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  1. #1
    Top Of The World ACK's Avatar
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    Loudon, NH
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    11.17.06 @ 04:25 PM
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    Hagar comes out on top in Van Halen vocal slugfest

    by Sarah Rodman
    Thursday, August 29, 2002

    David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, Tweeter Center, Mansfield, last night.

    Watching Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth perform last night at the Tweeter Center, it was difficult to believe that Hagar is older by eight years.

    While the pair's ingenious-on-paper tour, dubbed ``Song for Song, the Heavyweight Champs of Rock and Roll,'' wasn't intended as a contest per se, it was impossible not to compare the pair of former Van Halen frontmen and to ultimately declare Hagar the winner by TKO.

    Hagar's raspy whine of a voice may not be for everyone, but the man has a healthy set of lungs that can carry a tune without visible strain and his energetic party host persona was, eventually, infectious, even when the quality of the songs was subpar.

    Of course, Roth was never a technically great singer to begin with, but he had an undeniable, as he might put it, ``charasma,'' that helped carry some of the burden of his performance. He was so slinky, confident and agile in the late '70s and early '80s that you overlooked the occasionally wobbly note.

    Unfortunately, during his 80 minutes last night there was little in his wriggly, pitiable stabs at his old sparkle that could compensate for his painfully winded and downright flimsy vocals, which couldn't have been positively affected by his constant, piercing yowls and the occasional side-stage cigarette.

    Roth also had a case of premature gesticulation. Looking fit and clad in shiny, beyond skintight purple pants and jacket, Diamond Dave came out swinging that leg with a vengeance, almost immediately spin-kicking himself breathless and becoming the weakest link in his own band. The trio could easily be a first-rate VH cover band with their tight harmonies and the close to Eddie-perfect solos by guitarist Brian Young on crowd pleasers like ``Runnin With the Devil,'' ``So This Is Love,'' ``Panama'' and ``Hot For Teacher.''

    There were a few decent moments, including a jubilant ``Beautiful Girls,'' but his jabs at Hagar, Van Halen and VH singer number three Gary Cherone left a sour taste.

    While Roth may have had the more beloved set list and flashier band, Hagar and his band, the Waboritas, benefited from his own insistent good will, some production frills, a stronger singing voice and VH bassist Michael Anthony on his side of the column. All of which added up to a crowd-pleasing 90 minutes that covered VH favorites like ``Right Now,'' ``Dreams'' and ``Why Can't This Be Love'' and solo hits like ``I Can't Drive 55.'' About 40 contest winners got to sing along from bleachers onstage.

    Gary Cherone bravely showed up, as did members of Boston, to sing a climactic duet of ``When It's Love,'' capping off the set a with a little good-natured melodrama.


    [ August 30, 2002, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: ACK ]

  2. #2
    Unchained Cabo Gary's Avatar
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    09.15.15 @ 03:00 PM
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    Wish I woulda been there....
    "Living with the Aftershock"



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