Here’s two reviews and some of the best photos and videos we can find from Van Halen’s April 20th concert at the Stone Music Festival in Sydney, Australia. (By the way, many people are wondering why the band wore matching outfits. They were all dressed like the main character from STONE, the classic Australian 70s film that the Stone Music Festival takes it’s name from).
First, MTV’s review:
The legends rock ANZ Stadium…
On a cold night in Sydney, the Stone Music Festival crowd waited patiently in ANZ Stadium for the band that most had come to see – Saturday’s headliners Van Halen.
An hour after Aerosmith had finished their set, Van Halen hit the stage looking very formal in matching black and white outfits. They kicked things off with ‘Unchained’ and for their fans, the long wait to see Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth together on stage in Australia was finally over.
The 90-minute set that followed consisted of their most well-known songs and biggest hits from the early days. However, they did play a few tracks from their most recent album, 2012’s ‘A Different Kind of Truth’. Not surprisingly, the boys didn’t touch anything from the Sammy Hagar years.
For just three musicians the sound that Van Halen create is incredible. Alex and Wolf lay down a rhythm section which is tight, heavy and powerful. It creates a platform that allows Eddie to shred. And for the Van Halen faithful, this is why they go to see them play.
Eddie is blistering. Of course he gets his own solo but the entire show is undeniably about Eddie’s wizardry on the guitar than it is anything else. From this performance it would seem that he has lost none of the brilliance that made him and Van Halen such a phenomenon in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
If there is still tension in the famously fractious relationship that Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth have had over the years, it definitely doesn’t show on stage. The two work well together. What Eddie brings as a virtuoso, Dave tries to match as the lead singer. He loves the crowd, he loves to perform and he shows why he is considered one of rock ‘n roll’s greatest ever front men. He even takes us back to 1984 with a few of his trademark karate kicks.
As might be expected, the highlights proved to be their best known songs which resonated with the festival goers who are not so familiar with all of Van Halen’s music. ‘Hot for Teacher’ and ‘Panama’ drew a big response from the punters with set closer ‘Jump’ really getting the crowd going.
Van Halen were entertaining but above all else the crowd were able to leave ANZ Stadium having witnessed a master at work. Eddie Van Halen, one of the greatest and most innovative guitarists ever to play rock ‘n roll.
Review from The Sydney Morning Herald:
Roadies swarm the stage to erect a wall of 5150s — Eddie Van Halen’s signature amps — and to paste down a dance floor for David Lee Roth.
Kicking off with Unchained, Van Halen tear through a flawless set of high-spirited, bratty, thrashy glam, with evergreen 1984 classic, Hot For Teacher, the undeniable highlight. Chewing gum and grinning widely, “Diamond Dave” personifies good times, and Eddie’s showy — yet still staggering — solos disappoint no-one.
Ice Cream Man:
She’s The Woman & Romeo Delight: