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Review - VAN HALEN: Live "I ain't the worst that you've seen aw, can't you see what I mean..... I might as well JUMP"

Do you think Eddie and Co. were trying to tell us something Wednesday night? I think so.

Van Halen, with their balls to the grindstone, blasted through the Arco Arena Wed. night performing for a 'forgiving' crowd of about 8,000.  Currently into the 2nd leg of their world tour in promotion of 'VAN HALEN III', the album and tour showcasing the bands 3rd singer: Gary Cherone.

Eddie and co. rocked for a solid 2 1/2 hours.  The set included a killer guitar solo (complete with ERUPTION) from Ed, an impressive drum solo from (recently wounded) Alex, and the powerful MEANSTREET. A lively band for sure, these boys are not ready to slow down. Eddie (who wasn't cordless) couldn’t stop hopping; the man's a friggin jackrabbit.  I thought he was gonna hurt himself more than once.  Not to be outdone, Gary's energy seemed boundless.  To the point of throwing himself over Michael's stack and disappearing during one song.  This band gets an A for effort.

Ok.  Now the brass taxes. Get Gary the Fuck out of this band.  This guy is upsetting to watch. I'm a fan of Gary's from his time with EXTREME.  This man has talent but it does not suit VAN HALEN.  Eddie should have vaulted all the VH material when Sammy left and called this group something else; vowing to never again to play a Van Halen song.  I would have been happier. Watching the set list which included: Unchained, Right Now, Feel You Love Tonight, Dance The Night Away, Romeo Delight, Jump, Ain't Talking bout Love, Why Can’t This Be Love, Humans Being, and Panama, was like watching a good friend die.  It fills you with the powerful memories you've shared with this band; oh and how you long to see Dave doing these songs.  Only to watch them die right in front of you. The beginning of the end. Gary's stage presence...  Should I go on?  He looks like Peter Cetera and actually danced (at one point) like Ed Grimly.  He's a Dancing Machine.  Shake it to the left, shake it to the right, spin all around and do the splits.  Sound like anyone else we know?  It's NOT!  Gary's dance training must have included ballet because he not dancing so much as PRANCING.  During PANAMA he actually did a step, kick, bit (ala The Rockettes).  Dude, I screamed out loud and covered my eyes.  This guy belongs in Vegas on the Chorus Line not with VAN HALEN. Michael Anthony.  Remember him?  He sang lead vocals on 'Somebody Get Me A Doctor’ man can that guy sing.  Little else from him all night.  No major activity and no bass solo.  What's up with that? He did use the Jack Daniels bass. The rest of the show consisted of material from the new album. Without You, One I Want, Fire In The Hole, and Josephina. Josephina was the 1st song of the encore and featured Eddie on acoustic guitar and some vocals.  Just Ed and Gary.  Not bad but NOT VH. What distresses me most is that fact that Eddie is happy.  He's stated it many times and won't dream of continuing VH without Gary. They'll make albums and tour for years and we'll slowly watch our heroes whither and die.


Turn Down The Lights, Turn Up The Sound.

Matthew Gilbert © 1999-2015 All Rights Reserved

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