Tokyo Dome Live In Concert
Studio: Rhino Records
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Review Date: April 5, 2015
“Tokyo Dome Live In Concert” is the second live album by Van Halen, the first with the band’s original lead singer, David Lee Roth. The 2CD set encapsulates twenty-five (yes, 2-5) songs from every Van Halen album that DLR sang on, including their last studio album from 2012, “A Different Kind Of Truth.”
Already, the Roth/Hagar fans are duking it out as to whether it’s a good/great/horrible album. Nothing that I say in this review will change anyone’s mind so I’m not even going to try. However, what I will say is that Eddie’s guitar playing is as spot on and lightning fast as it ever was; Alex’s beating of the skins is its usual thunderous self and Wolfie steps up on his bass duties, thus giving the band a third set of VH initials to the band’s line-up.
Some have dissed Roth’s voice, saying that he’s just not the same as he was in the early days. To that I say, who DOES sound like they did thirty-something years ago? That said, I’d suggest that you listen to “Tokyo Dome” without watching any video of the band performing and see if you really think that David is very far off the mark from his original vocals.
I did exactly that, focusing on “Running With The Devil,” “Tattoo,” and “Panama.” I’m of the opinion that, though his stage presence might be a bit reserved compared to his “Diamond Dave” days, he’s as strong, vocally, as he’s ever been.
What it comes down to is that DLR haters won’t buy it while his supporters will. I also suspect that hard core Van Halen fans will buy it regardless.
After all, it’s only rock and roll.