It is finally here! The album you have been waiting for since 1984…….. A Different Kind of Truth. It seems like I have been waiting for ages to hear David Lee Roth sing with Van Halen again. I enjoyed the tunes from the brief, but short-lived reunion in 1996, “Can’t Get This Stuff No More”, and “Me Wise Magic” . A Different Kind of Truth is exactly what I have been waiting for…… An album that sounds like classic Van Halen. While I enjoyed the Sammy Hagar years in Van Halen, I have always longed for Van Halen’s return to their classic sound. That is exactly what A Different Kind of Truth sounds like. Classic Van Halen! This album has a massive production, and will please most audiophiles out there.
I am sure there are many of you that would love to have an album that is on a par with Van Halen I. This album isn’t it. If you want a heavy Van Halen album, with tons of guitars and that fun party rock that Van Halen is known for, A Different Kind of Truth will put a big smile on your face.
I read where many folks were slamming the song “Tattoo”, and while I can understand other people’s opinions, I like the song. It kind of reminds me of David Lee Roth’s song “Sensible Shoes” from his 1991 album, A Little Ain’t Enough. It is a catchy song, but it is one of the lesser songs on this CD.
I have to admit that I like the original demo version of “She’s The Woman” better than this latest version. I miss Michael Anthony’s background vocals. This version is good, and if you haven’t the original unreleased version of this song, you will probably love it.
Alex Van Halen makes his presence felt on the song “China Town”. I have always though of Alex as an incredible drummer. He continues to show just how awesome he is by pulverizing his drum kit, with a super fast tempo, and pounding rhythms. This isn’t a song that would be used as a radio single, but it is one of those deep Van Halen tracks that long time fans of the band will appreciate.
“Blood and Fire” screams radio hit. This song isn’t super heavy, and this song could have easily worked in the Hagar years, but David Lee Roth owns this one.
“HoneybabySweetiedoll” has a strange intro, but this is the kind of aggressive VH tune I have been waiting to hear for years! I love this! “The Trouble With Never” is a catchy, heavy rocker that Van Halen should release as their second single. Those fans on the fence after hearing “Tattoo” will certainly jump on the Van Halen train, after hearing “The Trouble With Never”.
“Stay Frosty” has that same type of acoustic guitar style as the Van Halen classic “Ice Cream Man”, but nowhere near as good as that song (which is one of my Van Halen favorites). The song gets a little heavier towards the middle, but even with Eddie Van Halen’s awesome riffs, this song is still one the weaker tracks.
A Different Kind of Truth closes out in strong fashion with two heavy rockers back to back with “Big River” and “Beats Workin”. It often sounds like to be me that David Lee Roth is singing “Big Trouble” in “Big River”, but it is a cool song nonetheless. Eddie tears it up on “Beats Workin'” and rest assured, but the time this song ends, I am hitting repeat to listen to this CD again.
Thanks to the Van Halen clan and David Lee Roth for releasing the Van Halen album, I have been longing for. A Different Kind of Truth is a tremendous comeback album that I can’t stop listening to. All Van Halen fans should pick up immediately. Highly Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
02. She’s The Woman
03. You and Your Blues
04. China Town
05. Blood and Fire
07. As Is
09. The Trouble With Never
10. Outta Space
11. Stay Frosty
12. Big River
13. Beats Workin’
Van Halen is:
Eddie Van Halen – Guitars
Alex Van Halen – Drums
Wolfgang Van Halen – Bass
David Lee Roth – Vocals
From their humble glam metal beginnings to their 2001 reunion, Twisted Sister’s Double Live DVD gives Twisted Sister two unique concert experiences that they won’t want to miss.
The first DVD shows Twister Sister at a time when the band was hungry. That hunger helped propel a kickass live show that had to be amazing to see in person. They hadn’t written many of their biggest hits yet, but it didn’t matter, as their show was powerful enough without them. With a set filled with songs like “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll”, “Under the Blade”, and their cover (they way it was meant to be heard) of the song “Leader of the Pack” from the Shangrilas complete with Dee Snider on a Motorcycle…. Judas Priest style. I thought it was funny that Dee mentioned the only cover song they were doing was a cover of the Rolling Stones, “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)”. Ummm Dee….didn’t you do “Leader of the Pack” a few songs earlier? I can’t figure out why they never recorded this cover. I have never seen Twisted Sister perform this song before. Their heavier and faster version completely rocks! The North Stage show is closed out with a blistering version of the Twisted Sister song, “Rock N’ Roll Saviours”. This song never got a proper studio release until Twisted Sister’s 2004 CD, Still Hungry. It is very cool to see it performed by the band 22 years before its release.
The film quality from the ’82 show isn’t the greatest, but the technology was somewhat limited when this was being filmed. The audio quality is pretty good, and makes up for it. For being a live recording in a dark and smoky club, it is more than adequate. It is a unique and very cool look back at one of the humble beginnings of became the juggernaut hard rock act, Twisted Sister.
Fast Forward nearly two decades to the second DVD, New York Steel 2001. You will catch the special reunion show that was orchestrated by every metalhead’s favorite DJ, Eddie Trunk. Twisted Sister reunited for the first time in fourteen years at the at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City for the New York Steel Charity Concert. This Charity show raised over $90,000 for the New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund. While this show raised money for a great cause, it helped Twisted Sister reunite, and they have been performing live every year since then.
Twisted Sister didn’t have on their costumes or make up for the New York Steel show, but their energy more than made up for it. Dee Snider was in rare form for New York Steel. He was quite angry over 9/11 and was parading a black T-shirt with F**k Osama on the back. His anger helped fuel, a memorable Twisted Sister show, and one that should not be missed by an hard rock fan.
The interviews on both DVD’s are a nice bonus. The interviews on the New York Steel, with Twisted Sister remembering their 9/11 experiences was interesting, if not a little haunting. I enjoyed Twisted Sister’s Double Live, and believe most hard rock fans will too!
You can pick up Twisted Sister Double Live at this link. This is a must own DVD set for any Twisted Sister fan! Buy it!!
Rating: Out of 10
Disc One Track List:
North Stage Theater 1982
01. What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)
03. Tear It Loose
04. Bad Boys (Of Rock ‘N’ Roll)
05. Lady’s Boy
06. Leader Of The Pack
07. Under The Blade
08. Shoot ‘Em Down
09. Sin After Sin
10. I’ll Never Grow Up, Now
11. You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll
12. You Know I Cry
13. It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)
14. Rock N Roll Saviours
Disc Two Track List:
New York Steel 2001
01. What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)
02. The Kids Are Back
03. Stay Hungry
04. Burn In Hell
05. You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll
06. Under The Blade
07. Shoot ‘Em Down
08. Come Back
09. You Know I Cry
10. I Wanna Rock
11. We’re Not Gonna Take It
12. The Price
Twisted Sister is:
Dee Snider – vocals
Jay Jay French – guitar
Eddie Ojeda – guitar
Mark Mendoza – bass
A.J. Pero – drums
If you believe the rumors, it’s a great time to be a Van Halen fan. With Chickenfoot’s new album, Chickenfoot III in stores on September 27th and the rumored David Lee Roth led Van Halen album completed, this fall could be very Van Halen heavy. Add in the Hurtsmile CD from Gary Cherone, who led the extremely underrated VH III, and there’s a whole lot of Van Halen-esque music available for ear consumption. (PS – if you haven’t heard Hurtsmile, you really should check it out).
There’s even a possibility that both Van Halen and Chickenfoot could be on tour at the same time. That idea got me thinking of what the ultimate Van Halen tour would be. While this is high fantasy at its most extreme, I ask you to indulge with me momentarily as we imagine what could be. How amazing would it be if the following actually happened? How much money would you pay to see this fantasy become a reality?
Van Halen on tour with Chickenfoot and Hurtsmile. Now, I know that it’s never going to happen. I know that there is way too much bad blood for this exceptional idea to grow into a completed tour. However, imagine if it did. This is how I would envision the scenario.
Hurtsmile would obviously open the evening. They could perform hits from their debut album and mix in a couple of Extreme classics. Chickenfoot would come out next (sorry Sammy fans, but this is Van Halen’s show all the way) and rip into their performance. Songs from both of their releases, perhaps a little Satriani solo, and maybe even a couple of solo Sammy songs for good measure. Then it would be time for the headliners of the evening – Van Halen. Performing nothing but classics and songs off their latest album, Van Halen would rule the stage. Then Eddie would provide a mind boggling, blistering solo that would wow the crowd like never before. And that would only be the beginning.
After all of that greatness, Eddie and Satriani would step out on stage together for the first “encore”. It would be dueling guitars as they went back and forth. Joe versus Ed. The crowd, if they hadn’t fainted by this point, would be roaring so loud that the roof might cave in.
Then it would be time for “encore” number two. Van Halen back on the stage with Michael Anthony on Bass and Gary Cherone on lead vocals. They could play a song off VH3 (which hasn’t been performed live in 13 years). Next out, would be Sammy to take over the mic. Cue up “Dreams” or some other such beloved Van Hagar song.
And then, the ending of all endings could occur. Diamond Dave would walk out on stage while Sammy, Michael, and Gary are still there. Enter Joe Satriani and Wolfgang, and lead us into the all-star jam to end all all-star jams! Eddie and Joe on lead guitar. Michael and Wolfgang on bass. Alex on drums. Sammy, Dave, and Gary trading versus on some superior classic rock song (probably a Led Zeppelin tune). How amazing would that be?
Now, I ask you honestly, how much would you pay to see that concert? I know that I would pay top dollar and then some. How about you?
Eddie Van Halen launches the all-new EVH(R) Wolfgang(R) electric guitar, available worldwide beginning Jan. 2009. The EVH Wolfgang guitar represents Eddie’s 35 years of experimenting with guitars, over two years of intense research and development, and a full year of brutal road testing during the top-grossing Van Halen 2007-2008 tour.
It was during the massive 2007-2008 Van Halen tour that the all-new EVH Wolfgang guitar went through extensive live “road testing” performance trials. The tour kicked off in fall 2007, and Eddie punished early versions of the new Wolfgang each night; playing every updated prototype onstage under the full, unfiltered spotlight of his fans. The results are reflected in the EVH Wolfgang guitar; produced to Eddie’s exact specifications and with features identical to the Wolfgang guitars he records and performs with.
“A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument. I could have just stayed at home and built this guitar for myself. I do this because a lot of people ask if they can get what I use. Well, yes you can and what you get is identical to what I use,” commented Eddie. “From the basics of the guitar to painstaking aspects like the binding and everything else–we re-did everything on this guitar.
“Every aspect and component of this guitar has been examined and upgraded to the highest standards possible: stainless steel frets, double-potted custom-wound pickups, five-piece binding on the matching body and headstock, custom-made signature tuning machines and Floyd Rose(R) bridge, new low-friction pots, and the list keeps going … we left no stone unturned,” said Eddie. “Everything that I’ve built, destroyed, stumbled onto, learned and experienced is in this guitar.”
When Eddie Van Halen made his debut into the rock music scene in 1978, he did so with a homemade guitar (later known as “Frankenstein”). At a time when his monster technique and tone demanded a high-performance, indestructible guitar, he created his own to reach his own seemingly impossible standards. For over 35 years, he has continued to examine and improve every variable within the instrument, all culminating with the new EVH Wolfgang guitar.
In 2007, Eddie Van Halen and Fender(R) collaborated to launch the first EVH brand high-performance products, including the all-new EVH 5150III (TM) amplifier, the limited run of Eddie Van Halen Frankenstein(TM) replica guitars and an array of high-quality EVH brand accessories.
For more information, exclusive photos, video and news updates, go to www.evhgear.com.
Van Halen’s reunion tour came to Cincinnati Tuesday night. This show has been long awaited by myself and many of the fans in the area, especially since this rescheduled show was originally supposed to take place on March 5th. This show was postponed so Eddie Van Halen could take care of an undisclosed medical condition. ( Turf Toe?, Male Pattern Baldness?, Erectile disfunction? the world may never know.)
I never had the chance to see David Lee Roth with Van Halen, back in the early 80’s and I have always regretted it. I wouldn’t dare miss this reunion show, especially with how volatile the bands’ relationship has been over the years.
The questions I had going into this show were the following:
Will Michael Anthony be missed? Can David Lee Roth still sing?
Can Eddie Van Halen still get it done live? Is Van Halen worth the over inflated ticket price?
I have heard and read a lot of good and bad things about this tour, from the cities where it took place prior to Tuesday Night’s Show.
I opted for the cheaper seats for this show, and by cheap, I mean the $49.50 ticket before Ticketmaster added their extortion rates to the ticket price. With the huge video screen behind the stage, there truly wasn’t a bad seat to be had for this show. U.S. Bank Arena was at near capacity. If this wasn’t a sell out, it was damn close.
The Stage set up for Van Halen was quite cool. The stage was set up in a Giant S configuration. The bottom part of the S reached out into the stands, and circled the people in the pit close to the main stage. The lighting, and monsterous video screen were pretty cool, in fact the video screen greatly enhanced my view from my nosebleed seats.
So as far the Answers to my questions…….
Michael Anthony was definitely missed. At times I thought they may have used his recorded back up vocals. Michael always was one to run around the stage and get the crowd going. Wolfgang Van Halen is not. The kid can certainly play bass, and his Frankenstein paint scheme was pretty cool. The bad thing is, the kid doesn’t have any stage presence. None, zero, zilch. This will come in due time, but it isn’t there in 2008.
David Lee Roth was the surprise of the night for me. Diamond Dave sounds great. He can’t hit all of those high notes he used to, but his vocal performance was spot on.
Eddie Van Halen was pretty impressive and boring all at the same time. While his fretwork was second to none, he didn’t move from his position on stage. I don’t know if his legs were chained down to a certain area, but Eddie was center stage for 99% of the show. He moved very little, and certainly did not make use of the cool ramps they had on stage. His playing and solos were awesome, especially when he played Eruption, but his lack of energy was extremely disappointing.
Aside from David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen had the most energy. His drumming was excellent all night, and his drum solo was very cool.
As a whole, Van Halen sounded awesome all night, they just didn’t have any energy on stage. Maybe I have been spoiled by seeing Airbourne’s high energy live show recently. Van Halen had about a tenth of the energy in their show that Airbourne had.
The energy from the crowd at U.S. Bank Arena was quite a different story. Tons of people were singing along and dancing. As a whole most people seemed to leave happy, and quite a few were hooting and hollering as they exited the arena.
So the Bottomline…..was Van Halen worth the ticket price. In my estimation, yes they were. I wouldn’t have paid the mega bucks required to sit on the floor ($150.00), but I was glad that I went. David Lee Roth called the band three quarters original, one quarter inevitable.
Maybe it was inevitable that Van Halen’s live performance would not quite live up to my expectations. The band is certainly past their prime. Van Halen is still one of the biggest hard rock bands to ever come from the United States. Past their prime or not, I am glad I got to see them with Roth as the singer for the first time. Even though they were not at their best, they still sounded great. The live music is what matters the most!