Van Halen Triumphant With David Lee Roth At Mohegan Sun Show

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David Lee Roth shows his flexibility Saturday when Van Halen performed at Mohegan Sun. (Nick Caito/CTNow.com)

In a different era, David Lee Roth would have been selling patent medicines off the back of a wagon. He’s a born showman, and he’s finally made his way back to his rightful place in the show he was born to front: Van Halen.

Diamond Dave and the boys swept into Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday night with the manic energy of a two-hour lightning storm, flickering, flashing and booming their way through a generous allotment of old favorites, mixing in a handful new material from “A Different Kind of Truth” — Roth’s first album with Van Halen since “1984” 28 years ago. (See more photos from the concert here.)

For a band whose history is as fraught as Van Halen’s, the musicians couldn’t have looked happier on stage. Roth served as the fast-talking master of ceremonies, Eddie Van Halen beamed as his hands played blinding runs up and down the neck of his guitar and his son, bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, looked at once entertained and bemused by crazy ol’ Uncle Dave’s strutting and sliding around the stage.

Roth’s voice isn’t as limber as it once was, and there were times when it seemed like it settled on a pitch largely at random. He can still do the leg kicks, though, and he was clearly in his element as the band (also including Alex Van Halen on drums) blew through “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Everybody Wants Some!!,” which featured one of many dazzling solos from Eddie Van Halen.

He balanced his guitar tone perfectly between squelchy chords and squealing leads, shifting from one to the other so smoothly it looked (but never sounded) effortless. Eddie and brother Alex locked in on a full-throttle version of Roy Orbison’s “Oh Pretty Woman,” and after Alex Van Halen laid out a drum solo, they jumped right into the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.”

Even the new songs fit right in, with Roth mugging on “Tattoo” and offering conversational asides between verses on “The Trouble With Never.” The applause was bigger, though, for “Dance the Night Away,” with Eddie and Wolfgang singing harmonies behind Roth; and “Hot for Teacher,” as Alex Van Halen’s drums rumbled like a souped-up engine revved to the red line.

As if things weren’t lively enough already, Van Halen let it all loose as the band built to a grand finale. After Roth did a few near-splits on “Beautiful Girls,” the band zoomed through the virtuosic workout “Ice Cream Man” like a party of 5-year-olds with sugar highs. Next, Eddie let fly the arcing riff to “Panama,” which turned into a solo turn of his own, incorporating parts of his “Eruption” showcase and more. The rest of the band rejoined him to end the regular set with “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” then, after a round of hugs, closed the show with “Jump,” as Roth waved a giant checkered flag through a downpour from confetti cannons.

Van Halen’s set list Saturday.

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9 thoughts on “Van Halen Triumphant With David Lee Roth At Mohegan Sun Show

  1. Tyrone Losacano

    This was the first time I’ve seen Van Halen live. It’s was worth every penny I spent. Eddie was playing tight as Hell. Alex played a killer drum solo. And I was very impressed with Wolfgang. This kid is a great bass player. Dave sounded great and was full of energy.

  2. Justin Marsh

    Worth every penny, indeed. “Triumphant” is a great word for the feeling I had walking out of the Van Halen show — ready to conquer the world!!

    The setlist was stellar, although I wish they’d played a bit more from the band’s excellent, new comeback album, “A Different Kind of Truth,” which has gotten rave reviews, deservedly.

    I hope that we see Van Halen swing through Hartford-Springfield on a second leg of the tour this summer.

    1. CARL

      AWESOME SHOW! I WAS THERE TOO! Saw them on the last 2007 – 2008 Tour in Providence RI. They sounded great then but even better now! They played here 3 times last tour. They will swing through again on the next leg of their tour. No doubt about it!

  3. Ewok

    Saw them at the Garden a few nights earlier. VH is back in a big way. So glad to see DLR back in the fold, and Eddie (seeming to) overcome his demons. All is in order.

  4. MrsF

    Awesome, Awesome! This is my 4th time seeing Van Halen, saw them once with Diamond Dave then 2 more times with Sammy. Great every time, but this was different. Dave is back, I’d spend the $$ to see them again. Well worth it!

  5. Jorge

    I went to this show with my brothers and each of us loved this show. They were excellent from every facet of the band. I also wish they played some more from A Different Kind Of Truth but no matter it still was a night to remember. Thanks to the band for the awesome show and my brothers for joining me. I’ve seen this band through several concerts dating back to the Balance Tour with Sammy, then VHIII with Gary (twice), The 07-08 Reunion Tour and finally this one. I have to say this one was a hell of a lot better than the 07-08 Tour. Eddie is on fire. Alex is killing the drums as always. Wolfie looks much more accomplished. Dave is clearly a fine story teller and showman. Thanks also for pulling out some of the older cuts that haven’t been played in quite some time. This was definitely well worth it!!!

  6. Gald I saw them, I enjoyed it but did feel that DLR was not that great vocally. Why didnt he sing all the lyrics to the songs. Not one song did he sing it like it orginally was intended?

    Gald I saw them, I enjoyed it but did feel that DLR was not that great vocally. Why didnt he sing all the lyrics to the songs. Not one song did he sing it like it orginally was intended? The Band does feel like its back for the first time since ‘Balance’. They look like they enjoy touring with eachother.

  7. RBS

    I think you may have had a little too much alcohol. Roth ruined the Greensboro show. Completely left lines out of songs timing was horrible. Worst concert ever.

  8. Pingback: Van Halen Concert At Mohegan Officially Cancelled | Sound Check

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