Monday night, In celebration of the release of the first-ever Van Halen live album with David Lee Roth, Jimmy Kimmel shut down Hollywood Boulevard in front of his studio for the kick-off of Van Halen’s reunion tour. Over 6000 People waited in line from as early as 12:30 in the afternoon before being let into the concert area at 3:30. There was a warm up comedian teaching them how to cheer. They had these monitors set up for people in the back to see. Apparently there were people all the way to La Brea! A friend of mine lives up in Laurel Canyon & posted last night that he could hear Van Halen clear as day up there!
The band hit the stage at dusk, starting off with “Panama.” David Lee Roth came onstage twirling his mic stand like a baton, then whammo. He hit himself in the nose. and started to bleed. The man is a trouper he did not let that stop him, until he realized it was serious. How serious ? 14 stitches worth. He stopped the song, apologized, and went backstage for 3 minutes. He just wanted to cover it with gaffers tape, but he settled for a band aid. What a man. He had no complaints and went on with the show. They did a second take of Panama and the audience at home never knew anything was wrong.
The set list was “Panama, Running With the Devil, Hot for Teacher, Eruption/You Really Got Me, Dance the Night Away, Unchained,” and “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love.” The show only broadcast four of the songs.
The Band is as tight as ever. Eddie’s son, Wolfgang, is on bass replacing Michael Anthony. He also did backing vocals throughout the set with his Dad. Valerie was there wearing a W sweatshirt for Wolfgang. Eddie’s kid is good and seemed to be having a blast. He definitely held his own. Eddie and Alex are machines, I think they could play in their sleep.
Dave’s 2015 moves aren’t the same as his 1983 moves. But he still rocked those high kicks!David was a dear friend for many years. We spent hundreds of nights yakking it up and singing together in the back room of the Zero, then hitting the Spotlight for a cocktail at 6am. Good Times. I am thrilled he is back up on stage where he belongs. Between songs, Dave talks to the audience like we are old buddies, and it felt that way too.
Tokyo Dome Live in Concert was released as a double CD, a four-LP set, and digitally on March 31st. Recorded on June 21, 2013 at the famed Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, the album includes 23 songs, spanning all seven of the band’s albums with David Lee Roth. The band’s 2015 Summer/Fall North American Tour will open in Seattle July 5th. On July 11, Van Halen comes to San Manuel Amphitheater San Bernardino, CA, July 14th they hit the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Irvine, CA. They will wrap up the tour October 2, at the Hollywood Bowl.
Michael Essington and Nikki Kreuzer contributed to this post.