David Lee Roth Ed’s, Edmonton AB - November 7

This is going to be tough, but lay down that sneer for a second and admit that you love Van Halen and that it’s all right for old people to make music. Your approval isn’t necessary exactly, but too much cynicism time-stamps you as being stuck in these fading "mindlessly mean reality TV years.” And going on about being so old is, like, so old. Riding only the international anthems that made every human with ears smile at least once, a 51-year-old, trimmed David Lee Roth put on decidedly wicked show that was hilarious, thundering and educationally self-deprecating. Oh, his Joker-frozen grin and three-piece suit were slightly creepy at first but the hits! "California Girls,” "Yankee Rose,” "Jump” and the savage "Ain’t Talking ’bout Love” were sprinkled with high-kicks and anecdotes dating back to the days when Roth was a mere night janitor woken by the Rolling Stones to years of stadium addiction. Well, he got it, and here we are on the other side: Nostalgialand. Roth explained how "Panama” was about a freshly laid girl who showed up in the front row with her pants on backwards. His modern, crooning "Just a Gigolo” made so much more sense, but the funniest part of the show was microscopic, as he did a burbling motorcycle engine impression. "You know what I like?,” he asked between disgusting sound effects. "Farting?” answered a college radio DJ quietly. Awesome. Song of the night was "Unchained,” but no vocal notes were missed during the show. Is this a practice run for a Van Halen reunion? Word is yes. If so, the intimacy of this Shatner-ish display of self-acceptance with still-dangling rock balls was even more precious. The show was really fun and it was great to see Diamond Dave from just a few feet away. Hey, man, it’s not like I’m going on about Glass Tiger or something.