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What was your first big Rock Show? January 31, 2008

Posted by glenhooks in Show Reviews.
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kymani-marley.jpg      van_halen_logo.jpg

My 12 yr old can now answer that question with three words:  VAN FREAKIN’ HALEN. 

Think you liked some old-school Van Halen when you were in jr hi?  Try going with your own jr hi kid, one who has been playing guitar for a couple of years and–seriously–envies me for being alive in the seventies.  Watch the show through his eyes, hear the sharp intake of his breath when the lights first go down and then come UP!!  Sit back and watch your own son truly rock out for the first time…wow.   Last night’s cocktail was one part nostalgia, two parts Feelin-Like-Superdad. 

About the show:  the opening act was Ky-mani Marley (son of Bob), who brought a strong half-hour reggae set mixed with a bit of R&B/hip-hop flow.  I was surprised with how well he was received by the crowd and how much we liked his set.   Even the young-un’s head was bobbing along to the rich beats, and the teachable moments presented themselves nicely when Ky-Mani covered a couple of his pop’s better-known tunes (“No Woman, No Cry”, “I Shot the Sheriff).  Good mellow intro to the night ahead.

Van Halen, though, utterly brought it,  in their signature fun-lovin’, good-times way.  Make no mistake:  this was not Van Hagar.  Former lead singer Sammy Hagar’s presence was nowhere to be seen, save perhaps the giant, serpentine “S”-shaped stage.  This year’s model features the return of Diamond David Lee Roth in all of his spangled, high-kicking, mic stand twirling glory, skipping over the Hagar repertoire entirely and loving it. 

A highlight for me was the debut of Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie VH’s sixteen year old son, on the bass.  The kid wasn’t just there for decoration or for family time–he has some serious chops, and displayed them to the delight of the crowd.   Wolfgang and Eddie were clearly enjoying this show, sharing mics on background vocals and running around the stage together….how’s that for bonding time? 

Van Halen knew why we’d trekked out on a cold January night and wasted no time.  Name a Van Halen hit from the David Lee Roth era and they did it:  “I’ll Wait”, “Panama”, “Jamie’s Cryin'”, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”, “Jump”, “Everybody Wants Some”, “Hot for Teacher”…on and on for a solid two hours.  We were also treated to a blistering Eddie Van Halen solo (think “Eruption” with some extended, jaw-dropping additions) and an Alex Van Halen drum solo that left us all wondering what the kit had done to piss off Alex.

A total treat.  Loved taking a trip back in time and showing the new generation what we used to do back when tickets cost about $12.50 and we bitched about it.

Question:  What was your very first “big” rock show?



1. suziparker - January 31, 2008

So people will laugh. But my first show was Rick Springfield and Corey Hart. I did not wear sunglasses at night but I did wear some badass red leather gloves. It was in Springfield’s heyday and the set was amazing. Was it the best show I have ever seen? No but I can say that Springfield is a great guitarist often overlooked by critics.

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