Opening Night Of Van Halen Tour Thrills Critics, Message-Board Posters

Sep 28th, 2007 // 12 Comments

AP070927035181.jpgVan Halen kicked off its “we’re back with Dave” tour in Charlotte, N.C., last night, and from most reports, things seemed to gel onstage at the Bobcats Arena (even if David Lee Roth’s hat seemed to have lost its “In this style 10/6″ slip of paper sometime during the show):

• “His hair may be shorter and crow’s feet longer, but Diamond Dave is every bit the Vegas showman that he was two decades ago, when he left Van Halen for an ill-fated solo career that took him from cheesy bad to train-wreck worse. He showed his gift for gab — and flamboyant duds — from the get-go, imitating Mick Jagger and martial arts moves, smiling like a clown, riding a giant microphone. And despite old wounds, his bandmates seemed charmed by their new old lead singer.” [Rolling Stone]
• “First, the good news: David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen got through the entire stretch of their first show together in 22 years last night without killing each other. Now the better news: At last night’s opening salvo of a national tour at the Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, N.C., the two performed with a vintage measure of joy and verve, showing neither the vitriol that long ago fractured them, nor the problems that have plagued them as individuals in the time between – including, most recently, a spell in rehab for Eddie.” [NY Daily News]
• “First to take the stage, Eddie, 52, emerged — clean-cut, bare-chested and buff — and fired off some Eruption-era riffs to a rowdy and affectionate reception from a standing crowd. Any lasting effects from his rehab stint earlier this year and past treatment for tongue cancer were not evident. Returning to the band he parted ways with 22 years ago, Roth, also 52, smiled like a Cheshire cat — as well as skintight leather pants and sparkling embroidered tunics — and strutted like Chanticleer. His flowing locks are gone and his voice sported a slightly lower register, but Roth sounded virile and satisfied the faithful with some high-pitched screams and spinning karate kicks. On drums, Alex, 54, continued to stoke the band’s fire and Wolfgang wooed the crowd with his self-defacing demeanor.” [USA Today]
• “I liked the little Dave-esque touches during and before the show….2 inflatable VH blimps with spotlights following them in the arena during the set change after Marley. The already-infamous inflatable microphone during the finale. The top hat, the swinging pole. He was showman Dave without over-doing it, but I can also see the side to this band that was lost when he left. I’m very thankful I had to chance to see this band with both Hall of Fame singers despite thinking, as of 2003, that they would never even play a show again.” [George M, Van Halen]

[Photos: AP]


  1. JohnOO

    Its good to see Eddie looking so healthy these days.

  2. doctaj

    the other big headline in town is that duran duran was here, too…not playing, (un)fortunately, but the photos are a headline on the observer website.

  3. McCroskey

    I like Dave’s Chairman Kaga-style jacket

  4. cruzich

    “Wolfgang wooed the crowd with his self-defacing demeanor”

    Was he, like, writing on himself with a Sharpie?

  5. Al Shipley

    So do you think the USA Today writer made a typo for “self-effacing,” or that Wolfgang was spray-painting graffiti on himself or carving into his arms with a knife during the show?

    All joking aside, it really is good to see EVH looking relatively normal and healthy, he was really scary-looking a couple years ago.

  6. Al Shipley

    Haha, crosspost with Cruzich.

  7. Ned Raggett

    Okay for a second I thought the hat was some sort of graphic button pasted over the original shot.

  8. Al Shipley

    Somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a big red button used to activate DLR.

  9. FionaScrapple

    …Soon you’ll see my silhouette darkening your door..

  10. peachkellipop

    Saw them on their second night, last night in Greensboron NC & they were fabulous. There were even tears shed by DLR & Eddie. I must say that as much as I missed the DLR I loved when I first saw them pre-Diver Down, I am glad he didn’t attempt any monitor jumping. Wolfgang did a fine job for a kid who’s never paid his club dues & having, who I am sure is a perfectionistic dad. My friend did a good job summing up the evening here what she left out was that she was the only sober one in our group.

    “Jump” did blow. Not because the band sucks, because that song sucks.

  11. Anonymous

    I attended the Minneapolis show last night, and just as I feared there was something sadly missing. MICHAEL ANTHONY! Wolfgang performed adequately, but he is no Michael Anthony. Also missing were the exceptional backing vocals one expects during a Van Halen show. The setlist was awesome, and Dave’s vocals were pretty good. There was a couple of miscues during two songs, but overall an enjoyable experience!

  12. Trackback

    Maura @ Idolator nails it again: “On the right, David Lee Roth celebrates Halloween back in the pre-top-hat days.

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