Review: Van Halen – Tokyo Dome: Live In Concert (Warner Music Canada)

Van HalenClassic rock fans worldwide erupted with delight in David Lee Roth’s return to Van Halen a number of years back, and with good reason. On this double-disc live album recorded in Tokyo in 2013, however, the still charismatic Roth seems to be more of a liability than anything else as he half-speaks, half-sings the bulk of the tracks, while also leaving a significant amount of lines unsung each song. It’s unfair to only pick on Roth, however: Out of the gate, the band sounds solid, but as the show progresses, occasional poor timing and missed cues rear their heads, making for an uneven performance. Perhaps ironically, the glue that seems to be holding the band together is 24 year-old bassist Wolfgang Van Halen. Instead of bearing witness to this partial train wreck, go dust off your copies of Van Halen’s early records and give those a spin instead. I assure you it will be much more fulfilling.