09 25 15 Van Halen -11Written by Dave Clements

The terrific Woodlands Pavilion recently hosted the hard rocking, long standing group Van Halen. It was the largest show so far on their current 39 city tour. Over 16,100 fans showed up to make sure Eddie, David, and the rest of the band felt the love from loyal fans from deep in the heart of Texas!

Although I was never really a diehard Van Halen fan I was certainly familiar with their music and always enjoyed hearing it on the radio. Seeing them perform live, it took very little time for it to become conspicuously clear why their songs got so much air play…and why they sold out this show.

Just the entertainment value that David Lee Roth brings to the stage is worth the price of admission. The guy is a machine of wild expressions and gyrations as he covers the entire stage like the energizer bunny. He and Jagger should do a video together titled Twin Sons of Different Mothers; they could easily match each other move for move. Mick is just a little prettier than David; however, David has him beat hands down on the tattoos.

And speaking of comparisons, I heard comments from the crowd all night long about Roth vs Hagar. It seemed as fierce and heartfelt as the Roe vs Wade debate. I don’t really have an opinion about who was the better front man for Van Halen. It might just be that it’s apples and oranges. I can say that having seen Sammy live on his own, he was pretty darn impressive. Now, David Lee Roth has the mic again and he handles it very, very well.

09 25 15 Van Halen -35That is when he’s not swirling his scarf, kicking up a leg, doing the splits, jumping up on the riser, stripping off his shirt, and (maybe) taking a swig of hooch!

And really, even if you preferred Sammy ‘The Red Rocker’ Hagar, you more than got your money’s worth if you appreciate an artist who can just play the hell out of an electric guitar. Eddie Van Halen is clearly one of the best guitarists in the world. Listen and you’ll hear in short order what he’s all about and what he can do.

Eddie has a near constant smile on his face and seems very happy to let Roth take center stage. I enjoyed watching him, his son Wolfie (bass) and brother Alex (drums) let loose and play away…for over two hours!
They started the night with Light Up the Sky and Runnin’ With the Devil. And nearly two dozen songs later thrilled their fans by ending the night with Panama and Jump.

What a great experience and impressive show by these 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. They gave their all, really put it out there for the fans…and still left them wanting more. This reception and this turn out tonight leaves me fairly certain that the Houston area will be hosting them again down the road. Watch, wait, and don’t miss them next time. You won’t find any harder rocking, harder working, super talented guys out there.

Before closing I want to briefly mention Van Halen’s opening act, Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Shepherd and his band had no trouble at all holding their own. Their brand of Southern Blues Rock showed they could stand out and deliver. Watch for their music, too. They were a notch above what you may have come to think of as an ‘opening act’.

Until next time please remember there’s no time to kill.