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Metallica Monday

27 Jul

I’m addicted to this song. I need it in the morning, like a warm cup of Joe. It starts slow, with enough jolt to wake you up. Then a few minutes in, it ramps up. And by the end, you’re ready to rock!

Neneh Cherry Sunday

26 Jul

Take some dancing lessons from the King

9 Jul

My friend Gary has a great post about “Taking Inspiration from Inspiration.” Michael Jackson’s death had me thinking about all the pop stars that benefited from his moves. Almost every pop star since Thriller, have in some way been inspired by his genius. But, Michael didn’t invent it. He got it from the Godfather of Soul: James Brown. Long before the Jackson 5, James Brown was out there, dancing in a class all by himself.

MJ Thursday

9 Jul

I have this song running through my head today. I wonder why?

Prog Rock Thursday

2 Jul

I wouldn’t call myself a hardcore prog rock fan, but Rush, Yes and Boston are all in my iTunes library. And some days, there’s no better sound then technically sophisticated, nine minute songs. Like Roundabout, by Yes.

Johnny Cash Appreciation Day

17 Jun

Van Halen

6 Jun

The Good Ol\' Days

Wednesday, May 28th at the Manchester Verizon Center, was the long awaited Van Halen reunion concert that I thought would never happen, but it did and it was awesome.

Van Halen is a mythic band for me since the time they broke up in 1985. Much like the Beatles (although I am not comparing them musically) they broke up at the height of their strength. Their last David Lee Roth album, 1984 is one of the best rock albums ever made, and the countless hair metal bands that followed Van Halen’s lead are testament to that fact. While many copied the look, sound and vibe that Van Halen created, none would ever come close to that thing that David Lee Roth, Eddie, Alex and Michael had. And that is how I thought the story would end. Years later, Sammy and that extreme guy would take turns at fronting the band, and although I’ll give Sammy credit, it was never the same as that period that Roth and the guys were together.

Once the opening band finished it covers of “Imagine” and “Piece of my heart,” the stage was emptied a pair of Van Halen Zeppelins were flown around the inside of the civic center, controlled by hand held laser pointers. I don’t know the full story behind these cool toys, but someone directly behind us, shot a beam over our heads and seemed to be operating one of them. My brother I wanted immediately. What a cool toy.

When the stage was completed, the zeppelins went away and the rocking began. They opened with “You Really Got Me,” and rolled right into “I’m The One” and “Runnin’ With the Devil.” It was a great selection to the night started, but they could have played anything from those early albums and it would have been great. What followed was just one hit after another. Each time a new song came on, either Erik or I would nudge each other – like here comes another great one.

Roth had some audio problems early on which the stage crew failed to fix, even when he said,” I need some more mic!” in the middle of Remeo Delight. Ever the showman, he soldiered on and didn’t even with some feedback and rough patches.

One thing that struck me was the age of the crowd, myself included. But then this band (this version anyway) broke up in 1985. Since then, devoted fans have been listening to but the albums to listen and those iconic shots of Roth jumping from the drum deck and Eddie Van Halen’s greatness with the guitar. So, 23 years later, we get to watch the same band, only older. That didn’t stop these guys from putting a great show though. For one thing, David Lee Roth is in good shape. He may have partied more then Keith Richards (maybe not) but he’s in good shape for his age and he can still throw a couple of roundhouse kicks. Not bad for a 53 year old. Eddie and Alex were also great. Eddie especially looked in great spirits and played phenomenally as always.

All in all, a great show. I can’t wait for the next round. Another tour seems to be a no brainer, since this one was the highest grossing for the band.