Van Halen Week in San Diego – Concert Review

Last night was the big show I’ve been looking forward to for basically 28 years.

It has always been a regret of mine having never seen the original Van Halen lineup with David Lee Roth, even though, I have seen them a handful of times with Sammy Hagar since.

After going to the concert last night my first thought is….I really wish I would have seen them with DLR back in the day!

The Bad:

They have lost their fastball. The show lacked a rockin’ forward motion that I have seen in their past shows. They have also had some recorded tracks in the background(unless they have musicians behind the scenes)

David Lee Roth is a nut job. Good to see him back in the band but he looked like he should have been in a Broadway show…and glad he loves dogs but didn’t really get the video montage of his dogs herding sheep.

The crowd! They should have started the show at noon cause I think everyone was asleep. I have never seen so many people sitting down at a rock concert. There are still plenty of bands in Van Halen’s age group that the fans are up on their feet.

The Good:

The sound!

I could hear all of Eddie’s guitar riffs and licks clearly and although Dave didn’t really have anything important to say you could definitely hear him.

The whole band sounded great, instrumentally!

Eddie played guitar the whole time…no keyboards (although as mentioned before they were recorded or played by someone behind the scenes)

The setlist was awesome! “Beautiful Girls,” “Romeo Delight,” ” Women in Love,” “Hear About it Later,” etc. It was great to hear lots of the old songs! View Setlist

I like the fact that they have dropped some of the Rockstar histrionics and focused more on the music.

Even with Roth’s antics it was good to see the original lineup together.

Smart idea to have Kool & The Gang as opening act. I think it made the concert more fun for the wives of all us guitar geeks.


The greatest thing for me was to see Eddie! He looked and played really good. He has been through so much the last several years with the cancer, addictions and crazy cat lady pictures. He just looked healthy even put on some weight.


  1. David Lee Roth: Loved the music. Many good songs to dance to, and many good memories. Glad to hear his back.

  2. Thanks for the review, Cuz! I feel extremely fortunate now that I was able to see Van Halen in its original form [many years ago]…I still remember what DLR was wearing (considering I may have had a “few too many” before the concert)! Van Halen is still a classic rock group.

  3. This is a shit-faced review. I was at the concert and disagree with much of this review. The reviewer’s admission that he never saw the original Van Halen lineup with David Lee Roth speaks volumes. No wonder he got it all wrong because he never was a true Van Halen fan and consequently his lack of appreciation and experience with this great band shows. The truth is the band was fantastic on the night, the arena was full, the crowd was dancing and very lively. I’ve seen every Van Halen concert tour since 1979 and obviously we don’t expect them to be quite as energetic now at almost age 60 than they were at age 25. Despite that, DLR did several overhead karate kicks and two leg splits!! Amazing, the guy is pushing 60 and he lays down two leg splits. And they played 2 solid hours. 30 years ago nothing came close to a Van Halen concert and the good news for true Van Halen fans is nothings changed. On the other hand, for folks like Mike Slayen, I suggest they should keep on going to rap concerts to delude themselves about how exciting those are and what music is.

  4. I didn’t see VH on their most recent tour after seeing some video clips. I think if rather leave my positive memories intact than suffer watching DLR ungracefully age. Eddie has always been the band and still is.
    I recently reviewed VH and the topic of Dave versus Sammy at The Eclectic Ear.

    1. Hey Tim, Yeah I get it! It was a good show though and awesome to see the classics that Hagar wouldn’t perform. I agree Eddie is the band although the third singer was a low point. Id like to see him drop some of the rock star antics and just compose/play music…but, hey, he is a rockstar. Ill check out your post.

      1. I know what you mean Mike. In addition to Eddie’s role as certified rock god, I give VH a huge amount of respect for creating new music while not abandoning the old altogether. A lot of bands in their position would go on a greatest hits tour, slog thru some lame solos, and play the same 20 songs every night in the same order.

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