Got It Bad

Last night I attended one of the few remaining shows of the latest ill-fated reunion of Van Halen. While I do not care for the band’s music, I agreed to go along with my lovely wife (who is a big fan) and our friend Rob (who thought he was a bigger fan than he is when he agreed to get a ticket). The following consists of things that happened on stage at the Los Angeles show:

-Most of the time, David Lee Roth moved around like he had a Kennedy back brace on; at one point, my wife asked if we were watching him have a stroke.

-When Roth did break out moves on the 12’x6’ parquet dance stage set up around his microphone, the jumbo screen behind the band made sure to show slow-mo replays.

-Alex Van Halen played a drum “solo” that featured a pre-recorded / sampled horn section.

-When we couldn’t remember who exactly Wolfgang Van Halen was related to, Rob was able to correctly figure out he was Eddie’s son because, “He’s got Bertinelli cheeks.”

-David Lee Roth had four costume changes.

-Eddie Van Halen had a ten minute guitar solo, the first half of which was his typical tapping-&-wanking, with the second half being Frippertronic-esque soundscapes. This was kind of really awesome.

-During one mid-song patter break, Roth called over Wolfgang and lectured him on how to date women. This ended with Roth asking a retreating Wolfgang, “Where the fuck are you going?” Rob didn’t think that was part of the bit.

-For his solo spot, Roth spent five minutes talking about and showing videos of his farm dogs.

-On three separate occasions, David Lee Roth made awkward references to Spanish speakers. None were overtly hateful, but each of them were distinctly othering. The highlight: “Everyone dance like an illegal alien.”

-At show’s end, every member hugged every other member…except David Lee Roth and Alex Van Halen, who didn’t go within ten feet of each other.

-Outside the venue, one lone man gamely tried to hand out flyers for a Chickenfoot show. Almost all of these ended up tossed in nearby bushes by disgusted fans.

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