robslob]


Check BigVics thread titled 'I should have went to see Gov't Mule'. Maybe after a few shows Roth's voice is starting to suffer. I agree that the videos I've seen so far aren't terrible, but they also aren't anything close to resembling the Van Halen I saw and heard in the 80's. Wolfgang's voice while not bad doesn't sound the same.

 

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