Veteran musician Ryan Adams has been confirmed as the first ever music guest on the Daily Show with new host Trevor Noah. Adams will appear on the first show on Thurs, October 1 on Comedy Central. Adams just released his full length cover album of Taylor Swift's 1989.
By Samir Shukla
A part of my high school soundtrack was relived on this 14th anniversary of 9/11. David Lee Roth maybe less fluid in his stage moves, but he proved his kitschy persona was intact, shuffling and dancing while fronting the inimitable Van Halen on this occasionally drizzly evening in Charlotte. Roth’s kicks and jumps, and especially his voice, showed the damage accrued over the years. He couldn’t quite hit the high notes and he skipped words to some of the songs, but he picked up the right lines at the right time. Then there’s Eddie Van Halen. A guitarists’ guitarist, his fluid riffs and classic signature playing remains wholly intact. Other than adding backing vocals to some of the songs, Eddie didn’t talk much. But he didn’t have to. His fingers and the six strings ignited the stage. He had fun adding improvisational flourishes to the air guitar instrumental classic “Eruption” and the rotation of much-loved songs blasted out of his guitar, one by one, through the night. Alex Van Halen dutifully pounded on the drums, while Eddie’s son Wolfgang boomed away on the bass. There were no breaks or costume changes, except Roth putting on and peeling off a few outfits. The boys wore nondescript clothes and simply rocked. A little more than midway through their set Roth went into a bit of reflective banter while sitting on a chair with harmonica and acoustic guitar. It was, well, an aging guy pontificating something about the sight of millions of fireflies on a summer eve, hiking in the hills around Gastonia some 25 years earlier, and his stay in Japan, all rolled into one. He rambled on for a few minutes, causing the drunk, pot-bellied guy behind me to yell for Eddie to crank his guitar back up. Roth’s rambling segued into their funky cover of “Ice Cream Man” with the boys turning up the amps and all was well again with the dude behind me yelling for Roth to shut up. Eddie’s guitar transported me back 35 years to high school, college, parties, and the days of trying to blow out the speakers in my first car, a 1972 Chevy Nova. Van Halen was part of my high school and college soundtracks. Most of their lyrics are fairly simple to say the least – hot teachers, chasing girls, cars, partying, urban living, and chasing more girls. That’s their testosterone-laced charm. Their albums are stacked with instrumentals, party anthems, a few darker songs, some even introspective. The quartet featured three original members (Wolfgang has replaced original bassist Michael Anthony). This night the band played Roth-era songs, largely eschewing the recorded material from their other two vocalists, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone. Near our seats, furthest left facing the stage, the sound was lacking. The stacks of amps didn’t quite pump the sound our way as I would’ve liked, and it made the show less powerful sounding than it should have been. The muddled mix on some songs didn’t help either. But all complaints vaporize when Eddie Van Halen, still at the peak of his prowess, flies his fingers up and down the neck, setting the air on fire, transporting middle-aged men back to their carefree high school days, even if only for a couple of hours.