A Different Kind of Live

VH Live

Van Halen is finally releasing an official live album with David Lee Roth. For other bands this wouldn’t make any sense at all but for VH it fits right in with their history of incredible highs and lows. I’m not sure if any other band (maybe Sabbath or Deep Purple) has had such a bizarre story line of Mammoth success with two strong lead singers, saw both walk away and start other successful projects and eventually come back to lead again. DLR and Sammy even toured together despite both admitting they wanted nothing to do with the other. Oh and Michael Anthony was let go to be replaced by the son of the guitarist. There’s creative tension and then there’s Van Halen. My first reaction to the release was indifference because I saw the A Different Kind of Truth/Reunion tour in Cleveland which was I think the fourth or fifth show and they were good but not great. I swear they played Hot for Teacher and the wrong tempo but maybe it was the lousy acoustics! Once you got past the excitement of the reunion the reality was they probably could have used a little more time to mesh and really fire up the rock. Then I looked at the official track listing and I admit I will seek out the disc when it hits the stores 3/31/2015. Any concert that starts with Unchained and ends with Jump and is loaded with killer tracks in between will get me to open up my wallet. It would have been nice to have their original bassist since he added so much energy to the band and their live presence but as goes the VH history so goes the missing piece that would make such a show complete. I remember buying tickets for that tour and wondering if the band would still be together by the fourth or fifth show. The track order places 3 songs from Truth in the first 10 songs which I’m not crazy about since that album still hasn’t grown on me. I hope in this context I’ll enjoy those songs more and maybe with a little distance they will mix well with their classic tunes. I felt like Unchained was one of those highlights as well as Runnin’ With The Devil which happen to be the first two cuts on this album. I will keep my fingers crossed that the Tokyo Dome show will be enjoyable and actually make it to the stores, with this band you just never know.

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