TVD Live: Van Halen
at Oracle Arena, 6/3

It was the reunion that no one ever thought would happen. America’s most beloved rock ‘n roll treasure (besides Cheap Trick and Aersosmith, of course) took the stage at Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Sunday and proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Opening up with the blistering classic “Unchained,” Van Halen made a statement early on in the show. Instantly every other show you may have seen in the past year or so became obsolete and begged the question, “Who can do better than this?” The simple answer is no one.

Dave’s charm was on fire as they jumped into “Running with the Devil,” and the chemistry on stage between Dave and Eddie was charming and playful. Any brand of turmoil between the two was non apparent.

The oddest choice for “opening band of the year award” goes to Van Halen for selecting Kool & the Gang to kick start the show. I have to say that it sort of worked, though. I forgot how many hits these guys had, and the sold out arena full of ’80s cool kids was surprisingly receptive and really seemed to quite enjoy one soul classic after another.

Now, back to Van Halen…

The rest of the setlist did not disappoint as the band peppered in a number of new classics from the comeback album of the decade, A Different Kind of Truth, including “Tattoo” and “She’s the Woman.” Check out the full setlist here.

This was my first time seeing Van Halen and I was not disappointed. I am not even a huge fan of the band, yet they were on my concert bucket list, and now I am listening to the first three albums on repeat. Seeing a show of this magnitude puts a perspective on rock concerts that many of us miss. I mean seriously, what band or bands in the currently can even come close to putting on this type of show? Maybe the Foo Fighters, but beyond that I imagine it’s a very, very short list.

To see these photos and more in hi-res check out the complete set here.

Where you at the show in Oakland? What did you think of the performance? The setlist? Who do you think can possibly put on a rock show of this magnitude going forward? 

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