Photos by Jim Belmont
On a beautiful late summer evening at the historic site of the original Woodstock Festival, guitar god Edward Van Halen brought his son, brother, and Van Halen’s original singer, David Lee Roth, to rock the Bethel Woods crowd.
Opening with “Light Up The Sky,” the band played all the fan favorites, including “Running With the Devil,” “Hot for Teacher,” “Panama” and “Jump.” Bonuses included an outstanding drum solo from Alex Van Halen, an extended guitar solo from Eddie that not even minor technical difficulties could stop and Diamond Dave’s acoustic solo intro to “Ice Cream Man.” Although David’s vocals were not spot on, his showmanship is still top notch. The band is like a very well-tuned engine, keeping the audience on their feet for most of the show.
The opener, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, featured Noah Hunt, Tony “the Fretless Monster” Franklin on bass, ex-Stevie Ray Vaughan drummer Chris Layton and keyboard player Riley Osbourn. The tight band played a too-short set of heavy blues-rock with a killer tribute to Jimi Hendrix for the final number.
What a great way to spend the last Sunday of summer! The spirit of Woodstock is alive and well at the beautiful Bethel Woods Center.
– Jim Belmont