2015-09-28 Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ

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September 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm Quote #49886



David Lee Roth Sounded Awful at the Van Halen Concert Last Night
By Jim Louvau
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

There was no amount of banter, bad jokes, costume changes, or iconic rock songs that could save anyone with the last name Van Halen from lead singer David Lee Roth last night at Ak-Chin Pavilion. From the opening notes of “Light Up the Sky” the flamboyant frontman never stood a chance vocally, and it really made you wonder why the Van Halen brothers would tarnish the band’s legacy by allowing Roth to embarrass them night after night. Guitar hero Eddie Van Halen could do nothing more than smile all night. Roth was unable to do his signature screams and squeals or keep rhythm during “Running With The Devil,” and it was only two songs into the show fans knew it was going to be a long night. The lack of production and energy from the band didn’t help either during the 23-song set as the show dragged on. Roth’s attempts at humor in between songs disrupted the tempo of the show on many occasions. At one point he referenced his favorite rock star moves performed by Bon Jovi and Bono from U2 and told the crowd, “I’ve never met a Van Halen crowd that wasn’t three steps ahead of my punch lines.”

During the mighty “Unchained” Roth spend most of the song sitting on a chair on the drum riser struggling to get through one of the heaviest tracks of the night, luckily the father-son duo of Eddie and Wolfgang handled most of the chorus vocal duties. It was hard to tell if David Lee Roth knew how bad he was all night or if he is just delusional, because no matter how off he was he looked like he was having the time of his life all night long. At one point the singer applied whiskey to the sides of his face like cologne. It should be noted that Roth’s lackluster performance wasn’t due to the amount of alcohol he may have consumed; he was never really a stellar singer even in the band’s glory days. (Editor’s note: If you haven’t listened to the studio version of “Running With the Devil” that isolates Roth’s vocals, do yourself a favor and do so now.) But last night he wasn’t executing the material in any fashion that merited a fan coming out to see the show. That said, Roth is in fantastic shape and tried everything he could do distract the crowd from his singing including the splits, and the man can twirl a mic stand like nobody’s business.

During a cover of “Ice Cream Man” Roth looked over at heavier-set bassist Wolfgang Van Halen and said “It looks like you like ice cream.”

Even during his guitar solo (which ended with a slamming version of “Eruption)” Eddie looked like he just wanted to get through the show, and that was the only time throughout the evening that Roth couldn’t ruin the moment.

Fans had a tough time singing along to the songs because Roth was so off rhythm from the band. There wasn’t much movement in the stands, and you could practically see the regret seep slowly onto people’s faces as the night progressed. This wasn’t an isolated incident; when the band reunited with Roth in 2012 the results were similar. That’s what really makes you wonder why they’d take the circus back out on the road for a second time.

The wheels are falling off, guys. Maybe it’s time to give it another go with Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony if you really want the money that badly.

Critics Notebook:

Last Night: Van Halen at Ak-Chin Pavilion.

The Crowd: It was a classic rock crowd, as expected.

Personal Bias: We probably had three copies of Van Halen’s debut record in my house when I was a kid. I was really excited to see this show.

Overheard: “That was the worst concert I’ve ever been to.”

Random Notebook Dump: Fans who had great seats decided to record the video projector with their phones during Eddie’s guitar solo instead of watching it right in front of them.

Jim Louvau

September 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm Quote #49887


Right before VH came on, some dude appeared out of nowhere and started asking loudly if we wanted beahs. He was from Boston. So he called the beah vendor guy over and bought beahs for everyone in sight and then took a seat 2 spots to my right. When the show started, I could sorta hear him trying give a running commentary to the guy next to me. Luckily, the music was loud enough that he is only audible maybe 3 or 4 times. A few minutes into the show, he pushed by me to get to the beer vendor again, and actually brushed against the right channel microphone, causing a loud squawk. I was able to repair that by copying over the left channel during the squawk. Then a couple tunes later, he was so full of beah that he had to go to the restroom. When he got back, he was too drunk to find his row and had to ask the teenage security girl where to go. Then he ignored her directions and wandered into a different row altogether, two rows in front of me. She went wading in after him and demanded to see his ticket. Turns out he was supposed to be located across the aisle to my left and two rows back, so she sent him over there. He started making an ass out of himself again, and eventually they took him away. WTF, Boston? Can you take this guy back? Anyway, he was gone after about 20 minutes. Disruptions were minimal because the music obscured everything but a few WOO’s and some drunken mumbling during the quiet section of Romeo.

September 29, 2015 at 2:22 pm Quote #49888


That reporter is full of shit. Roth sounded like he always does these days, and Eddie was on fire and jumping and bouncing around like he was having a blast. I was in the 15th row and didn’t hear a single person complaining (certainly not the drunk guy).

September 29, 2015 at 2:32 pm Quote #49889


ron: It was hard to tell if David Lee Roth knew how bad he was all night or if he is just delusional, because no matter how off he was he looked like he was having the time of his life all night long.

And that’s why a lot of fans still stand by him and enjoy his performance.

September 29, 2015 at 2:40 pm Quote #49890



Why everybody still wants some Van Halen in 2015
Serene Dominic, Special for the Republic | azcentral
11:08 a.m. MST September 29, 2015

Tell people you’re going to see Van Halen in 2015 and you get a litany of reasons why you are throwing good money away for a bad bill of goods. David Lee Roth can’t sing anymore. No one in the band gets along. The Michael Anthony harmonies are sorely missed. Alex looks like Francis the Talking Mule. You get a ton of reasons why emotionally and mathematically 2015 is no longer 1984.

And that all goes out the window the minute you see Dave and his Chris-Kattan-as-Mango grin and Eddie doing his first bit of shredding business. If the camaraderie between Eddie and David at Ak-Chin Pavilion on Monday was fake, then maybe they both should have quit Van Halen in 1985 and gone into acting. They were clearly having a ball and seemingly have gotten over someone else monopolizing the cameraman’s attention.

When opener Kenny Wayne Shepherd concluded his set with “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” and impressively pulled out all the Hendrix histrionics, you were reminded how Jimi redefined guitar playing for a generation. Quite simply Eddie Van Halen redefined lead guitar for the next generation. Unlike previous guitar heroes, there’s no blues foundation to Van Halen’s playing. It’s all his Mozart and Bach training and maybe studying someone hammering away at “Lady of Spain” on an accordion. His solo stint on the encore was seven minutes of purely mesmerizing guitar-gymnastic ecstasy, rolling in bits of “Eruption” and “Spanish Fly” and adding in other new feats of strength, like controlling the volume knob on a guitar that looks like it was crafted out of a paint-chipped stove from the 1950s and making it sound like an army of Zamfirs was on the loose.

That alone would be enough to carry any show but then you have Eddie’s polar opposite Ying, a perpetually clowning rubber-band man, a one-man Ritz Brothers, the lone surviving rocker besides Alice Cooper who retains a shred of vaudeville in his rocking bones. From the moment he comes out smashing two large hand cymbals together like the Music Man had just arrived in River City, you could not take your eyes off the guy. Look, here’s Dave doing tricks with a shawl! Look, didn’t Dave just take his jacket off, how is it that it’s back on? Oh wait, look there’s Dave twirling his mike like it should be “76 Trombones” playing in the background and not “Ain’t Talkin’ About Love.” Look now Dave’s pretending the cymbal is a steering wheel and he’s driving the clown car to Alex’s drum riser. Look Dave did not one but three splits!

The problem with any Van Halen lineup that followed the original model was that Eddie and Alex seemed to think that Roth’s shtick detracted from what they were doing musically. Maybe they learned after some lean years that in a three-ring circus, there’s always a ton of stuff you could be gawking at and that dichotomy makes the whole circus look that much bigger, not smaller.

As for Dave not cutting the vocal mustard because he doesn’t hit every octave-jumping scream like he does on record, well, Dave has never done that. His shtick since day one has been pretending to forget the words so you’ll sing along. I mean, do you really think he’s forgotten the pre-chorus to “Dance the Night Away”? That song has about six words tops! At the band’s highest profile gig, the US Festival, he interrupted their big hit of the day to lead the entire band in an a capella rendition of “Happy Trails. Clowning is his business and no one does it better. He busily worked this crowd and picked his moments to high kick or scream like a pterodactyl. The only song he seemed to be slumming it through like he just caught influenza was “I’ll Wait,” where he put on a fluorescent lime-green hazard hoodie and mumbled his way through everything but the last verse. And no surprise, it’s the only Van Halen song co-written by Michael McDonald and the song Roth lobbied most strenuously to leave off the “1984″ album. To me, it just appeared that he still doesn’t care much for it.

The Dave and Eddie show is why a Van Halen ticket is something you should keep tucked away in an album sleeve, why the guy sitting in front of me had seen Van Halen 30 times. Granted, some of that was for Sammy and Gary Cherone. And who ever thought that seeing the Van Halen III tour would one day be a conversation starter? It’s like “Wow you saw the Yardbirds for the millisecond that Page and Beck were in the band at the same time?”

But let’s focus on Alex, who did a tasteful drum solo that never got to the tired thumping of others, triggering orchestral stabs and sounding like a one-man Mardi Gras. And although YouTube doesn’t lie and truly the earliest Van Halen sans Michael Anthony shows sounded ragged and off-key, that was ages ago. Wolfgang has more than stepped up to the plate vocally and filled that void as well as become Van Halen’s co-producer.

Dave used the breakdown in “Dance the Night Away to rag on other lead singers like Jon Bon Jovi and Bono and the messianic stage gestures they do to emulate Jesus and revealed his own variation on the theme. He also worked in an anecdote abut Steven Tyler, who he said paid him the highest compliment when he saw Dave backstage wearing some front man space suit: “I’d wear that!”

Roth also had fun with Van Halen’s reputation for picking pretty young things out of the audience, behavior not becoming of a 60-year old man. “Didn’t I meet your mom on the World Tour in 1979? Welcome to the family, sweetheart!”

So bemoan the fact that they dropped “Jump” down a key or two. Complain because you miss Michael Anthony and his red pants and suspenders. Begrudge Eddie for giving his son a job. You’re missing out on a world class band the likes of which we haven’t seen since 1984 nor likely will again. As Dave exclaimed during “Runnin’ with the Devil” –”I’m the leader of the pack!”

Van Halen set list

“Light Up the Sky”
“Runnin’ With the Devil”
“Romeo Delight”
“Everybody Wants Some!!”
“Drop Dead Legs”
“Feel Your Love Tonight”
“Somebody Get Me a Doctor”
“She’s the Woman”
“I’ll Wait”
Alex’s Drum Solo
“Little Guitars”
“Dance the Night Away”
“Beautiful Girls”
“Women in Love”
“Hot for Teacher”
“Dirty Movies”
“Ice Cream Man”
“Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”
Eddie’s Guitar Solo
“You Really Got Me”

September 29, 2015 at 3:06 pm Quote #49891


Actually, Jump was a half step higher than the original.

September 29, 2015 at 7:19 pm Quote #49903


24/28 audio torrent is up here:


I’m in the middle of a career change, and so I don’t have time to convert to 44/16, but feel free to convert yourself and share as you see fit.

September 29, 2015 at 7:22 pm Quote #49904


looks like most if not all video is up on YT as well! time to make an upgrade!

boldly going nowhere

September 29, 2015 at 7:31 pm Quote #49905


When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?

October 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm Quote #50032


When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?


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