Date: June 5, 2012
City: San Jose, CA
Venue: HP Pavilion
Artist: Van Halen
Opening Act(s): Kool & The Gang
I remember the 2004 Van Halen reunion tour that was cancelled midway through due to infighting. I didn’t have a ticket then, but knew I had to get one when they announced their 2012 reunion tour, as it could possibly be my last chance to see them.
It’s a good thing I did. They ended up “postponing” the last part of their tour, but kept the show I had a ticket to. At first I thought maybe Eddie Van Halen’s cancer might have come back, but then found out that the infighting was getting to be too much for everyone – again.
If there was infighting, I didn’t see it on stage. (Unlike when I saw The Police on their 2007 reunion tour. I’ll save that for another post.) They appeared to enjoy being on stage together. At the end of the show they all held hands, bowed together and hugged.
The band began with “Unchained” and sounded loud and great. Then David Lee Roth started to sing, but I could barely hear him. I figured the sound people just needed to up the sound on his mic.
They then go into “Runnin’ With the Devil”. Since I know this song better I realized that it wasn’t David Lee Roth’s mic, but that his voice is not what it used to be. It wasn’t strong like it was in the 80s. Maybe his voice just needed to warm up? He gave it his best throughout the show, but his voice would crack often. There were a few times when he would hit the notes, but those were rare.
David Lee Roth worked the entire stage. There was a portion of the stage that appeared to be hardwood that allowed him to slip and slide around. He can still do his high scissor kicks I remember from the “Jump” video.
Despite the lackluster vocals, the band sounded amazing. Eddie Van Halen can still shred a guitar. Wolfgang Van Halen joined his father on bass. Being 21, he moved all over the stage and looked like he was having an amazing time. Can you imagine being on a major tour at the age of 21?
Kool & The Gang opened up the show. Not the opening act you would expect for Van Halen. They had a good amount of fans in the arena and they got us to “Get Down On It”. I would love to see them at a smaller venue and as a headliner.
Overall I was entertained. I’m glad I went, but would not spend the money to see them again due to David Lee Roth’s vocals.