by Jeff Taylor
USA Today pretty much sums it up in this description of the crowd at Bobcat Arena last night:
Straight out of 1984. Lots of baseball jerseys and classic rock band shirts (think Rolling Stones, Ratt, The Who, Rush, AC/DC, Def Leppard and Foreigner). Many in attendance were in their forties or older, but twentysomethings and teens were present, too. “We brought them because they want to see (16-year-old bassist) Wolfgang (Van Halen, the son of Eddie and ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli),” says Mandy Mashburn, 38, of York, S.C. She and husband Ric, 37, brought son, Rick, 14, and his friend Quin Magee, also 14, to the show. Both boys play guitar and heard Van Halen songs at home, but watched Wolfgang on YouTube. They already had souvenir T-shirts on.
The band was tight — maybe too tight. Roth in particular seemed uptight, working the stage with exactly the same pace and gait throughout the night. Seemed a little robotic. But it kept him in good voice.
Eddie was Eddie — great tone and stupid speed. Only one or two Nigel Tufnel moments.
Also the staging was good, but not knock-out. The band will definitely have to carry the show during the tour.
Will it last? From the looks of things Thursday night, everyone was on the same page and looked to be honestly happy to be onstage together again. If you missed the show in Charlotte, looks like you can still catch it in another city.
Overall, 7 tube-tops out of 10.
And some vid —