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Van Halen returns

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VAN HALEN
7:30 p.m., Alltel Arena. $45-$95.

For the first prolonged tour since 1985, David Lee Roth is fronting Van Halen. For dyed-in-the-wool VH fans, who include most everyone raised on late-'70s rock radio, this is the best news to hit reunion rock shy of Led Zeppelin announcing a world tour. For the VH-ignorant, here's a brief crash course. In the beginning, there were two brothers — a guitarist and a drummer — named Van Halen, and a singer named David Lee Roth (who cares about the bassist?). Guitarist Eddie Van Halen made finger-tapping de rigueur for rawk guitarists and the band put out dozens of hits — “Runnin' with the Devil,” “Ain't Talkin' Bout Love,” “Eruption,” “Jump.” In 1985, band tensions led to David Lee Roth's exit. Into his place Sammy Hagar slid, ushering in what many a VH fan considers a dark period. Whatever your feelings about Hagar, he stuck around for awhile and he was certainly a better option than those who followed, also-rans like Mitch Malloy and Gary Cherone. Now, after more than 20 years apart, the original line-up, sans bassist Michael Anthony (again, who cares?), is back together. There will be screaming and singing along.

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