VAN HALEN's Opening Concert, September 27, 2007: 'Rock Gods Deliver' - Rolling Stone Magazine
Debut Concert Performed to Sold Out Crowd
With a blazing and defiant guitar run, rock legends VAN HALEN lit the torch on the opening night of one of the most highly anticipated tours in rock history.
More than 18,000 fans, including those lining the rafters, stood on their feet at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena, as original lead vocalist David Lee Roth took the stage with the band. It was a celebration more than 22 years in the making.
"For more than two hours, the gods delivered," writes Rolling Stone magazine's Mark Kemp.
Guitar innovator Eddie Van Halen, his drum legend brother Alex, and Eddie's 16-year-old son Wolfgang on bass joined Roth for the festivities, breathing new, invigorated life into a jaw-dropping canon of material.
The Hollywood Reporter noted, "for one perfect night in Charlotte, Van Halen was nothing short of spectacular."
The blistering delivery of hit after hit played out like the soundtrack to countless sun-drenched summers and a wealth of more to come. Starting with the familiar strains of the band's groundbreaking interpretation of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me," VAN HALEN weaved in and out of its catalog, pairing iconic anthems like "Jump," "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and "Panama" along with other fan favorites including "Runnin' With The Devil" and "Jamie's Cryin'." All of this was delivered amid a myriad of fanning laser lights, an earth rumbling onslaught of sound and a stage-spanning screen perfect for capturing Eddie Van Halen's intricate fret work.
Roth, who Rolling Stone describes as evolving with "style, grace and his eternally smart sense of flamboyant irony," pranced and preened like a possessed flamenco hitting the notes with a power and precision like never before.
Jim Farber of the New York Daily News cites Eddie Van Halen as displaying his innovative style at the top of his game. "More than 25 years since he first pioneered his two-hands-on-the-fretboard approach," Farber wrote, "Eddie remains a technical wonder. Again, last night he did loop-do-loops around the melodies, and peeled into wheelies in the choruses."
USA Today reporter Mike Snider says Alex Van Halen, armed with sticks and pulse thumping grit, "continued to stoke the ban's fire." And Rolling Stone recalls that the headband-shrouded arsenalist "pounded his kit with a constant smile."
All eyes were on Wolfgang Van Halen who, according to Jane Stevenson of the Toronto Sun, "displayed a confidence and musicianship well beyond his age, even venturing out on the band's S-shaped catwalk by himself to get closer to the crowd." Wolfgang's spirited delivery echoes the timeless youthfulness found in the band today and tomorrow. The cradle will rock, indeed.
Up to the show's sparkling confetti-laden encore, VAN HALEN "filled the arena with hard rock energy rarely generated since, well, the band's previous forays," says USA Today.
At the launch of this momentous occasion, VAN HALEN proved not only can you go home again, but it sometimes elicits the sweet sound of new beginnings.
And the capacity crowd in Charlotte answered the age old question. Yes, everybody wants some. Shows in other cities including LA and New York sold out in minutes.
A complete list of confirmed dates is attached and more information and tickets are available at http://www.livenation.com/. Individuals who have the Citi(R) / AAdvantage(R) card, the official credit card of the tour, will be offered access to purchase preferred seats to all U.S. shows.
Fans can enjoy the ultimate VAN HALEN experience including concert pre-show parties, backstage access, premium seating and more. For additional details go to http://www.iloveallaccess.com/.
Fans are encouraged to also check in at http://www.van-halen.com/ for additional information.
VAN HALEN remains one of the most important and influential bands of all time. Formed in Los Angeles in 1974, the band quickly won a loyal hometown fan base with their electrifying live shows. From the moment they released their self-titled 1978 debut album, VAN HALEN shook the foundations of rock, thanks largely to Roth's peerless showmanship, Eddie Van Halen's revolutionary guitar virtuosity and their songwriting abilities. It changed rock music forever.
The band's first album proved one of the biggest selling rock debuts, with key tracks like "Eruption," "Running with the Devil," "Jamie's Cryin'," "You Really Got Me" and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" leading the way. The next year, the band followed up with "Van Halen II," which included the hit "Dance the Night Away."
Subsequent albums like "Women and Children First" (1980), "Fair Warning" (1981) and "Diver Down" (1982), along with worldwide touring, solidified the band's reputation for innovative and unparalleled live performances. Classic VAN HALEN tracks from the early '80s include "Everybody Wants Some," "Unchained," "And The Cradle Will Rock," "Beautiful Girls," "Mean Street" and "Somebody Get Me A Doctor" just to name a few.
With their sixth album, released in, and titled "1984," VAN HALEN rose to stratospheric heights. Recorded at Eddie Van Halen's 5150 Studios, the multi-platinum smash yielded one of Van Halen's signature hits, "Jump," which remained #1 on the Billboard charts for an astounding five weeks straight. Other hits from the album include "Panama," "Hot For Teacher" and "I'll Wait."
The band's record of achievement is hard to top. Presented with two Diamond Award RIAA Certified Status' for their albums "Van Halen" and "1984", VAN HALEN joins an elite short list of two time Diamond Award honorees in the history of the music industry. The Diamond Award is presented to an artist for album sales of 10 million or more units. They are also in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most #1 hits on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart than any other band in history.
Inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame in March of this year, VAN HALEN has produced a treasured body of work that fans will admire for decades to come.
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