Monday, July 8, 2002 @ 12:38 AM
The Red Rocker and Diamond Dav
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REVIEW BY: Darien Thomas, Monomania, San Diego
When I first heard the news of this tour, I knew that it would be the show to kickstart this California Summer '02 into high gear. I was right, this show was like a return to the old days, and a real Van Halen tour, no ‘Van Halen 3’ garbage here, like I had seen a few years back at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, where the only highlight of that show was Michael Anthony singing, "Somebody Get Me a Doctor." David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar are true color blasting entertainment and especially live, these guys live to rule a stage and rock their fans, get hammered, and to the best of their ability, with a little help from some Jack Daniels for Dave and Sammy slamming shots of his own CaboWabo tequila in true veteran rocker style.
The second day of summer, Monday June 24th, Sammy Hagar and Diamond David Lee Roth brought their bands to the Universal Studios, Universal Amphitheatre in Studio City, CA. Hollywood, baby, the only place to see the two ex-wives of the mighty VH boys play their asses off. The question was: who would headline? Well, I have heard that they were switching off from night to night, I had a good feeling that Diamond Dave would headline, but wasn't sure and had not heard anything, but it really didn't matter to me until after the show.
Sammy hit the stage first with his classic " Bad Motor Scooter," and his band sounded very tight. He also played a few of his other tunes as well, including "Rock Candy," which kicked total ass, "Where Eagles Fly," "Heavy Metal" (with the classic MTV big hair video playing on the screen behind the stage), and "Three Lock Box," to name a few. Sammy really has a way of getting a crowd off and tonight was no different, especially when he invited his old friend and former band mate bass player Michael Anthony out for Van Hagar stuff like "Runaround," "Finish What Ya Started," "5150," and the drill-screeching "Poundcake." Michael Anthony played with Sammy for most of his set, so with his backing vocals and pounding bass, it was good old Van Halen for me.
Diamond Dave came out in a satin blue glitter suit and his trademark bandana, doing black belt round kicks like in the “Panama” video. He played some of the classic VH tunes like, “I’m the One,” “Little Dreamer,” “Dance the Night Away” and “Atomic Punks.” Dave’s dancing girls were everywhere, too -- he never holds back when it comes to the eye candy, and I know I can never get enough of the fine, fine stuff. At the end of the show, Dave came out playing an acoustic guitar that looked like a big fudgesicle as he led into “Ice Cream Man.” It made me think of when I first had seen VH in concert back on the Fair Warning tour. Eddie wasn’t missed much as the lead guitarist, for Dave had all his licks down and the rest of the band rocked hard, too.
Backstage after the show, I was sipping on a cold one when I noticed a guy with tattoo’s all over his arms standing next to me, his hair was dark and short so I wasn’t too sure who it was, until I saw his face and said, “Hey Riki.” Yes, it was Riki Rachtman, VJ who hosted the Headbanger’s Ball on MTV back in the eighties. We had a brief conversation about what he was up to now, and I told him he should be a DJ for the radio station down here in San Diego, Rock 105.3, he said he would jump at that opportunity in a second (if you guys are reading this, and you should be!) Paul Stanley was there to enjoy the show with his girlfriend. It was a great pleasure to get a couple of words in with a Rock ’n Roll Hall of Famer. Another celebrity I spotted taking in the LA show was James Hetfield of Metallica, and I’m sure that hanging out with DLR backstage is not good for his alcoholism.
What a show, but my nod for Heavyweight winner would have to go to Sammy for the pure fact that he had Michael Anthony’s vocals and bass on for most of his set. Sorry Dave, but you still kick ass, too!