Sept 13 2015, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater- Van Halen is one of those bands that if you get a chance to see them, you just got to go!. They are one of if- not the most- recognizable bands in the business. Van Halen’s critically acclaimed 2012 record, A Different Kind of Truth, saw the band come full circle 40 years into its existence.With Diamond David Lee Roth back in the line up throwing down his still iconic vocals and Eddie Van Halen masterful playing is guitars like he was 20 year old , along with brother Alex and the son of Eddie , Wolfgang on bass. you knew this was going to be one of these shows that you can cross off your bucket list of must see shows.
Dave and the Van Halen family made a stop in Tampa at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater, and clearly some chemistry were still there for everyone involved. Dave played to the crowd like well..only DD can do. Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang played one point the whole time and their back up harmony were excellent to say the least. Sure Dave doesn’t have the voice he had 40 years, but a lot of artist that have been singing that long don’t have the same chops that had when they were younger.
David and the gang came out swinging on Sunday, starting off the show “Light up the Sky”, and the ever favorite “Running with the Devil”. David, Clad in a black and yellow disco outfit, Roth had the vitality of a man half his age, sliding and dancing around the stage. Before the end of the night, he’d go through more costume changes than a Broadway musical. David and Eddie seemed to be have a blast on stage, even having a little fun with Roth using his jacket like a matador and Eddie being a bull.
During Eddie’s screeching guitar solos (of which there were many; honestly, the man never met a guitar note or pedal effect he didn’t want to stuff into a set), Roth found plenty to do with his hands and feet. Sometimes he’d swing the mic stand like a samurai sword; other times he’d prance around, arms bent like an Egyptian hieroglyphic. The solos (including Eddie’s, Alex’s drum solo, and a personal, sit-down story time session with Roth and his harmonica) acted as short intermissions. The show was set up almost like a play, split up into acts — meaning, there was no real encore, so to speak. Still, that didn’t mean the crowd couldn’t feel the surge of electricity as “Ain’t Talking ‘bout Love,” “Panama,” and the obvious final jam, “Jump,” all drifted closer and closer.
Although the Sammy Hagar era produced more charting singles, this — the original incarnation of Van Halen (minus longtime bassist Michael Anthony) — is the most beloved. It’s the reason why a band comprised of men in their early 60s (mostly) can sell out an amphitheatre on a Tuesday night. It was a good-natured, positive show led by sometime stand-up comedian Roth (his impressions of famous rock stars were worth the price of admission alone) and guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen. Their appeal stretches to both fans dressed like cover band singers as well as all of their head-banging children and, barring yet another breakup, could very well remain that way for years to come.
Roth is a showman, that is what he does, and the Van Halen trio play their respectful instrument to a T, and that is what makes Van Hales what it is today.
The opening act is the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. Shepherd’s a former blues-rock guitar wunderkind who’s probably still best known for his 1998 hit “Blue on Black.”