Van Halen - BankAtlantic Center - April 10

Categories: Concert Review
Van Halen (Bank Atlantic Center 4_10_2012)_by Ian Witlen-14.jpg
Ian Witlen
Van Halen
with Kool and the Gang
BankAtlantic Center 
April 11, 2012

Better than: VH with Sammy Hagar, even though he's a fellow Arab-American (sorry, brother).

Somewhere between "I'll Wait" and "Hot for Teacher," Diamond Dave had a diva moment. 

It was one of those times when you watch something happen and then wonder to yourself, Wait, that was for serious? 

During "You Really Got Me," it became clear that something was off with David Lee Roth -- who is again fronting Van Halen on tour and on its newest album, A Different Kind of Truth. Sure he'd dropped the mic stand he'd been twirling like a baton and flossing his crotch with during the second song, but it was during the Kinks' cover that Roth was lazy singing. Like he didn't remember the words. 

The diva moment came from nowhere. He yelled something about the "Fuckheads running these blowers." He was referring to the fans blowing onstage. He looked like he was going to attack someone, screaming and threatening, saying fuck too much. 

His tone changed. He nicely explained to the audience that it was like a refrigerator up there and that they didn't want to get sick, and we'd all paid good money to see the show. He yelled again at these "blower" people, telling them to "fucking stop it and just disappear... I'm not fucking with you." Then he just started in, calling himself Mr. Roth and welcoming us to class. 

During "Women in Love," he admitted, "I've been drinking," and it was like, Yes, that's what's happening here. He's not just old and crazy. He's sloshed.

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Ian Witlen
Roth is one of the goofiest, quirkiest, show-pony frontmen of all time. He's weird and wonderful. He dresses like a toned-down Liberace. He came out sparkling in a suit and almost-neon blue buttoned-down and at one point was wearing the red blazer Michael Jackson used to don when he hung out with Bubbles or when he was in "Beat It." 

He flamenco-danced. He pointed at his crotch. He kicked and twirled and jumped. He described the different kinds of Hispanics he's encountered in Southern California and how they each dance (pandering a bit to the SoFla audience, saying cono, loca). He put on Roy Orbison shades during "Pretty Woman," and he showed us his ass tattoo of a gun. 

He's fabulous, and sometimes fabulous people get drunk before they go onstage. 

Although Roth was the show's main entertainment, Eddie Van Halen was the main talent. Everyone came to drool over him and his skills. Alex Van Halen also showed us a thing or two from behind his glowing drum set, even presenting what Roth called a "tropical" solo at one point (pandering, but in a good way). Eddie's son Wolfgang walked about with a baby face and bass, singing with his father. 

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Liz Tracy
Eddie Van Halen's smile was in constant effect. Roth said to him at one point, "Is that the lights, or is that your smile?" It's true; he was the cutest thing onstage. At one point, he played the guitar solo we'd been waiting for. Is EVH the best guitarist of all time, as his fans say? Let's just say this: Eddie plays the guitar better than you, your dad, your cousin, and probably your favorite living guitarist. Eddie Van Halen makes it look easy to play like Eddie fucking Van Halen. 

During the solo, he sat down, just showing off, getting all psychedelic and just generally being awesome. The screen behind the stage showed his fingers smoothly moving all sexily over the guitar. Roth came out and called him "Winner and still champion of the free world," whatever that means. 

Kool and the Gang opened for Van Halen. Not the obvious choice, but those guys definitely have that same showy, flamboyant, and good-times energy that Roth embraces. VH is pretty funky and bluesy too. Kool and the Gang came out dancing and dressed like it was 1975, playing the horns, the cowbells. They enthusiastically peacocked for the crowd, funked it up. One of the members, not younger than 55, turned a cartwheel. It was a celebration to say the least. 

Van Halen (Bank Atlantic Center 4_10_2012)_by Ian Witlen-9.jpg
Ian Witlen
Van Halen performed new and old material. For all of the VH T's in the place, the audience didn't seem pumped until "Panama." People started getting into it when Roth came out with an acoustic guitar to start on "Ice Cream Man." The encore scene was funny because Roth said he didn't want to leave the stage and just gave us our encore, which was "Jump," of course. A fucking classic. The show ended with a buttload of confetti raining down and a gigantic racing flag flying onstage. 

We all know, though, that the spectacle wasn't the red and white paper blanketing the crowd or even the songs we knew all the words to but, of course, the ever-fab David Lee Roth. 

Editor's notes

Personal bias: When I was like 2, "Jump" was one of my favorite songs and videos. I've waited almost my whole life to see him perform it. I love DLR, even though his performance was a little slurry. I want him to be the godfather of any children I might have. Eddie Van Halen is a total cutie. 

The crowd: White folks in band T-shirts, mostly, but there was a range of ages. They could have been livelier. 

Overheard: "You're hot" and "You're sexy," told to me at the food court area by the two youngest boys at the concert (don't hate). They happened to be sitting one person down from me and enjoyed the show more than anyone else in the theater. 

Set List:
She's the Women
Romeo Delight
Everybody Wants Some
Somebody Get Me a Doctor
Pretty Woman
You Really Got Me
Big Trouble
Dance the Night Away
I'll Wait
Hot for Teacher
Women in Love
Outta Love Again
Beautiful Girls
Ice Cream Man
Ain't Talking 'Bout Love


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Eddie Van Halen is definitely the best total live performer. I felt shaky hearing as he performs live at the Bank Atlantic Center. I really admire the author of this review and wanted to read more from you.

Bill Jones
Bill Jones

Great concert review. I was amazed to the idea on how the author emphasizes the subject and discussed more about Van Halen.


The show was so bad. Jump was by far the only song DLR put any heart into. I hate to say it but they should call this the mail it in and cash the pay check tour. Wolfgang looked like he had no clue how to be a rockstar. As far as it being cold on stage its a ice rink dick...


SO Mad that i missed it!


Ugh. Terrible review. You showed your (young) age with your comments about Roth. He's always been that way - even in their prime he sang out of range, forgot the words & acted like a total diva onstage. What he lacks vocally he more than makes up for with his performance.Thats why he's Diamond Dave.  Obviously, the reason "he just started in, calling himself Mr. Roth and welcoming us to class" is because he was introducing the song Hot For Teacher. That seemed lost on you. To call "Jump" a fucking classic is a disservice to all Van Halen fans - most of whom realize it's just a terrible song. And next time you post a setlist you should get it right - you left out several tunes, including China Town, Trouble With Never & the amazing but rarely played Hear About It Later.   


Saw the show last night at BAC 4/10/2012 great to see Diamond Dave and the VH trio to bad Michael Anthony could not round it out. This is the second time for me to see VH First time was 28 years ago in Jacksonville,Fl last tour with David Lee Roth 1984. Man we are getting old NOT. They still have it Eddie's guitar riffs will always kick ass. I took my 12 year old with me his first rock show great venue to anoit him to Rock and Roll as he is a drummer. Also got a pic with Nico McBrain Drummer for Iron Maiden he was in the sound booth next to us. Very cool. Rock and Roll for Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! P.S. Not sure what to make about cold air and blowers he seemed to let that affect the next several songs.

Doctor 5150
Doctor 5150

I was at the show last night. The audience seemed stiff and serious (probably because it was a work night?) It was little frosty with DLR and his vocal cords but Ed seemed sober and on fire, his skills were amazing. I was actually very impressed with Wolfie's bass playing. He was awesome! Thank you Ed for bringing the band back together for another excellent album. Stay Frosty...

Jenn S
Jenn S

I totally agree that Eddie Van Halen absolutely rocked it, performed as well as ever and I LOVE that wonderful smile on his face when he plays. The addition of Wolfgang on stage playing bass  was incredible as well. But, such a disappointment. That whole nonsense about the blowers is apparently something that he has pulled at other recent shows on the tour. I have seen many, many rock concerts at Bank Atlantic Center and I have never heard of that issue before. He is just not that good anymore (which makes me sad because I too was always a huge DLR fan, and have seen his solo shows in past decades). His voice didn't seem to be that strong at any point during the show and I'm not sure how the blowers related to his forgetting lyrics and/or just making up his own. He slipped, dropped the mic stand, and the admission that he had been drinking felt really disrespectful to the audience who paid to see a show. I get it, rock stars drink. Like, all of them. But still, come on Dave give me a break. Not cool. That said, Eddie and the rest of the Van Halen family almost made the show worth the price of admission. 

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