Iron Mike from KISW 99.9 FM shares his review and photos from Van Halen’s 2nd concert of the year — July 7th in Ridgefield (near Portland):
Ok I’m gonna admit, the last time I saw Van Halen in the Tacoma Dome 5.6.12. it was, in my eyes, a little bit of a train wreck with David Lee Roth in what I call the “not in performance mind” vibe. Forgetting lyrics and basically just acting out the part it seemed. Not last night! Holy smokes that’s the show I was expecting back in 2012.
Lets face it, Diamond Dave doesn’t have the vocal pop he once had, but this time around he actually looked like he had something to prove with what he has left in the tank.
Energetic, focused and as always having fun on stage. Little too happy at times but hey it’s Diamond Dave! Opening with (surprised me) Light Up the Sky the band ran throw a killer set that included: Runnin’ With the Devil – Romeo Delight – Everybody Wants Some – Drop Dead Legs – Feel Your Love Tonight – Somebody Get Me a Doctor – She’s the Woman – China Town – I’ll Wait – Alex Solo – Little Guitars – Dance the Night Away – Beautiful Girls – Women in Love – Hot for Teacher – In a Simple Rhyme – Dirty Movies – Ice Cream Man – Unchained – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love – Edward Solo – You Really Got Me – Panama and the encore of (no surprise here their biggest hit) Jump.
Crowd was really great at Amphitheatre Northwest in Ridgefield, WA too. Over 10k+ filling the venue for many was a flashback to their more youthful days growing up on Van Halen as most of us 40+ year olds did. What can you say about Eddie Van Halen that hasn’t already been said about his guitar playing? He’s still the king! So effortless, so precise and so inspiring to guitar players around the world, the ticket alone for admission to watch Eddie play is worth it!
It was hard to see Alex Van Halen behind the drums, but he’s playing was loudly heard and undeniably still powerful. His drum solo is an interesting jungle tango of sounds. Not the usual pound away and see how fast you can go style of many in rock.
Eddie’s son Wolfgang kept the bottom end roaring and just like his dad pretty damn good player. I know there’s the crowd like myself that would die to see Michael Anthony back in the band but that’s history and to tell ya the truth…Van Halen live is watching Eddie Van Halen! Love how he still smiles and has about as much fun as David Lee Roth up there. Overall from what I saw on this second night of the 2015 tour I’d say GO! The show is awesome, setlist killer and loved the stage lighting. Had a warped rig look and from a distance in my seat in section 205 I felt like I was watching a show at the Hollywood Bowl in California.
Also check out “Iron” Mike Savoia’s blog at KISW.