Photographs and Review By: Brandon Marshall


 2012 has been a very exciting and active year for Van Halen and fans alike. On February 7th, Van Halen released their first album in over 14 years titled A Different Kind of Truth. Van Halen’s 12th studio album also saw the return on original vocalist David Lee Roth. Roth reunited with the Van Halens back in 2007, but A Different Kind of Truth gave Van Halen the official stamp that Roth is back and is the first album in over 28 years to feature the Van Halen Brothers and Roth. The band has been surrounded by drama, but we can only hope that Roth is here to stay.  On May 17th, Several days before the scheduled Denver show, Van Halen released a statement to the press stating that 32 tour dates would be cancelled so the band could “Recharge their batteries”. The week leading up to the Denver date was very tense for myself, would the cancel Colorado? This was a thought that kept me up at night for the week remaining  until it was the morning of May 24th, a date I had been eagerly awaiting for a band that I never had the opportunity to see live.

 During the day, the anxiety was building, second hands on the clock seemed to move backwards, so made the decision to go to the venue 5 hours before the doors opened. I have always enjoyed talking with other fans before a concert, so as I walked the parking lot a met several generations of fans with an age range of 9 to 70. Listening to stores and hearing the excitement in the voice of the fans gave me even more excitement. One couple I had met flew from Cape Town, South America to fulfill their dream of seeing their Rock N’ Roll hero’s live for the first time.

 The doors opened and I entered the sold out area of 16,000 + fans, I picked my spot stage right and eagerly awaited with excitement. The lights went down and the crowd roared, but where was Van Halen? Talk about building the anticipation, it would be a full 10 minutes before Van Halen even took to the stage while the audience waited in the dark. A drum roll and crashing cymbals rang though the P.A followed by one of the most distinct guitar tones , the” brown town” as Van Halen ran out onto the stage. As the backdrop was raised that featured head shots of each band member, the opening riff of “Unchained” sent chills down my spine while David lee Roth slid across the stage on his feet and said “Let’s go Denver”! Van Halen and the audience was ready to “Dance the Night Away”. Van Halen played a slew of nostalgic hits with and the audience was ready to. “Panama”, “(OH!) Pretty Woman”, “Running With the Devil” “Hot For Teacher”, “Beautiful Girls”, “Somebody Get Me a Doctor”,  along with “Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love” and “Jump” encore. Van Halen played four new tracks from A Different Kind of Truth that got very little reception from the audience with the exception of the single “Tattoo”.  Sadly, but not surprising, no Sammy Hagar era songs were performed. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Van Halen wrote some amazing songs with Hagar over the years.

 Eddie Van Halen proved to be the center piece during the show. Clean and mean, EVH sounded and played with confidence, some even saying that while on this tour, it is the best EVH has sounded. The guitar virtuoso ripped though a 9.00 minute solo that included “Eruption”, and "Cathedral" as he sat down on the stairs in front of Alex’s drum kit while the screen provided a close-up of EVH’s hands. During this point in the show, I felt as if I was watching history unfold right in front on my eyes.  Eddie did his fair share of shredding throughout the night with small guitar doodles before or after several songs in front of his 5150 AMP stacks . It was truly a privilege to see EVH with my own eyes.  The Prowess and stage presence of Eddie is unmatched, a guitar God by definition and a legend that will be written in the history books with the likes of Niccolò Paganini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Jimi Hendrix


 While David Lee Roth is a great showman, he was struggling to find his tone and timing. Often forgetting lyrics and singing out of key, Roth sounded muddy in the mix and often dropped melodies. Roth had an awkward stage presence and looked uncomfortable at times. “You people deserve the best, and they fucked the floor up” Roth said as had an issue with the moisture on the stage. Roth proceeded to clean the floor with a towel using his foot while insulting his stage hands. Roths stage banter did not help the situation while singling out female audience members as asking questions like “hey hot stuff, you wanna make a movie?” and talking about his dog came across as creepy. When Roth did address the audience, it was a cold tone and his interaction with band members seemed forced despite plenty of smiles back and forth. Diamond Dave may have just had an off night and to his credit, he actually sang without the help of backing tracks. Diamond Dave also kept adjusting his ear piece, that made me wonder if he could hear himself though the monitor. Diamond Dave is only human and his skill is perfecting the most delicate instrument, his voice. Fortunately, Eddie and son Wolfgang did a stellar job on backup vocals and harmonies, Eddie and Wolfgang saved the day, sounding better then Roth most of the time. While Alex, Eddie and Wolfgang sounded like a tight nit band, Diamond Dave was the week link.



One thing I had been critical about with Van Halen was the departure of Michael Anthony and having Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang as Anthony’s replacement. Wolfgang has brought in a new energy to Van Halen and seems to be a natural fit. 

 With his trademark sunglasses, Alex Van Halen, bringer of the beats behind his Ludwig drum kit, played a jaw dropping drum solo halfway through the set right before launching into “You Really Got Me”. With his organic sound, Alex hardly made any facial expressions during the show and made what he does best look easy.

 For Myself and many of the audience members were able to look over the fact that Roth was struggling and we just enjoy the show. The Van Halen family sounded and performed amazingly together, this made for a memorable night that I was happy to be a part of.

   Support came from Kool & The Gang, an American R&B/funk band that just seemed like an odd supporting for Van Halen, but Cool was given a warm and welcome reception from the audience.



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