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- Posted on Oct 3rd 2007 11:30AM by Steve Baltin
Now that the long dreamed about tour is finally here, can the show live up to the fantasies? Hell no. But on its own, the Van Halen reunion is a damn good time, perhaps because the band -- Roth, Eddie, drummer Alex Van Halen and new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie's son -- seem as happy to be on stage together again as the crowd is to see them there. When the tour rolled into Philadelphia for just its third show on Monday, Eddie and Roth hugged during a two-minute plus curtain call in the midst of 'I'm The One.'
The long-feuding Roth and Eddie made points of spending much time together early in the show, with Roth calling out, "Sing it, Ed," during the opening 'You Really Got Me.' One of the highlights came during 'Everybody Want Some,' as Roth and Eddie engaged in a playful duel; Roth orally playing the part of a revving motorcycle, and Eddie answering him with his shredding guitar. Finally, Roth conceded, "I can't beat that."
The band revisited almost all the hits, from 'Dance the Night Away' 'Beautiful Girls,' and 'Fair Warning,' to later successes such as 'Panama' and 'Jump.' And while seeing the progression from the opening trio of songs from 'Van Halen 1' -- 'You Really Got Me,' 'I'm the One' and 'Running With the Devil' -- to the later tunes including synth-sounding 'I'll Wait,' the show didn't offer much differently musically, save little touches like Wolfgang's harmonies and a slight scat turn from Roth in 'Unchained.'
That's what the crowd came to see, though. During 'Angelyne,' which rocked with a ferocious punk energy, Eddie and Wolfgang played side by side, and Eddie reached over and tousled his son's hair. It was a scenario few would've ever imagined 25 years ago. But as Roth said at the band's press conference in August, this is a new Van Halen.