Best Concerts of 2012: Van Halen at BankAtlantic Center (Now BB&T Center)
Ian Witlen

Best Concerts of 2012: Van Halen at BankAtlantic Center (Now BB&T Center)

The things that make up a "best" concert aren't the good things. Those you don't remember. It's the crazy shit; like when I fell twice in a filthy mosh pit at a Black Lips show and couldn't get back up on my own, or when, this past spring, David Lee Roth threw a total '80s diva shit-fit on stage at the BankAtlantic (now BB&T) Center. 

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Yeah, there were "better" shows this year than Van Halen. Built to Spill at Culture Room brought the emotional musical magic, and afterward, my friends and I took a dorky picture with Doug Martsch. And there were "cooler" experiences, like when I chatted with Kendrick Lamar backstage at his show at Sunset Cove Amphitheater at the Black Friday Festival. I mean, and R. Kelly's Single Ladies Tour basically changed my life. But David Lee Roth gave Broward County something you don't get to see every day: a tantrum in front of 20,000 people. 

The crowd sucked. And sometimes a crowd will make or break a show, but not when Eddie Van Halen and Roth are performing. Then it's like there is no crowd, there's just you, Eddie's fingers moving like butter on a roll, his radiant, mischievous smile, Roth's glittering ensembles and his screams at a stagehand. 

I went to the cold theater alone, spent like $40 on a hot dog, got sexually harassed by 14-year olds (best audience members, btw), and it was the best concert I went to in 2012. When it became clear that David Lee Roth was shitfaced, I was tickled, though a little nervous. But when he started yelling at the crew, fuck this and fuck that, oh man, I knew this was the show I wanted to be watching. I felt terrible for the guy who bore the brunt of his "fuck"s, but in my honest opinion, it's an honor to be screamed at by such a fascinating phoenix such as Diamond Dave. 


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