I've never been to a rock concert that didn't play rock before the show, but the Forum was playing something that sounded like Herbie Hancock, which was kind of a buzz kill for me. The opening act of Bob Marley's son was equally strange and unfortunately was an indication of the terrible sound the Forum provides.

David Lee Roth was at his best, but was drowned out most of the time. The band hit the stage and ripped through some great tunes and I wish the sound had been better. I would have to say that the highlight of the show was Dave chatting up the audience before Ice Cream Man. Ed's solo started with 316, which was nice, but fell into feedback laden mess with a bit of tapping from Eruption thrown in. Alex's drum solo was great, though, and I generally don't care for drum solos. The thing that got me, though, was that they never really used the catwalk out into the audience. In fact, Eddie never left centerstage and Wolfgang appeared to want to blend into the backdrop. Michael Anthony was sorely missed with stage presence. Wolfgang is certainly capable and talented, but hasn't learned the importance of connecting with the audience - then again, how can a 16-year connect with people at least 20 years his senior?

One of the things that I noticed when the camera zoomed in on Ed's hands up on the jumbotron was that his knuckles were quite red and swollen looking. I wonder whether he has arthritis. Has anyone else noticed this? It didn't affect his playing, but my mother had arthritis and Ed's hands immediately reminded me of that. They looked painful.

Overall, I'd say it was mostly the suck-ass sound system that prevented this show from being the stellar Van Halen shows of the past. The other part was that other than Dave, there wasn't much communication from the band to the audience, which has always been the magic Van Halen creates at a show. Each member stayed in their own little place on stage while Dave prowled around, venturing out onto the catwalk only twice. They didn't really have much to do with each other either.