Classic Rock

Fri., Nov. 1, 2007

Van Halen at the Verizon Center … the sold out event included an evening of guitar solos (Eddie), a drum solo (Alex), a flamboyant lead singer (Dave) and a young bass guitar player (Wolf). The lighting and stage design — a ramp, several speakers and a giant projection screen in the background were simple, yet visually appealing. Right before the band took the stage, Valerie Bertinelli made her way through the audience to her seat with what appeared to be bodyguards and her boyfriend. The crowd went nuts shouting her name. She smiled and waved. I heard through the grapevine that she tries to make it to every performance and gets emotional at the sight of her son Wolfgang on stage.

OK, back to the show … it was my first time seeing Van Halen in concert, so I can’t make a past comparison. They sounded great musically and vocally and seemed to get along well considering their history together. They played a little more than three hours with mini breaks where one of them would do a solo while the others disappeared and then would subtly return. At various points Dave waved a huge red flag in a choreographed manner. It made me wonder if he was trying out for color guard!? Later he proudly twirled a large silver baton. I don’t know about you, but when I think rock star, I don’t think baton twirler. He did some of his signature kick spins which was cool at first, but after the twentieth one it was annoying. We get it Dave, you can still kick, enough already. Eddie owned the stage during his lengthy guitar solo and looked very fit. He must take the same fountain of youth pills as Dick Clark, because he looked younger than he did years ago. Eddie’s 16-year-old son Wolf did a great job on bass keeping up the pace with his seasoned bandmates. Throughout the show him and Eddie would pair up and jam together. Eddie’s pride in his son was very evident. Overall, it was an entertaining night.

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