Wow, they only come out at night, or whenever Matt Smith blogs now. Here's Matt on David Lee Roth's show last Friday at the state fair (you can also catch a review by DLR/Van Halen fan Mark Frazier in this week's issue of the Times; though I'll also say other folks from around here said Diamond Dave acted a little showtune-y or loungy with his whole stage act, whatever that means, and how about that hair? Eddie Van Halen's not going to go for that if DLR thinks he's going to do a reunion tour):
I have never been to a State Fair. They are just not for me. But, I made an exception this year. I went to see David Lee Roth. I had already seen Diamond Dave this year in Chicago. I didn’t plan on going. So why did I attend? Jeff Allen and The Point 94.1 FM. Jeff said, “Come on out! It will be a good time; Dave’s doing his classic Van Halen songs.” It worked out perfectly. The Point 94.1 and Jeff got me a parking place in the production area right down from DLR’s bus. We also received front-row, center-stage seats. This just couldn’t be beat.
Dave opened with “Hot For Teacher.” My friend Mark the Magician was down in the front going crazy. He thinks Roth is tremendous. Mark had to be one of the biggest fans at the show. Hit him up sometime at www.myspace.com/mthemagician. He is a real rock 'n' roll fan. “California Girls” was up next, and David Lee constantly clowned for the crowd. He danced, he jumped, and really seemed to be trying to take this show over the top. “Paradise” and “Runnin’ With the Devil” were quick and included a bit of posing for the crowd down front shooting photos.
I hit the beer tent as the band played “Eruption” and Diamond Dave took time to introduce the band. I ran into Sharpe Dunaway and Lindsey from
Magic 105.1FM. Well, that meant drinks all around! I owed them a few! It
is always a blast to see the regular suspects at a rock concert. I returned down front as “Beautiful Girls” kicked off. Roth really chatted up the ladies for this one! Mandi was taking photos all night. At one point during the show he asked for her camera. Dave put the camera down the front of his pants and ran around during the song. We have bought a new camera! That one has been retired. I may just drop it off at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame when I visit in February!
“Somebody Get Me A Doctor” burned with a nice intro from the guitar, but it was still cold out there. The stage is just too high in the front. I know it’s like that for the crowd in the back, but it is uncomfortable when you have to look almost straight up during the entire show. I would think that with the size of the fair grounds, there would be a better place to put the stage.
“Jamies Cryin” was about half way thru when I visited the tent for drinks again. Matt Cruz and Blake from The Edge 100.3 FM were holding it down “near the beer.’ Drinks all around! These guys also took a TON of photos, and you can find them at the radio station web site.
“Cradle Will Rock,” “Just A Gigalo,” and “Panama” all flowed with a continuation of the banter with the audience. DLR talked about fairs, Arkansas, old songs, just about anything to show that he was in a good mood. “Dance the Night Away,” “Ice Cream Man,” “Everybody Wants Some,” “Ain’t Talkin’ About Love” were also featured. The show did a great job of covering classic Van Halen, David Lee’s solo music and “newer” Van Halen. The encore was “Jump”.
There really wasn’t a lot of backstage access at this show. People say that David Lee Roth has a “ROCKSTAR” attitude. I don’t know first hand. I know he didn’t want people backstage. No one from the radio, or production, and didn’t seem to want any women stopping by the bus either.
I didn’t see any autographs being signed after the show. IF he has that attitude, I don’t see why. It has been a LONG tuff time since 1985. There haven’t been many hit songs for Dave in the past couple decades. Who knows what he is thinking? Dude, you are playing the State Fair! Hello! Wake Up!
Yes, those rumors of a David Lee Roth return to the Van Halen lineup continue to circulate. They will until it happens or someone dies. That is just the way it is. People always dream of a reunion tour with the classic, original line up. Hope springs eternal for music fans.
ROTH vs. HAGAR debate? I must weigh in on this one! I have seen Sammy Hagar with Van Halen. I have been on a cruise with Sammy Hagar. I have been on the stage with Sammy. I have seen Sammy in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. I have been on the Sammy Hagar tour. I’ve been to the Cabo Wabo Cantina Birthday Bash … SAMMY HAGAR KILLS THIS GUY! Period.
Sammy has a current tour and album. Sammy is GREAT with his fans. Sammy still ROCKS! There, I said it.
“INSANE” -- Matt Smith