I went to see Van Halen at the Xcel Energy Center. Although Lead Singer David Lee Roth felt the need to talk rather than cover most of the words in some of their hits, they hit a stride and finished the show with a tight fury.

David came out halfway through the show and played acoustic guitar and showed movies of his dogs as he talked about how he lives outside of the band, which was interesting to me because it let you see another side of him other than the man who flaps his mouth and spreads sexual innuendo around the stage.

Eddie Van Halen looked great, he looked happy, and he played better than I have ever seen him play. His guitar solo was shorter than normal, but it was fabulous. When I was watching I was thinking to myself, I want to do that.....because he makes it look so easy, and THIS is why I came to see Van Halen.

Wolfgang, Ed's son and the Bass player, was tight and is a great back up singer. You could tell he was the music director and that he attacks the bass while making it sound like a second fiddle to his father's guitar.

Alex Van Halen was hitting hard and the drums sounded great. This time I wasn't bored with his drum solo, with the visuals and the extra production, I liked his solo, and I thought it was the perfect showcase for him.

I can't end this story without saying how impressed I was with Kool and the Gang. They were tight and didn't seem to lose anything with age, and the replacements for the guys they lost were good choices. Great show all around.


Photos: Tommy Williams Photography