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StageSide with Van Halen

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In the world of classic rock, Van Halen tends to skew younger than many of its contemporaries. Consider the Rolling Stones or Paul McCartney, both of whom can claim at least a decade more experience. Nonetheless, VH has earned its rightful place among the legends—that is, everyone except 24-year-old Wolfgang Van Halen, who still has a few years on the road to true rock enlightenment.

With original lead singer David Lee Roth back in the fold, the band performs at the Susquehanna Bank Center on Aug. 27, and in Hershey a few days earlier. The young Wolfgang, son of the band leader Eddie Van Halen, took it upon himself to compile a list of songs to please both casual fans familiar with favorites like “Jump” and “Hot for Teacher,” and diehard followers (think “Drop Dead Legs” and “Romeo Delight”).

Purists will lament the absence of original bassist Michael Anthony, who hasn’t performed with the band in a decade. Wolfgang, however, breathes new life into the music and is an extremely capable and accomplished player. These days, the band truly is a family affair, with Alex still on drums and Eddie’s searing guitar solos bringing down the house every time.

As for Roth, it’s been evident for some time that his vocals aren’t quite what they used to be. But he’s still the quintessential showman. And while his kicks may not be as high as they once were, he can still get a leg up. His easy banter and carney persona make up for not hitting all the high notes. And he still has the stamina to keep it up for a nearly two hours.

 

Hersheypark Stadium
Sunday, Aug. 23
Tickets start at $30
Visit www.ticketmaster.com or call (717) 534-3911.

 

Susquehanna Bank Center

Thursday, Aug. 27
Tickets start at $35
Visit www.livenation.com or call (800) 745-3000. 

David Lee Roth//Photo by Tom Collins of RockNShotsLive.

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