Well, there you have it.
Van Halen atones for 2007.
Rather than go in to a huge song-by-song, I'll try to sum up my thoughts as succinctly as possible: It's as if Sammy, never happened. That's not to say I don't love VH w/ Sammy. I did. But, clearly...Dave is *the* one. Let me explain...
EVH is still the greatest guitarist on the planet. His technique, is *no* technique. You cannot learn what he's capable of, because it's within him. Even if you think you've got him figured out, you don't. Now, let's be clear...He's done everything that can be done with 6 strings and 22 frets. So, we've seen everything. But, his everything is the best. Even with those now-skeletal fingers, he plays with a fluidity that is unmistakeably unique. Vai is faster and crisper. So are Nuno & 2 dozen other "technically superior" players.
Doesn't mean squat. EVH will forever be the bar. He brings a groove that is unparalleled. Hendrix included.
Wolfgang Van Halen will *never* be able to be properly evaluated as a musician. The son of a legend, has never been able to eclipse their father. So, let's stop putting unreasonable expectations upon him.
Look around for a second. Is there another contemporary bassist out there right now that plays with his skill? Disturbed? Shinedown? Nickelback? Avenged Sevenfold? Godsmack? 5FDP?
Compare Wolfgang not to his father, uncle or MA...But, to his peers. I think the kid more than stands up. He's 21. And he is standing onstage, being judged to legendary standards, and doing just fine. Tough to be a star in Van Halen. Look at what he's up against.
Alex...remains the lynchpin of this band. I think if he's on, the band is on. He's never really received the credit for what he brings to the table. Tight. Fluid. Musical. Does that thing that makes the band go! Drums lay the foundation. And, few do it better than AVH.
And finally DLR...
For those who want to rip his vocal abilities, I challenge you to provide a VH show where Dave is spot-on & amazing. Do you not know what band you follow? He's singing every bit as "good" live as he's always sang. In fact, I heard him hold some notes last night, that he's never held before. It's almost as if he's making an effort to show he actually *can* sing. Does he miss notes? Hell yeah! Do I care? Nope. It's about the party...and Dave is the Ringmaster.
The masses have no problem loving Jagger, Springsteen, & Petty, who're every bit as off-key as Roth. But, somehow, they want to point out his fallacies, while conveniently ignoring that he's simultaneously doing a soft-shoe for 2 hours. I also didn't see teleprompters anywhere. That doesn't mean they weren't there. I just didn't see them.
Van Halen in their (3/4s anyway) late 50's, can still bring it live. That's a fact.
Somewhere along the line, people must've got the idea we're watching Train, or something. This band is the quintessential back-yard party with guitars.
Let's never lose sight of that.
Regardless of the sound @ US Airways, which is always questionable...And, the first real dust storm of monsoon (thanks Tucson...your jealousy is obvious), I had a blast.
Thank *YOU* for coming out! We'll do it again soon!