USA (East Rutherford), November 3, 2007 Review

artist: Van Halen date: 11/07/2007 category: live concerts

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Van Halen: USA (East Rutherford), November 3, 2007
The addition of Wolfgang has helped the band shake off the stasis that has long dogged their flaccid, Sammy Hagar-led performances. One can only hope this attitude spills over into a new album.
 Sound: 10
 Perfomance: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
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review (1) 98 comments vote for this concert:
overall: 10
USA (East Rutherford), November 3, 2007 Reviewed by: UG Team, on november 07, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Like Godzilla after three pitchers of martinis: gargantuan in visual power and volume, deliriously unpredictable, and one heck of a good time. The Van Halen of 2007 (and presumably, the future), which includes three-quarters of the original band (guitar magus Eddie Van Halen, brother Alex on drums, long-missed singer/showman David Lee Roth, and Eddie's son, Wolfgang, already a dynamo on bass at 16) manage to turn the clock back in an almost miraculous fashion. While Roth can't quite nail the testicle-squeezing yeows! of his youth, his voice, even at maximum surge, displays a new range of depth that gives the songs -- all pre-Hagar, mercifully -- greater resonance. // 10

Perfomance: For music fans who had hoped for this concert for 23 years, the sight of Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth smiling on stage together was like a fata morgana. But the biggest surprise wasn't that the band partied like it was 1984 -- more like it was 1978, the year they upstaged Black Sabbath on tour and put the rock world on notice that a superpower had officially arrived. While the old guys pumped like pistons (Roth and the elder Van Halen, abs firm as bricks, slid around the stage with such abandon that sometimes it looked as though they were on a water slide), the younger Van Halen stoically held his ground, content with his role as bottom end and musical director. It has been widely reported that Wolfgang had a major hand in choosing the set list, and in that regard he delivered steak, sizzle, and extra fries. From the opening number, You Really Got Me to long forgotten gems Romeo Delight and Bottoms Up to chart-toppers Jump and Panama, the repertoire was a Hagar-free jukebox, devoid of schmaltzy ballads (Love Walks In) and wobbly attempts at social commentary (Right Now). As with any Van Halen show, there were the requisite solo sections, and it was with Eddie's showcase spot where the guitarist, and the show, traveled to points unknown. His take on the instrumental colossus Eruption was more of an instinctual pastiche -- the original tossed into a Cuisinart -- rather than the rote demonstration of dexterity that he has delivered for years. Breathing new life into a sacrosanct classic is tricky stuff, but Eddie appears to have regained his sense of adventure. His Jackson Pollack-like approach to his signature song was exhilarating to both the guitarist and the audience. // 10

Overall Impression: Along with the reunited Police, Van Halen have laid to waste the notion that bands can't improve with age. While classy is an adjective VH would most assuredly reject out of hand, this is a reassemblage built for importance, and the group attack their catalog with a grace and elan heretofore unheard of in years past. The addition of Wolfgang has helped the band shake off the stasis that has long dogged their flaccid, Sammy Hagar-led performances. One can only hope this attitude spills over into a new album. // 10

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