And Diamond Dave summed it all up Saturday night with one line: "Better late than never!"
The version of Van Halen that took the stage Saturday night at Scottrade exceeded my wildest expectations, which is saying something after all those years! My requirements were simple - I wanted them to play the best songs from the Roth era, exactly as I remember them. I didn't expect a huge stage show, and I didn't expect any gymnastics. OMG, did they deliver!
David Lee Roth was absolutely in his element, and back at the top of his game. He looked HAPPY to be there, and was clearly enjoying every note. Maybe that's fitting, since he's been exiled for so long, but there was no hint of anything other than teamwork on Saturday. His voice was strong enough to hit every note he needed to, and that's what I paid(dearly) to hear.
Eddie Van Halen was his old self, laying off licks on that guitar that most musicians couldn't dream of. My wife argues he ought to be perfect, because he's had so many years to practice, but she doesn't get it. It's like a world record holder breaking his own standard of perfection. Nobody makes a guitar sing like Eddie, and by the time he played "Eruption", it was already clear that the King is back atop his throne as the world's greatest rock god.
Wolfgang is living proof that musical talent is embedded in Eddie's genes, so to speak. The kid is 17 years old, and while most kids his age are working at McDonald's, he's replacing Michael Anthony! The greatest compliment I can give him is that if you closed your eyes you couldn't tell the difference, and the background vocals sounded original. The one thing Anthony always brought to the table was great backup singing, but Wolfie just matched him note for note, and he jammed on the bass.
Alex Van Halen was always underrated as a drummer, but the mop of grey hair on his head hasn't slowed him down one bit from his prime. His solo was brief, dramatic, and well done. I've been to too many rock concerts where that's not the case. I enjoyed this one.
Short of Led Zepelin, I don't care if I ever see another concert. VH just rocked. Thanks, Gentlemen, for erasing the years.