Monday, October 08, 2007By DONNIE MOORHOUSEMusic writer
UNCASVILLE – Meet the new Van Halen, same (almost) as the old Van Halen.
Taking his rightful place as the front man of one of rock’s legendary bands, David Lee Roth led Van Halen through a triumphant two-hour performance at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday night.
“This is the new band,” shouted Roth, describing the outfit as “three quarters original and one quarter inevitable,” in reference to the cherub-faced Wolfgang Van Halen, son of Eddie, filling in on bass.
The new band, like the original version and the Sammy Hagar version (in fact, all but the failed Gary Cherone experimental version) rocks like a muscle car, vintage for sure, but still hot off the line.
Eddie Van Halen, who just a few short years ago looked like Ghost of Rock Stars Passed due to his bad hip, battle with cancer and carpal tunnel syndrome, appeared ripped and sinewy with his shirt off in front of the curtain to open the show with a searing guitar introduction to “You Really Got Me.”
After “Running with the Devil,” the band received a wild, disruptive and deafening ovation.
“Look at all the people here tonight,” shouted a relatively subdued Roth, who retained just a few high leg kicks and the occasional hip shake from his once-flamboyant stage routine.
The band offered the hits right alongside some more obscure fare, going from “Dance the Night Away” and “Beautiful Girls” to “Mean Street” and “Little Dreamer.”
While the famously feuding Roth and Eddie Van Halen did partake in a few phony, choreographed embraces, the pair did at times seem genuinely entertained by each other and engaged in some subtle on-stage acknowledgments that suggested the hatchet, if not buried, has at least been hung on the wall for this tour.
The highlights of the set were surely the hits, from “Pretty Woman” and “Hot for Teacher” to “Jamie’s Crying” and “Panama.” Roth also scored with his acoustic kickoff of the “Ice Cream Man.”…
Some video footage from Van Halen’s Oct. 5, 2007 show at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
Guitar Solo, part 1:
Guitar Solo, part 2:
Jump, part 1:
Jump, part 2:
Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love: