ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1986
By Steve Newton
David Lee Roth’s concert at the Pacific Coliseum last Sunday (December 7) should go down as one of the loudest gigs the old hockey rink has ever hosted. We’re talking precautionary Kleenex in the ears, no less. Luckily, for those tough enough to handle the noise, the show was also a lot of fun. Now that he’s got a band of his own, Diamond Dave seems to be having the best time of his life.
Dressed in a black tank-top, multi-coloured tights, white runners, and various scarves and bands, Dave toasted the town with a bottle of Jack Daniels then raged through a number of Van Halen songs, including”Panama”, “Everybody Wants Some”, Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love”, and his old band’s rendition of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman”.
“This kind of music needs an audience real bad,” bellowed Dave at one point “Are you real bad?”
There were tunes from his latest album, Eat ‘Em and Smile, that featured extended solos by guitarist Steve Vai and bassist Billy Sheehan. And while the soloing went on way too long, it clearly showed the two’s mastery of their instruments. Roth definitely pulled off quite a coup when he snagged them both.
For his encore, Dave brought out a ten-foot, inflatable microphone with his name on it, held it phallus-like, then launched into “Jump”, another smash hit from the Van Halen days. Near the end of the song Dave grabbed a big red cowboy hat from the bundles of laundry thrown onstage and rode the giant mike like a bucking bronco. His hit version of the Beach Boys’ “California Girls” ended the show as DAVID LEE ROTH and then just DAVID flashed in huge white letters behind the stage.
Boy, if only there was a way to get the poor guy out of his shell.