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Van Halen Concert Review – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena – 4/27/2012

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    Posted on 5/1/2012

    Van Halen Tour 2012It was Friday, April 27th, 2012 when the long awaited return of Van Halen landed in the Music City.  Thousands of Van Halen fans were looking forward to this event and many of them asked us if Concert Blast were going to cover this event.  Several of the fans in attandance even were emailing and texting us wanting to know where we were.  Unfortuantely the Van Halen management did not approve us for concert review tickets (although their publicist tried).  They did approve our photo pass, but our photographers didn’t want to take photos from the sound board (too hard to shoot over the crowd) for three songs and be escorted out the door… HOWEVER, our good friend Josh Jackson was there and surprised us with a written review.  Enjoy the Review!

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    Van Halen In Concert - David Lee Roth

    Van Halen In Concert - David Lee Roth - Photo by Justin Dupont

    Written by Josh Jackson

    I’ve always loved Van Halen. Growing up, ‘1984’ was basically given to every kid in the suburbs as a musical right of passage  – but I never had the chance to see them live in that era. When Sammy Hagar came along I saw Van Halen three or four times. And honestly, even thought they were a totally different band, I probably liked them just as much with Sammy as I did with Dave – but I always wished I had seen them live with David Lee Roth. That’s why I was so excited to hear them announce a full 2012 tour. I had been looking forward to this concert for almost 30 years and was NOT going to miss it.


    As the band came out onto the simple, tiered stage with a HUGE high definition screen behind them I thought, “Wow, we are in for a great night!”  ‘Unchained’ and ‘Runnin’ With The Devil’ could both be closers as far as I am concerned. I was immediately hooked – Dave was being his goofy self (and he was already dodging a lot of the high notes and intricate phrasing) but the band was tight with the signature Eddie Van Halen licks flying. It quickly didn’t seem to be like there were going to be any major theatrics – it was all going to be about the music. And that made me happy.

    Van Halen In Concert - David lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen

    Van Halen In Concert - David lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen - Photo by Justin Dupont

    They then segued into 2 new tunes with Women and Children First’s ‘Romeo Delight’ stuck in the middle. Everyone was polite, but were obviously content with the band sticking to the classics. The new album “A Different Kind Of Truth” is just okay to me. It’s a very classic Van Halen sound and I do like that, but the songs are just okay. I had heard that they played quite a bit of new material in the show and it was true, as they would play even more as the night progressed.


    They then jumped into ‘Everybody Wants Some,’ ‘Somebody Get Me A Doctor’ and the new, double kick drum heavy ‘China Town.’ Dave’s meds must have kicked in around here, because he really got rowdy on ‘Doctor’ and the F-bombs were flying for the first time. They then went deep with ‘Hear About It Later’ from Fair Warning, and then the crowd was ready to sing along by the time they got to their classic re-make of ‘Oh, Pretty Woman.’

    Van Halen In Concert - Alex Van Halen

    Van Halen In Concert - Alex Van Halen - Photo by Justin Dupont

    The obligatory rock and roll drum solo was next. They were flying in all kinds of percussion tracks, horns and salsa beats so that it was kind of hard to tell what Alex was playing, and what was on the track. As far as drum solos go, it was pretty underwhelming. That said, I thought the drumming during the songs was excellent.

    He’s still a great time keeper and all the signature punches, crashes & splashes were in place.

    The rest of the band joined afterward for ‘You Really Got Me’ (Dave again singing well under the melody and dodging all the hard notes) and another new song “The Trouble With Never.” They then ripped into a string of classics that really got everyone moving and singing along. ‘Dance The Night Away,’ ‘I’ll Wait,’ & ‘Hot For Teacher’ (which for me was a highlight of the evening – such a great performance.)

    Van Halen In Concert - Eddie Van Halen

    Van Halen In Concert - Eddie Van Halen -- Photo by Justin Dupont

    They then went back to Van Halen II for some classic stuff with ‘Women In Love,’ ‘Outta Love Again’ and ‘Beautiful Girls.’ The true fans in the audience were very appreciative that they went so deep on several picks!


    Perhaps the oddest moment of the evening came next. While David Lee Roth plucked away on an acoustic guitar, a 5 min. video of him and his sheep & cow herding dogs played in the screens above. Dave even went as far to tell everyone about them, their training, and competitions. SOMEHOW, that segued into him playing ‘Ice Cream Man.’ Odd.

    The rest of the evening moved like a freight train as they moved into the homestretch. During ‘Panama’ David Lee Roth yelled profusely (and multiple times) at the stagehands to come wipe down the stage which had become quite sweaty. It detracted some from the performance, but all eyes were on Eddie Van Halen next as he swept through his guitar solo complete with his classic game changer ‘Eruption.’ While his playing was not as emotional & expressive as I had seen him in the past, it is always great to see one of the greatest of all time lay it all out on the guitar.

    Van Halen In Concert - Closure of the show

    Van Halen In Concert - Closure of the Show - Photo by Justin Dupont

    ‘Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love’ and perhaps their most popular hit ‘Jump’ ended the evening as confetti rained from the rafters.


    All in all, it was a good show. David Lee Roth was his random & sometimes rambling self, and quite honestly didn’t impress me as much as he could have. I’m sure it would have been much better if only my mom would had let me go see them in 1984! The rhythm section of Alex Van Halen & Wolfgang Van Halen was super-tight, and for as much slack as he has gotten, I thought Wolfgang did just fine. He didn’t try to replace Michael Anthony, he just did his job playing bass & singing harmony. And Eddie Van Halen? Well, one of the best EVER… has still got it. 

    Van Halen In Concert - Waving Goodnight From The Stage

    Van Halen In Concert - Waving Goodnight From The Stage - Photo by Justin Dupont


    Runnin’ With The Devil
    She’s The Woman
    Romeo Delight
    Everybody Wants Some
    Somebody Get Me A Doctor
    China Town
    Hear About It Later
    Oh, Pretty Woman
    Drum Solo
    You Really Got Me
    The Trouble With Never
    Dance The Night Away
    I’ll Wait
    Hot For Teacher
    Women In Love
    Outta Love Again
    Beautiful Girls
    Dave acoustic & Dog video
    Ice Cream Man
    Eddie’s Guitar Solo
    Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love

    Have You Seen Van Halen In Concert?
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      2 Replies

      1. deevh5150 May 7th 2012

        Outta Love Again was actually Girl Gone Bad from 1984 at the Nashville Bridgestone Arena Show


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