Van Halen

Dallas always has been and always will be a Van Halen kind of town—or maybe four out of 10 Texxas Jams back in the 1970s and '80s don't mean much to you. I saw two of them; couldn't make the 1988 "Monster of Rock" adios. Something to do with Dokken and Scorpions on the bill. Fuck that noise. Still, I'll swear that those were some of the best rock concerts in the history of the electric guitar—something about being crushed beneath the crumbling wall of sound the band made back then, when Dave was still a Diamond in the rough and Eddie had most of his tongue.

Nearly 30 years later, the band's here twice, both times at the American Airlines Center, in the same annum: last January and this Saturday, following the band's March 3 cancellation due to Ed's mystery ailment. (Of course, also in Dallas on April 24 is the former Mrs. Eddie, Valerie Bertinelli, who'll be Losing It at the Borders Books and Music at Preston and Royal.) The setlist from the first go 'round hit all the highlights; the only thing the fetishists didn't hear was, oh, "D.O.A." maybe. Otherwise, it was a solid set of 26 oldies but, um, oldies kept potent by a band that's made its peace with each other and has embraced its legacy as arena pop stars only playing "heavy metal" till the next time Journey, Kansas and Aerosmith need a warm-up act at the Cotton Bowl.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky