Archive for Van Halen

Live: Van Halen, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on June 25, 2012 by 30daysout

Three quarters of Van Halen: from left, Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth.

There’s a slight buzz in my ears this morning, from last night’s Van Halen concert in Houston’s Toyota Center. The 1970s rock juggernaut, reformed with original lead singer David Lee Roth and touring the United States this summer, cranked it loud enough to leave a ringing in the ears but a very pleasant post concert buzz on the morning after.

The show Sunday night in Houston was Van Halen’s second to last on this tour; they play New Orleans then go on an indefinite hiatus. About a month ago they scrapped about 30 dates after this, citing “fatigue” and “biting off more than we could chew.” Nevertheless, everyone seemed in fine spirits Sunday night.

Eddie Van Halen.

If you’ve been around a while, or have listened to any amount of classic rock radio, you can pretty much assemble a Van Halen setlist. Toss in a couple ringers from the new album A Different Kind of Truth and a few choice cuts (“Romeo Delight” wasn’t a hit? Unbelievable.) and you have Van Halen 2012.

Frontman David Lee Roth has lost none of his stagemanship, chatting up the crowd with pre-programmed banter (To a woman in the front row: “Is that a video camera? Do you want to make a sex tape?”) and sliding around on his parquet island at center stage.

His singing is another matter, though: Diamond Dave’s vocal range seems to have slipped a bit, although he howled and growled in all the right places. “Oh, Pretty Woman” and “Runnin’ With The Devil” got his best singing, and he kind of talked his way through a couple other numbers. He started out pretty strong but later in the show, Dave seemed to be on a totally different page than the rest of the band.

Eddie Van Halen was his usual virtuoso self, so was drummer Alex Van Halen and even Eddie’s 21-year-old son Wolfgang on bass was fine. Wolfie’s mom, actress/pitchwoman Valerie Bertinelli, roamed the backstage area and crossed under the stage toward Wolfie’s side, presumably to meet up during his offstage breaks.

Aside from Wolfgang, each of the other three band members got their own spotlight: Alex rocked a ferocious drum solo under a monstrous video screen and Eddie wailed solo on guitar for about eight or nine  minutes.

Roth, for his part, played some nice acoustic guitar all by himself leading into a cover of the blues song “Ice Cream Man” but before we got to that he launched into this WTF? monologue about his ranch and his sheepdogs, complete with endless video footage of them chasing sheep around some field.

The concert roared into the homestretch with “Panama,” “Ain’t Talkin’ About Love” and the set closer “Jump.” Not a bad night of rock and roll – rest up boys, we’d love to see you back on the road soon.

Van Halen official web site

That’s one ginormous video screen.

Diamond Dave – it’s like he never left.

Hey, that’s George Lopez!

Sign posted outside of Toyota Center – “Strobe” became a verb around 1977, same time “party” became a verb.

Eddie Van Halen’s guitar skills are larger than life.

David Lee Roth wraps it with “Jump” and a victory lap.

Rockin’ Into the Weekend

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by 30daysout

The late, great Ronnie James Dio.

Many people will be celebrating this weekend – Passover, Easter or just two or three days off from work. Let us be the first to welcome you to the weekend … here are some hard rockin’ tunes to help get you in the right mood.

MP3: “Shout It Out Loud” by KISS (2009 version)

MP3: “Holy Diver” by Dio

MP3: “The Ripper” by Judas Priest

MP3: “Caught In A Mosh” by Anthrax

MP3: “The Number of the Beast” by Iron Maiden

MP3: “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath

MP3: “Cowboys From Hell” by Pantera

MP3: “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (live) by AC/DC

MP3: “Cities On Flame with Rock and Roll” by Blue Öyster Cult

MP3: “Revolution Rock” by the Clash

MP3: “Kick Out The Jams” by Rage Against The Machine

MP3: “And The Cradle Will Rock” by Van Halen

Video Du Jour: Van Halen (Unplugged)

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on February 7, 2012 by 30daysout

The new album from the recently reformed Van Halen is out today – A Different Kind of Truth kicks ass, if you’re into that kind of thing. David Lee Roth looks like he partied way too much back in the 1980s, but he still sings great and Eddie Van Halen hasn’t lost a step on guitar. Here are the boys doing an acoustic version of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.”

Purchase Van Halen tour tickets

Video Du Jour: Van Halen

Posted in News with tags , , on January 10, 2012 by 30daysout

By now you probably know that Van Halen is back, reunited with original lead singer David Lee Roth. They’re planning a huge tour this year, a new album and this new single, “Tattoo.” That’s Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang on bass, replacing the departed (fired?) Michael Anthony. The new album, A Different Kind of Truth, comes out in early February.

Van Halen official website

Sampler Daze: The WB/Reprise Loss Leaders, Part 13

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2009 by 30daysout

alacarte monsters

A La Carte, the second Loss Leaders sampler from 1979, revisits the restaurant theme (remember Hot Platters and Appetizers?) but this time, with the sexy waitresses serving you on silver platters, they are much more … uptown.  But at least Burbank’s not being as evasive as in the past: they proudly trumpet Swedish-born songstress Madleen Kane as “disco dynamite” and for former gospel shouter Candi Staton, the liner notes warn: “Watch out disco lovers everywhere – here comes Candi!”

Norman Whitfield made his name at Motown, where he wrote and produced such classics as “Money (That’s What I Want),” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone,” among others.  About 10 years later, Whitfield had his own label that was distributed by Warner Bros., one of his acts was a hot eight-piece called Nytro.  “Nytro Express” is another song unashamedly touted as disco in A La Carte‘s liner notes:  “It is disco.  It is virtually unstoppable.  And it is tasty.”  Norman not only produced, but also wrote, this tasty bit of disco.  In the early 1980s, Norman Whitfield went back to working at Motown, where he  produced a later version of the Temptations and did other projects.  Whitfield died in 2008 at the age of 68.

Due to Warners’ distribution deal with Island Records, more of those artists began to appear: the Gibson Brothers” “Cuba” fused disco with tropical riddims, British rock band Runner offered “Sooner Than Later” and Robert Palmer rocked the house with “Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor Doctor).”  Another Brit, Duncan Browne, showed up with “The Wild Places,” which was a big hit in the Netherlands, of all places, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band takes on Dylan’s “You Angel You” and the B-52s represent New Wave with their definitive “Rock Lobster.”  The Bellamy Brothers took a country song and added enough pop touches to turn “If I Said You Have A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me” into a hit, while Emmylou Harris transformed the classic “Save The Last Dance For Me” into sophisticated roots music.

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