Concert Review: Van Halen @ Madison Square Garden (Different Kind of Truth Tour 2012)

Van Halen kept the Madison Square Garden crowd on their feet the entire night. It was an incredible performance by the band last night on the second of their two sold out New York shows.

Eddie Van Halen is the master on the guitar, he alone is worth the price of the ticket. During the show goes at some point you realize: there is only one guitarist on that stage, playing all that music. Eddie dressed in jeans, along with a blue & white striped shirt, does it all. The most amazing part of his brilliance is the guitar solo toward the end of the show. He incorporates the classic Eruption, along with the effects from 1984 and performs some of the best guitar work ever see. I of course was in awe of Eddie's playing, but as I looked around I saw people with their jaws open, others staring just smiling & others just shaking their heads in amazement.

I just wished the solo was longer & their were more of them. Eddie looked happy all night as he just smiled sand backing vocals & played his guitar all night. He looked a bit bloated in the face, as if possibly his meds or his old drinking issues have had some effect on him.

I was very impressed at the backing vocals, I thought Eddie & Wolfgang did a fantastic job of it. That is a major part of the Van Halen sound behind that great music & although Michael Anthony is gone his backing vocal parts were covered well.

Alex Van Halen behind his dark sunglasses & huge silver drum kit, is an incredible rock drummer doing a fantastic job as usual. His drum solo was a great performance, as also added a latin percussion touch to it. It's amazing to see how musically talented the Van Halen family is. Edie's son (Alex's nephew) Wolfgang Van Halen, did a great job of bass playing & background singing himself. The kid is getting better & impressed.

Then at the front of it all is David Lee Roth. Roth is still all about himself, all about theatrics & having a good old time. He's what rock & roll front men are meant to be all about. Roth in his snake skin pants, velvet scarves, boots & beige hat is in incredible shape. He struts & dances all over the stage nonstop while telling stories & making jokes like a TV game show host. His high leg kicks are signature, as is his incredible twisted leg bending down thing he kept repeating the whole show. His voice is great he sounded fantastic.

Only problem I had with him was at times he seemed to change up the flow of some of the songs & change some of the words. At one point he forgot the words to the new Chinatown, as he confessed to the crowd. Another point he stopped the show & told the crew at MSG to shut down the blowers because it was ruining his vocals, as the air made his voice hoarse. Before the show I saw a wood board on the stage & the crew mopping some stuff on top of the wood. Turns out it was all for Roth to slide & dance across during the show.

The new songs were great live, it's a great new album no doubt, the first with Roth since 1984. I did think the sound could have been a bit better, maybe it was where I was sitting (section 107- Row 20). I also thought the set list could have been a bit better, although it was still great stuff. Tonight's show actually had a few different songs from what I saw on other nights & few songs were also switched around. Most notably the opener was switched to Unchained as opposed to You Really Got Me.

Madison Square Garden Set List 3/1/12

Runnin' With The Devil
She's The Woman
The Full Bug
Everybody Wants Some
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
China Town
Hear ABout It Later
Oh, Pretty Woman
Alex Van Halen Drum Solo
You Really Got Me
The Trouble With Never
Dance the Night Away
I'll Wait
Hot For Teacher
Women In Love
Outta Love Again
Beautiful Girls
Ice Cream Man
Eddie Van Halen Guitar Solo
Ain't Talkin' Bout Love


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