Van Fucking Halen!?! Not Van Hagar, Van Halen! This is another one of those bands I never thought I would get to see because these guys could never seem to keep their shit together, but shortly after Van Halen was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in January of 2007 it was officially announced that after 20+ years David Lee Roth was reuniting with Van Halen and going on tour. Thankfully one of the stops of the fall 2007 tour was San Diego. Sixteen-year-old me had an instant hard on when hearing this news because every kid learning to play guitar knows about Eddie Van Halen. Twenty-nine year old me was impressed to learn that Eddie’s sixteen-year-old son Wolfgang was going to be filling in on bass duties for Michael Anthony. Not sure what the rift with Michael was but like I mentioned earlier these guys could never seem to keep their shit together.
Van Halen was a band that I subconsciously absorbed from just being around it. The single greatest gift my father ever gave me was exposure to good music. That and back when I was a child MTV used to play music videos. What a novel concept! I specifically remember taking a liking to “Hot For Teacher” and the accompanying video.
The concert happened to be on a Sunday when the Chargers had a home game against the Baltimore Ravens that I attended with Donna, Marvin and Marvin’s dad G Money. Looking back I am amazed that I remember going to the concert at all because I get pretty sauced when I go to a Chargers game. I was in good spirits due to a Chargers win and bid adieu to the other three as I once again found myself flying solo. San Diego State University was just a short trolley ride away and since the show was still not for a couple of hours I found myself a pizza joint that served pitchers of beer to keep me company during my wait.
Showtime! They were everything I hoped they would be – loud, loose and into it. They genuinely seemed like they were having a good time. Was this Van Halen at their peak? No, but slightly aged Van Halen was better than no Van Halen. Like a true guitar god Eddie shredded and made it look effortless. David Lee Roth got a little lazy at times not singing all the words but for the most part sounded great (still hit some of those high notes) and was still flying around the stage doing karate kicks and shit. Lots of energy, lots of f-bombs, lots of smiles and lots of rocking. Very happy me.
SETLIST: You Really Got Me (The Kinks), I’m the One, Runnin’ With the Devil, Romeo Delight, Somebody Get Me a Doctor, Beautiful Girls, Dance the Night Away, Atomic Punk, Everybody Wants Some!!, So This Is Love?, Mean Street, Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison), Unchained, I’ll Wait, And the Cradle Will Rock…, Hot for Teacher, Little Dreamer, Little Guitars, Jamie’s Cryin’, Ice Cream Man (John Brim), Panama, Eruption, Ain’t Talkin’ “Bout Love, 1984, Jump