Van Halen in Columbus, Ohio

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Friday, May 30, 2008 @ 10:57 PM

At the Schottenstein Center

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Review by: AceFrehleydotcom

Over 20 years have past since David Lee Roth left one of the most lucrative jobs in all of rock and roll when he ceased being the frontman for megaband Van Halen. The wedge that ended the rocky relationship could be blamed on ego and Dave's want to go solo and have "his" name on the album covers. Or so the story goes.

Fast forward 2008. After a successful first leg of the Michael Anthonyless reunion, Eddie succumbed (allegedly) to some past demons and got some well deserved rest. The time off seemed to pay off. Van Halen was back and they are bad!

We arrived at the Schottenstein Center at 7:30 and quickly made our way inside to the Swag Mart. If you don't know, the Swag Mart is where you buy your overpriced concert T shirts and everything else that you could buy in the parking lot for ten bucks after the show. The shirt designs were cool as were the red Van Halen thongs that seemed rather popular with both guys and girls. We could hear the opening band playing right behind us. I don't know their name, but the sucked, so it doesn't matter. By the time I got to my seat there were two large Van Halen zeppelins flying over the crowd. After a few minutes of that, I felt the need to get more beer. Having the munchies from an earlier incident, we also needed to get some quick grub. I figured that, being 8:20, that we had another twenty to thirty minutes left before Van Halen would come out. I figured wrong. The beer line emptied quickly with the first note of "You Really Got Me." I grabbed my beer and ran back to my seat just as they were starting "I'm the one." I can't believe they started this early. Maybe Wolfie has a curfew.

I think I pissed off the chick next to me as I fumbled around getting my camera. Fuck her. This is Van Halen and I got a video camera. Deal with it.

I have to give it to the band. They came out hot and had the crowd on fire. The stage was your basic amps and head units on each side of the drums, and there was a platform that made like a big letter S and wrapped around the stage for some extra Daveroom. Dave is rather mobile if you didn't know. Eddie on the other hand had his rig set up just in front of Alex's drums and hardly moved all night. I think the hip was to blame. Eddie hasn't moved around like the old days for some years now. Sometimes he'd go over and jam with Wolfie, but for the most part he was in a ten foot circle. It was cool with me as long as his fingers kept working.

Next we heard the first notes of "Running With The Devil" which I was very excited to hear. The first Van Halen song. It rocked. Dave then goes into a rap. "Ladies and Gentlemen, the brand new Van Halen, three quarters original, one quarter enevitable, yadda yadda yadda, SHUT THE FUCK UP ROTH AND PLAY THE NEXT SONG" and went into "Romeo Delight." Dave and Eddie slowed the song down in the middle and started playing "Magic Bus" by The Who. The crowd went nuts when they realized what they were doing. It was flawless. Dave showed he still has his samuria skills as he was spinning his mic stand like a professional swordsman. I was highly impressed as to how fast he had that thing going. He's still in incredible shape. He was showing his abs all night. Then in the middle of "Somebody Get Me A Doctor" Dave ask Eddie "I tell ya the best place to hear the blues, baby, take me down to the Crossroads one time" and goes into the Clapton classic. You must check that one out on my youtube page. It is very cool. I genuinely felt that Dave and Eddie had the vibe going. They both seemed to be having a blast on stage together. Wolfie was pretty stiff, but how intimidating would it be to be on stage with those guys? He is slimming down and I'm sure doing all of his homework.

Eddie had his drill handy before "Everybody Wants Some" but for some reason turns his back to the crowd when he does it. Makes me wonder, because I've seen him do that before. Watcha hiding, Ed? We were also entertained with some Dave one-liners in the middle of the songs like "I like the way the line goes up the back of your stockings" and "Lose the dress. Keep the shoes." Then we got to meet Wolfie. "Ladies and Gentlemen, a big hand for the newest member of the VH marching orchestra, Wolfgang Van Haleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen! With the close up of his fingers on the big screen he starts the bass line to "So This Is Love" and the crowd cheered him on. Pretty cool gig for a 17 year old. I worked at Burger King. There was a funny moment as Dave was looking at Wolfie and said "I'm gonna quote one of my favorite ancient philosophers tonite to you Wolf....You're gonna get some leg tonite for sure. Tell us how you do?" Eddie could be seen laughing on the big screen behind Dave. Classic concert moment. I have that on my youtube page also.

After a few more songs, one of my favorite parts of a rock concert....THE DRUM SOLO!!! I kid you not when I say Alex can beat the hell out of those skins better than most drummers half his age. He's one of the best. Write it down.

We finally got to the part of the show where they played some 1984 songs. "I'll Wait" was the first of the night. They could have played that whole album and I wouldn't care. I love that album. Dave showed some guitar skills later with "Ice Cream Man" I wished I had recorded that but I was running out of memory. I had to save some for the guitar solo, because I didn't want to miss a second of that. Turns out I didn't, and yes, it's on my youtube page. What can you say about Eddie and his legendary guitar solos? All I can tell you is check it out.

They finished with "Jump." It was beyond cool seeing this song live. I'll never forget when they premiered this video just after midnight on New Years Eve 1984. What a way to end the show. And I got it on video!

Check out my youtube page. AceFrehley1dotcom if you search for my channel, or just look for the videos. They are all marked Columbus 5.07.08. This is the complete songlist from the show.

    01. You Really Got Me
    02. I'm the One
    03. Runnin' With the Devil
    04. Romeo Delight
    05. Somebody Get Me a Doctor
    06. Beautiful Girls
    07. Dance the Night Away
    08. Atomic Punk
    09. Everybody Wants Some
    10. So This Is Love?
    11. Mean Street
    12. Pretty Woman
    13. Drum Solo
    14. Unchained
    15. I'll Wait
    16. And the Cradle Will Rock
    17. Hot for Teacher
    18. Little Dreamer
    19. Jamie's Cryin'
    20. Ice Cream Man
    21. Panama
    22. Guitar Solo
    23. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

    24. 1984
    25. Jump

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