A more-complete round-up of video footage from Van Halen’s Oct. 1 show in Philadelphia, followed by a review from that show.
And the Cradle Will Rock:
Panama, pt. 1:
Panama, pt. 2:
Ice Cream Man Intro:
Everybody Wants Some:
As a lifelong Van Halen fan who had seen no less than 10 performances dating back to their 1979-1980Invasion tour, I like many fans was one who had always hoped, but never expected after 1985, to see the original line-up with David Lee Roth perform live again. After last spring’s disappointing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, with no Van Halens in attendance, it seemed like it might never happen.
That all changed on October 1. For the first time in over 22 years, VAN HALEN returned to the stage at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia with original lead singer David Lee Roth out front. The band took the stage to the sounds of their overjoyed and elated fans, some who had waited more than 20 years for the chance to see and hear the spectacle that was and is VAN HALEN LIVE.
The band did not disappoint them. Fans were treated to a high-powered set from start to finish, featuring classic material drawn from Van Halen’s first six, multi-platinum, Roth-era albums. Along with Diamond Dave, whose high kicks and swagger were a constant throughout the set, guitaristEddie Van Halen looked fit and healthy. Eddie strode shirtless in Capri-style pants and his trademark red and white-striped Chuck Taylor sneakers, with brother Alex on drums and Edward’s 16-year-old son Wolfgang (replacing Michael Anthony) on bass. The band performed on an S-shaped stage that snaked out through the front section of seats, creating a pit area on both sides along with enough sound and lights to power a small country. They proceeded to pound out hit after hit for more than two hours to their long-suffering fans’ delight. The reconstructed Van Halen rhythm section, comprised of Wolfgang and his uncle Alex, kept the band on a vigorous pace throughout the show. Wolfgang’s bass playing and background vocals were more than enough to cement his place in this historic band’s future.
Highlights in the main set included: “You Really Got Me,” “I’m the One,” “Runnin With The Devil,” “Romeo’s Delight,” “Jamie’s Cryin,” “So This is Love,” “Everybody Wants Some,” “Mean Street,” “Unchained,” “Dance the Night Away,” “And the Cradle Will Rock,” “Beautiful Girls,” “Somebody Get Me A Doctor,” “Atomic Punk,” “Little Dreamer,” “I’ll Wait,” “Little Guitars,” “Hot For Teacher,” “Ice Cream Man,” “Panama” and “Ain’t Talkin Bout Love.”
Eddie clearly enjoyed being back on stage with his family, and he and Roth played off one another all night often mimicking each other, trading off blues flavored vocal acrobatics and spot on guitar riffs with big grins and the kind of chemistry that can’t be faked all night long. Edward’s blistering guitar work once again reaffirmed why he is and remains one of the greatest guitar players to ever pick up the instrument. His precise solos mirrored many of the tracks as they were originally recorded on the albums, while his spotlight solo featured selections from some of his best instrumental work including “Women in Love” from Van Halen II, “Cathedral” from Diver Down and of course the legendary “Eruption” from the band’s 1978 self titled debut.
Being back on stage with David Lee Roth and singing and sharing background vocals with his son seemed to be Eddie’s biggest reward.
The show closed with their encore “1984/Jump,” their #1 hit from 1984. Confetti cannons exploded and covered the arena crowd as the band took their curtain calls to adoring fans that have waited so long to hear and see the legend that is VAN HALEN!