Saturday, March 31, 2012

Van Halen
Air Canada Centre
w/ Kool and the Gang

I can't even pretend I have anything to say about this band that will add to the canon. During the '80's I avoided these guys like the plague. They were the reason we needed 'alt rock'. Back then I was listening to everything you are listening to now; those new-wave, punk bands that provide the background to our current day commercials and the play lists on 'classic rock' stations.

I was a music snob when I was young.

I'm with a friend who is a long-time Van Halen fan, who calls my taste in sounds "Marce Music", and who likely will know more that just Panama and Jump.

What makes this worthwhile is the return of David Lee Roth. I suspect we have a 50/50 chance of seeing this band break up on stage.

Opening tonight, in what is either a brilliant cross-over marketing scheme or the stupidest decision ever made, is KOOL and the Gang. They got the decades synched anyway, it's all '80s all the time. This year the skullets in the audience are outnumbering the mullets.

K&tG are on close to their 7:30 scheduled start time. A full hour set that was, let's just say, out of it's element. The whole "raise your hands" stuff works better when the crowd is already in a frenzy, not when only 10% of the arena is filled. The funk was joyous but no one was paying attention. By the time they closed with Celebration the stands were about 80%, wo what was simply 55 minutes of 'clap-a-long' now becomes a massive, disjointed, unenthusiastic, sing-a-long.

Guess I could have just said it was unremarkable and left it at that.

The Halen road crew does a fast job of breaking down the stage and by 9 o'clock we're starting their two hour 22 song set.

Decent show but a little pedestrian. David tries hard and is still a top-notch front man. Eddie has his moments. Been there, done that. There's lots of reviews online, mostly positive, if you're looking for more details.

Now it's off to Coachella to find something challenging.

d1t01 Unchained
d1t02 Running With The Devil
d1t03 She's the Woman
d1t04 The Full Bug
d1t05 Tattoo
d1t06 Everybody Wants Some
d1t07 Somebody Get Me A Doctor
d1t08 China Town
d1t09 Hear About It Later
d1t10 Pretty Woman
d1t11 Drum Solo
d1t12 You Really Got Me
d1t13 The Trouble With Never
d1t14 Dance The Night Away
d1t15 I'll Wait

d2t01 Hot For Teacher
d2t02 Women In Love
d2t03 Girl Gone Bad
d2t04 Beautiful Girls
d2t05 Ice Cream Man
d2t06 Panama
d2t07 Guitar Solo
d2t08 Ain't Talking About Love
d2t09 Jump