Van Halen launched their 2008 tour in Oklahoma City last night, January 22, and reviewer George Lang of The Oklahoman newspaper had this to say:
Review: Reunited Van Halen jolt classics back to life
From the moment David Lee Roth appeared at the top of a giant runway that snaked through the Ford Center audience Tuesday night, he wore the one thing that told every Van Halen fan that everything was right with the world. It was a maniacal Cheshire cat smile announcing happiness and enthusiasm that cannot be faked. Not only was the old band back together, it was thriving.
Roth’s smile spread like a contagion and did not go away for well over two hours as he and Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang Van Halen put shock paddles on the band’s 1978-84 catalog and jolted it back to life. Michael Anthony’s absence on bass could not be avoided, but as Roth announced after tearing through “You Really Got Me” and “I’m the One,” this was a line-up that was “three quarters original, one quarter inevitable.”
Wolfgang, 16, was born squarely in the Sammy Hagar era, but he did what he was supposed to do: he held the bottom down, blowing out the thunderous bass and singing the high harmonies that all those classics required. His father, Eddie, looked and sounded thoroughly rejuvenated on “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Somebody Get Me a Doctor” — any reported deficiencies from late-period “Van Hagar” shows could not be heard this time around.
The big lovefest just kept coming: “Beautiful Girls,” “Dance the Night Away,” “Everybody Wants Some,” “So This is Love?” and “Mean Street” were all played enthusiastically and sung back to the band by the capacity crowd. All the while, Roth harpooned the air with his mike stand and strutted like a proud rock peacock.
Van Halen barreled through a slew of classics, including “Unchained,” “I’ll Wait,” “Little Guitars” and “Jamie’s Cryin’.