Palace of Auburn Hills
May 19, 1998
Review by Sean Portwood - PortyHIC@Aol.Com
I was a railrat tonight at the spectacular Van Halen show! I sat in second row and saw first hand the pure and utter talent of this band.
The show was opened by Creed who appeared to be as excited as the fans were to be at the Van Halen concert! They did an excellent job getting the crowd pumped up.
When Van Halen started playing the crowd went totally nuts! Unchained got the crowd on their feet and screaming the words along with Gary. They did a great playlist with classics along with the new stuff.
Alex's drum solo blew the crowd away, it was perfect, the fans ate up every second of it. Eddie's guitar solo was excellent. He hit every note perfect, driving the fans crazy. Out of the 8 people I was with nobody had a voice left after this solo.
People can say many things about Gary but he is in my opinion the best of the three lead singers Van Halen has had. I'm not into the old Gary vs. Sammy vs. Dave thing, but I love Gary's style. After the concert a fan was yelling "Bring back Sammy, Gary sucks!' and he was quickly shot down by many adoring fans.
All I can say about Van Halen is that they are the best group I've ever seen perform, they get the crowd going like no other band could. I hope to see them do many more tours and albums!
Review by Joe DiCostanza - JD224@hotmail.com
It has been three years since I saw Van Halen last and that was back with Sammy. After hearing the most recent album, I must admit that I was a little nervous about Gary Cherone. All that was put at ease when I was amazed with the amount of energy he had to offer the audience. He brings about that type of youthfulness and energy that I think Dave and Sammy just couldn't give if they were the ones on that stage tonight.
I know many people are unsure what to think about Gary. Some are going to the show expecting Dave or expecting Sammy. But after just seeing the show and with my ears still ringing, I have to tell the world to go and expect new blood and new energy, go to expect Gary.
Everyone needs to understand that Eddie, Alex and Mike chose him for a reason: they chose him because he's a good singer and a good entertainer and together they put on one helluva show. Thank you.
Review by Kevin McCreery - email@example.com
I have been waiting for this show ever since I heard that Gary Cherone, the lead singer from one of my "other" favorite bands, joined VH. I must admit they kind of lost me during the Sammy years with the exception of "Pleasure Dome" and a few others BUT you can imagine my eagerness to return to the fold with this new guy named GARY.
I went into this show with very high expectations and I was not let down. We all know Edward, Alex and Mike but tonight "the new guy" was under the microscope. Gary sang the older stuff like he had written it himself, he took the new stuff to a new level (with a little help from his new family). This guy is AMAZING!! He has energy that never seems to die. He's having a blast, clearly. To any NAY SAYERS out there against Gary--pull your head out of your @#$$% and get with the program!
The set list was pretty much the same as in the other reviews from other shows, it was a How Many say I night instead of Josephina. The only negative thing I can say about this whole show is that they needed to be louder. From the time they began with UNCHAINED through half of the show, every time EDDIE went into a solo the crowd was so loud they overpowered the P.A.!!!
This crowd was pumped to be there and so was I. I can die a happy man. What in the world are they gonna do to top this year??????
Review by Rob Myers - Myersdrums@aol.com
Well how do I start this? OH MY GOD!!!! Van Halen blew my mind, especially Gary. He nailed every song. All of those non-believers have been shown the light tonight.
It was a packed house tonight. I've been a fan of Van Halen for a while and just let me say that this is the best line up! Highlights were "When Its Love" (WOW Gary made it sound better), "Humans Being", "Mean Street" and "Year To The Day" which had an amazing guitar solo by Eddie, the king.
All of the new songs were even better live! Mike did a great job on lead vocals on "Somebody Get Me A Doctor". We also got to be the second show to hear "How Many Say I?". That was cool. "Right Now" was also outstanding, the video screen and lights were amazing.
Van Halen will continue to kick ass all summer long, I'm definitely going back. You will not be disappointed. Alex, Mike, Gary & Eddie, what can i say except WOOOOOOOO!!!.
Review by Jeff Wilson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eddie, Eddie, Eddie!!! This was one of the best nights in Detroit ever!!! It was 80 degrees at show time and we had the master of guitars in town, it doesn't get any better than that.
20 years ago these guys were blowing people away with a new brand of rock and roll, tonight the people of Michigan experienced a phenomenon we fans call Edward Van Halen!!!
Alex, wearing a neck brace, seemed effortless with the old and new tunes, as well as the excellent solo he treated us to before "Dance The Night Away"
Michael continues his very solid bass licks, as well as the lead vocals on "Somebody Get me A Doctor". A clip of Mike bungy jumping is shown while "Jump" is being played.
Gary has a lot of vocal qualities that are shared with Sammy Hagar. His stage presence reminds me of Mick Jagger. He did a very good job tonight and deserves the respect of the loyal Van Halen fans.
I was very impressed with the show tonight. The biggest disappointment of the evening was the fact that the Palace was not sold out, as a prior review stated, the show in Cleveland had empty seats as well!!! It bothers me to think that the recent changes in the band, would have people wondering, do they still have it???
Go to the show and enjoy history being made!!!
Review by Tim Naranjo - GLStim@aol.com
Thanks VH for a great show at the Palace of Auburn Hills. A new singer was not going to keep me from seeing one of the greatest bands of all time and they did not disappoint. It was great to see some of my favorites off the classic VH albums. My personal favorites of the evening were Mean Street, Romeo Delight, Humans Being, and Somebody Get Me A Doctor. I could not believe all of the empty seats to the rear of the arena. I can only hope they were watching the Red Wings or something.
Gary did a nice job on the Dave/Sammy songs. It was great to see Ed with so much enthusiasm. You can tell the band has a great time on stage together. While on a bathroom break, some idiot was telling everybody how Gary is only going to be with the band until late summer, then Dave is coming back. I laughed my ass off at that one.
Has anybody heard the new Roth tune? What happened to his voice? Gary's job is safe as far as I'm concerned! Looking forward to the "shed tours" later this summer. VH forever!!
p.s. Ed, could you play "Dirty Water Dog" and "Dance the night away" next time? Thanks again.
Review by Chris Oakley - Oak67@aol.com
The Boys of Van Halen are back in full force and Gary Cherone has injected youth and enthuisiasm into the group. Eddie was on fire the whole concert and seemed to look rejuvenated and was all over the stage like I have never seen before, his solo was the best I have ever witnessed. Gary Cherone added his own special touch to the DLR and Sammy songs and sounded awsesome on Without You and Fire in the Hole. It was also cool to hear all the old songs and any true Van Halen fan had to be pumped when all was said and done.
This was my sixth time seeing the boys and I think it was the best. Kudos to Alex, Eddie Gary, and Mike. Don't miss it when it comes to your town, the concert is proof of why we love Van Halen.
Review by Tim Hughes
Where does one begin? I haven't see Eddie this pumped and animated since the 5150 tour back in '86. And he made me a fan of How Many Say I tonight! I was also a rail-rat for this one. Mike was right in front of me. That guy doesn't miss a note! Not one. His voice is incredible too!
Alex, Alex, Alex. He was the star of this show. This was the best drum solo I have seen since Van Halen in '84. Unbelievable! Don't miss this performance! Everybody around me was standing in awe when he finished.
Everybody's wondering what Gary's like live. I would describe his peformance as a cross between Freddy Mercury and Mick Jagger. He nailed all the new stuff perfectly. But, I would strongly suggest that somebody give the guy a pair of jeans and a t-shirt to wear! Coming from an 18 year VH veteran, the skin tight polyester suit just doesn't fit the Van Halen image. Long live Van Halen!
Review by Keith Schwier - email@example.com
3 Words.......VAN HALEN ROCKS!!!! The show was amazing. I'd seen them live once already on the Balance tour and this concert blew that one out of the water. Gary is definitely the right man for the job. He was all over the stage and worked the crowd into a wild frenzy. Anyone who doubts him as a singer for this band should reconsider big time!
The set list was exactly the same as the shows in Houston and Chicago. "Unchained" began the evening with fierce energy, followed by "Without You". (I can't help but love the segue into The Beatles at the end of this one. Very cool!) "Mean Street" was prime as Gary said "Guess who's back in town Detroit!" The video footage added a certain touch to the tune also.
Solo-wise, both Alex and Eddie were amazing. After Alex's solo concluded, the opening strains of "Dreams" came on and the place was unglued. I was looking over to my friend Matt, and we were both singing along at the top of our lungs. "Humans Being" was nailed perfectly. It was awesome leaning over and doing air guitar with my friends (Matt and Jay) all during the show. We got to be Eddie Van Halen for a few moments. "Right Now" sounded wonderful; the end of it especially when Gary used echo on his voice and sang with Ed's harmonics.
"Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" closed the set and everyone was on their feet. We were pumping our fists as Gary was swinging from cables. The encore started with "How Many Say I" and that was a real treat. This was the one song my girlfriend (Kathleen) really wanted to hear and I was thrilled her wish came true. "Panama" and "Jump" concluded the evening.
After the show was over our group met with friends sitting high up in the upper levels. All of us (Kathleen, Jay, Matt, Paul, Nichole, Justin, Jeremy, Nikki, and myself) reminisced about the concert and hung out. This was something we'd never forget. Thank you Van Halen. What a night!!!!
Review by Anthony Fabiano - firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't think too many people know the real definition of amazing. When a band can take the stage and captivate its audience for every song of their set, that is amazing. I don't think I looked in any other direction during this concert. It was all eyes on these four musical kings.
I don't think that they should have named the album 'three'. I would have named it 'four'. Sure, Gary is the third lead vocalist for Van Halen, but together they mesh like no other rock band in history. "Four' means Eddie, Alex, Micheal, and Gary (who is in a class all by himeslf). A truly outstanding vocalist who shines on stage. He does not take anything away from this band, in fact, I would say that he adds the dimension that they need as a mature rock band.
You could notice that there was more than music on that stage, there was soul, there was heart and there was energy. I noticed this especially when Eddie, Michael and Gary sang on Fire in the Hole. Romeo Delight was a highpoint of the show and it was only the beginning!!! Alex was certainly on a high that could not have originated from any alcohol or drugs. It came from deep within and this was proven when he started the second part of his drum solo which was complemented with a lengthy keyboard track.
Then comes the nurses for Michael with a bottle of Jack Daniels. I knew Gary was superb when he sang Year to the Day. What a tune!!! The vibrato in his vocals made a lot of Halen fans think. Then comes Eddie's solo which would take too long to describe in this review. Let me just say that I was mesmorized by his fingers on the big screen. What goes on in this guy's head? At the end of the solo the building could have collapsed with the loudness of Eddie chants. Then to top it all off, they go back into Year to the Day. Brilliantly conducted. It was like Eddie had formerly welcomed Gary into the band in front of the whole audience. Then lights come down and start to flicker, Right Now begins.
After this load of inspiration, the band says goodnight. It's not over and everybody knows it. Eddie comes back out and begins How Many Say I. There is no doubt in my mind that Year to the Day means something very special to Gary, and that How Many Say I was Eddie's emotional release to the whole world. These songs off the new album are not just songs, they are stories, and I would really like to uncover the true essence of their meanings at some point down the road.
To end the show the band played Panama and Jump which got the crowd in a roar. I could have sat there all night and listened to these artists. I think they're more than just musicians, they are truly artists who have a lot to say to the world. Pick up the album and go see the concert. If you are a musician like myself, you will definitely get the inspiration to keep plugging in and keep plugging away, after you see and hear these guys. It's all about the love of music, and I think this band showed that at this concert. When they come back, I'll be there.