When it comes to 80s glam rock, you know, when rock was really rock, there’s particularly one band who continues to reign supreme in the eyes of diehard American rock fans. Van Halen stormed the First Niagara Pavilion in Burgettstown, PA this past Tuesday (July 28th) on their summer tour, performing a legendary career-spanning set for fans and families of all ages filling the outdoor pavilion and lawn above. Fans didn’t know what to expect, other than greatness, but the band kicked off the show with an electrifying performance of “Light Up the Sky.”
The original founding band remains mostly intact, aside from bassist Michael Anthony who had been replaced by Wolfgang Van Halen in 2006. 60 year old David Lee Roth hangs onto as much of his youthfulness as possible, doing splits on stage, swinging the microphone stand about as if it was a baton, cracking jokes and showing off his belly tattoos just to name a few of his antics.
Eddie Van Halen played a more conservative roll, focusing on his near-flawless guitar playing. Alex Van Halen, who manned the drums, threw down a drum solo midway through the night that was bursting with energy and passion. The thunderous double bass drum that we so often hear in their true rock and roll tracks was hit with an undeniable fervor.
The band played songs from all stages of their career, including many from their celebrated album ‘1984’ including the one-and-only “Jump.” Classics like “Runnin’ With the Devil,” “Everybody Wants Some,” “Beautiful Girls,” “Hot for Teacher,” “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love,” “Panama,” as well as many others. It was a true rock and roll experience and if you haven’t had the chance to see them live, we’d certainly say that you would be missing out by not getting to one of these upcoming summer shows. Rock is still very much alive.