Hagar, Roth give crowd plenty of reasons to jump

June 16, 2002

June 16, 2002

Hagar, Roth give crowd plenty of reasons to jump

DALLAS - You can take the rock star out of the 1980s, but can you take the
'80s out of the rock star?

Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth, ex-Van Halen front men, put on one heckuva
hit parade last night at the Smirnoff Centre, even if their stage antics
were lifted straight out of 1985 - Roth's more so than Hagar's.

Both relied heavily on Van Halen classics, which was the point of the tour
from the time both singers decided that it was too economically tempting to
let their egos get in the way.

As proved by the 17,500 in attendance, a large chunk of rock fans still
crave classic Van Halen sung live and loud.

Hagar took the stage first last night; the two are alternating those duties
on the tour.

A star well before he joined Van Halen in the mid-80s, just after Roth had
been booted, Hagar is also more than just a singer. Hagar can play some
nasty guitar as was evident on a solo during Three Lock Box.
His four-piece band held its own as well, nailing Van Halen staples from the
'80s and '90s, such as Why Can't This Be Love, Poundcake, and Top of the

Hagar's simple stage was flanked by 50 contest winners in grandstands giving
the show a Jimmy Buffet-type feel. Meanwhile, a large screen behind both
singers' sets played old videos of the artists, along with live footage for
those on the lawn.

The "Red Rocker" also had the luxury of padding his set with several solo
hits, something Roth couldn't do. Hagar got the crowd singing along to I
Can't Drive 55, Only One Way to Rock and the power ballad Give to Live.

Roth stuck to the early Van Halen hard-rock classics that made the band
world famous - Runnin' with the Devil, Unchained and Jump. Roth did play
Yankee Rose, one of his few hits sans Halen.

"Diamond Dave" gave the audience what they were clamoring for - whiskey
swigging, karate kicks and pelvic thrusts. His band - Van Halen cover band
Atomic Punk - also played Van Halen classics note for note. Who needs Eddie
Van Halen?

No matter how cliche, the crowd loved Roth's turquoise bellbottoms and
matching jacket. They didn't seem to mind his out-of-breath singing, either.

Maybe it was the extra two hours of drinking, but Roth's 9 p.m. entrance was
greeted with more rabid applause and air guitar, despite Hagar's more
musically satisfying set.