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Van Halen – First Niagara Pavilion – 7/28/2015

– When Van Halen performed on the Jimmy Kimmel show earlier this year there were a lot of negative comments about an apparent lack of chemistry and David Lee Roth’s vocals sounding less than ideal.  When Van Halen rolled into Pittsburgh’s First Niagara Pavilion Eddie, Alex, Dave and Wolfgang proved those critics wrong.  From the first note of Light Up the Sky to the closing chords of Jump, Van Halen was firing on all cylinders.

While Roth did have a few missteps and off key moments, this has been the best he has sounded out of all the tours Van Halen has done since his return to the band back in 2007.

The set list, curated by Wolfgang Van Halen, was a pleasant mix of deep cuts and fan favorites.  Among some of the songs played for the first time ever were “Drop Dead Legs” and “Dirty Movies.”

Roth is one of the best frontmen in rock and a true showman whose home is in front of an audience.  His rapport with the audience is undeniable.  When he slowed things down during “Ice Cream Man” to reminisce and tell off color jokes (“If you want world peace go to a U2 concert”) it was not the momentum killer that it was on the last tour.

Most Van Halen fans come to see their guitar god Eddie and he did not disappoint.  With his classic EVH smile and signature sound, he showed all in attendance how it is done. All we can hope for now is another studio album and hopefully another chance to see the mighty Van Halen on the road.

Opening the show was Kenny Wayne Shepherd, whose played a solid set including a killer cover of Voodoo Child.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd at First Niagara Pavilion on 7/28/2015

Van Halen at First Niagara Pavilion on 7/28/2015

Set List

  • Light Up the Sky
  • Runnin’ With the Devil
  • Romeo Delight
  • Everybody Wants Some
  • Drop Dead Legs
  • Feel Your Love Tonight
  • Somebody Get Me a Doctor
  • She’s the Woman
  • China Town
  • I’ll Wait
  • Drum Solo
  • Little Guitars
  • Dance the Night Away
  • Beautiful Girls
  • Women in Love
  • Hot For Teacher
  • In a Simple Rhyme
  • “Dirty Movies”
  • Ice Cream Man
  • Unchained
  • Ain’t Talking About Love
  • Guitar Solo
  • You Really Got Me
  • Panama
  • Jump