Van Halen Rock the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Ca during their 2015 North American Tour

 

Van Halen is one of those bands that you always remember the first time you heard them. For me it was the summer of 78 when I was I was entering High School. The local rock station KSJO was introducing this Pasadena band called Van Halen and spun the track “Runnin’ With the Devil”. The sound of rock changed forever for me as that air raid sounding guitar intro, thumping bass, and razor cutting guitar tone crossed the airwaves. Van Halen became the sound of Summer when rock was getting saturated with soft rock with bands like Kansas, Journey, and Foreigner. Van Halen gave us attitude, energy, and the unique guitar stylings of the now legendary Edward Van Halen.

I’ve remained a Van Halen fan since those early days. The band had reunited with original vocalist David Lee Roth and I was looking forward to seeing the band as they played The Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Ca. as part of their 2015 North American Tour.

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It’s been 37 years since the release of the band’s first album and they still draw a massive crowd. It was time for Van Halen to hit the stage. As the darkness of the night took over it was fitting that they opened the night with “Light Up the Sky”.  As the band went straight into “Runnin’ With the Devil” with Wolfgang Van Halen up on the drum riser holding his bass up high and playing that thumping intro, the song that made me a fan still sounded razor sharp today as it did the first time I heard it.

During the third song “Romeo Delight”, Dave Lee Roth shines as he shows his personality by taking the mic and joking with the audience like only he can. He can ramble about the simplest things and make it into a humorous story. David might not vocally be one of the greatest singers of all time but he is definitely one of the best frontmen of all time.

 

 

Van Halen goes through many of the songs that put them on the map with “Everybody Wants Some”, “Feel Your Love Tonight”, “Somebody Get Me a Doctor”, and a blistering rendition of “Drop Dead Legs”.

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Alex Van Halen does a 3 minute drum solo that shows why he is still one of the best rock drummers alive. During the solo, Alex mixes in rock, Latin, and jazz techniques that prove he is a monster on the monolithic quad bass drum kit he brings on tour.

Van Halen play some of their more commercial sounding hits like “Dance The Night Away” and “Beautiful Girls” but picked the tempo back up with “Hot For Teacher”. It is great to see Eddie Van Halen not only sounding incredible but having a great time on stage.

Diamond Dave takes the stage alone as he sits under a spotlight with an acoustic guitar and harmonica. He plays a little and tells a story about the phrase “World Peace” when used in an interview. He gets the crowd laughing, then brings the rest of the band back out as the launch into “Ice Cream Man”.

The band get back into rock mode as Eddie and the boys shred thru “Unchained” and “Aint Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”.  What came next is what helped put the band Van Halen into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and made Eddie Van Halen one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Forever linking his name with guitarist Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton to name a few. We are talking about the mighty guitar solo.

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Eddie went into a 10 minute guitar solo showcasing his finger tapping and harmonics technique that when first played in the early days, he would turn his back to the crowd to hide the style that he created.  He mixed in intros to “Little Guitars”, “Mean Streets”, with parts of “Cathedral”, “Spanish Fly”, and finishing it all off with the legendary solo “Eruption”. The band finished off the show with “You Really Got Me”, Panama”, and “Jump”.

I was glad that Van Halen kept their set to only songs when the band was fronted by Diamond Dave. It is safe to say that Van Halen served up a night of great rock n roll to the fans at the Shoreline Amphitheatre and a night always to be remembered.

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We hope you enjoyed the review of Van Halen Live at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. Be sure to check back for more reviews and pictorials.

 

About The Author

I've been a part of music industry as a concert photographer for over thirty years. At an early age I hit the road shooting for Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, Quiet Riot, Ted Nugent, Twisted Sister, just to name a few. My love for music has never wavered. I started Mayhem Music Magazine as an outlet to share both established and new artists with others who truly love music.

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