July 30, 1998
Set List - Click here!
Review by Gregg McClelland - email@example.com
WOW! I had the privilege of seeing the greatest rock band, past and present, tonight in Charlotte. Man it was amazing! I was blessed with front row seats, so I was hugging one of VH's many speakers, and believe me you can feel the energy of this band! I've read other letters posted here, and I have the same opinion they did of the show. These guys are the best rock band touring today.
Gary was awesome. He jumped, flipped, crowd surfed, and oh yeah, he sung a little too! I didn't have the pleasure to see Diamond Dave perform but I did see Sammy, and this guy outdoes both of them for me personally. He was in my face all night, pointing, laughing, and screaming at me! He has an amazing voice which should add a few years to the length of Van Halen's career.
Eddie was no different from any other concert. Every note was perfectly stroked and he did it with his eyes closed! I couldn't believe he played "Eruption" with his eyes closed! My seats were right in front of him so I was able to watch the greatest guitar player ever, have just another night at the office.
Mikey and Alex were brilliant. Mikey sung "Somebody Get Me A Doctor" and man if something ever happened to Gary, Mikey can step right in and fill the front man's shoes! Alex's solo was mind-boggling! At one time he had to have had 5 or 6 arms and 3 or 4 legs. This guy is amazing the way he can keep 3-4 beats going at one time!
A Van Halen show is truly worth the money wherever you sit in the stadium. I'm glad these reviews aren't voice mail because I'm too hoarse to be able to talk right now! Go see Van Halen ASAP! Great show and I cant wait for the next album!
Review by Eddie Z - Eddie-Z@msn.com
As someone who has never missed a Van Halen tour since they opened for Black Sabbath in the late 70's, I didn't feel like I should miss this tour even though I'm not real enthused with the new album. But all and all, watching Edward play the guitar is always worth it. Tonight was no exception.
Edward and the boys played fairly well to a disappointingly small crowd. (Another reminder that the public doesn't like the new stuff either) All the old tunes (Dave era stuff) sounded real strong right up until the vocals came in. Gary tried to "work" the phrasing in these songs and quite honestly it was sickening. His Vegas type delivery of songs we know and love was a huge turn off. If it's not broke, dont fix it!! No need to try to reinvent the wheel.
The performances of the Sammy tunes held the same disappointment. Gary, you're trying too hard. All your prancing and crap looks forced (and stupid). Let the band be, keep the spotlight where it should be and just sing. You're not the ringmaster Dave was and you sure don't have the crowd savvy that Sammy did so just quit acting like a "rock star" and just sing.
Review by Jo Anne - Joling@hotmail.com
EXCELLENT! Eddie was classic Eddie. No matter who sings, Eddie shines! I was lucky enough to meet Eddie back stage before the concert, WHAT A GREAT GUY! He gave me a hug & a kiss and I got my pic taken with him. They play a lot of classic VH! This concert is worth seeing!
Review by Chris Walker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Van Halen brought it down. I couldn't believe they played "Somebody Get Me A Doctor", and when they played it, they played it awesome. Eddie could've gone a little longer on his 316 solo, I was a little disappointed since I couldn't see and hear more of his great guitar tricks and licks.
They ended with Jump on a second encore and left the crowd pleased and got us hyped up for more, the show was good enough to where I'm gonna make the trip to Raliegh to see it Again, it really kicked ass.
Review by Rob Malloy - RobM99@prodigy.net
Unbelievable!!!!!!! We just got back from seeing VH at Blockbuster Pavilion in Charlotte, NC. The best concert I have ever been to. I had seen VH before, on the Balance tour at Jones Beach, NY, and I thought no other show would ever top that, now that Sammy is gone.
Wrong!! Being a guitarist, I tend to pay close attention to what the guitarist, in this case Eddie, is doing, trying to take it all in. But, this time I must admit, Gary Cherone demanded, and received my attention, even making me look away from Eddie a few times, to see what he was doing next. This guy has tremendous stage presence, more so than Dave or Sammy. This show was 50 times more than what I was expecting, although being in the third row helped. I definitely recommend to anyone having doubts about the "New" VH to see them live. You won't be disappointed.
Also, Kenny Wayne Sheppard was very inspiring. Hey, Eddie!! Could you spare a guitar pick?
Review by Phillip Mace - email@example.com
Awesome Show. When I saw VH on MTV @ the Australia show I thought Gary would be a complete Homo, but he didn't Eddie, in his age, much like Mozart, rambles on and goes off into so many musical tangents I couldn't tell if he fucked up the bridge to Panama.
I like the huge collection of Roth songs the did, inor feedback problems, I'd hire a mixer who could fix such simple problems, out of all the concerts I'd see and heard or watched on MTV of VH tonight was the biggest feedback fuckup ever, in Sydney they had the same problem when Gary lowered his mic to the floor, so, either stop Gary from lowering his mic (bullshit) or after 3 or 4 months on tour yank a knot in the mixer's ass and get his shit together, the band makes too much money off of tours like this to let simple mistakes like this hold them back from perfection.
Review by Max Davis - firstname.lastname@example.org
Simply said it was KICK ASS!!!! The guys were pumped up and playing their hearts out and having a great time with the crowd.
At one point during the show, Gary ran off the stage and into the crowd, slapping high fives and partying with the crowd. I was on the 5th row right in front of the stage as Gary ran down the aisle in front of me. He is definately FULL of energy and works well with the VAN HALEN party style. It took some getting used to seeing him do classic Dave stuff, but he did it with style in a new unique way.
Mike's rendition of "Somebody Get Me A Doctor" ROCKED!!! Eddie's solo once again was a long dreamy guitar God packed with new twists and old classics. Kenny Wayne Sheppard was the opening act, another guitar man, and Eddie did his solo in tribute to Kenny's blue's rock style.
I was blown away and will definitely be back again on the next tour and CD!!
Review by Jon Graves - email@example.com
We know Van Halen ROCKS! The point of interest was the new lead singer. I am a definite Van Hagar fan but I have always like David Lee as well. Once I got past the initial shock that Sammy was gone Gary began to shine.
They performed many tunes from all eras of the band including Panama, Mean Street, Jump, Right Now, Josephina, etc. Gary did a great job on them all. He also came out into the the crowd. It was cool. The Band has gone through many changes over the years and I feel that now they are coming full circle. They are getting back to the sounds that made them who they are today.
But of course one doesnt go to a Van Halen concert for the lead singer. Eddie was awesome as usual. During his solo he did an extended version of Cathedral that was purely mesmerizing. Al's solo was an impossible drill on the drums proving once again that he is the best rock drummer. Mike didnt quite seem himself though. He wasnt as zany as usual, but did a great job nonetheless. VAN HALEN RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Review by Jonathan Hoover - firstname.lastname@example.org
The boys were in Charlotte last night, and as always, they brought down the house. This was my sixth VH show and definitely the best one yet. Of course it helped that I got to witness it from the front row. Let me tell you, there is no other way to see those guys.
The set began, as with others with "Unchained", and continued basically the same as the previous shows. I have never seen Ed with so much enthusiasm, power, and true love of what he was up there doing. He worked the stage more than I have ever seen, and he was happier than I have ever seen him. I don't know what else to say about Eddie that hasn't already been said. He's the man and always will be the man.
How Alex can sit up there and bang with that neck brace on is beyond me. This guy hits hard and you feel every one of his licks. He is unbelieveable.
As for Mikey, I gotta tell you, those of us on his side last night had big fun with that guy. He is still the clown prince. The Jack Daniels Bass was out in force as was the Jack Daniels. I was fortunate enough to get a shot of JD from him just before they finised with "Jump" He poured a shot in a plastic cup, took a sip, then looked at me and said "You want it?" I said "Bring it". He handed it to me, I saluted him, and turned it up. There was no better way to top off one of the greatest nights of my life than to get a shot of Jack from Mike.
As for my thoughts on Gary. He is a hell of a guy, puts on a hell of a show, and can do the old stuff better than Hagar ever could. But I must say, he just doesn't fit. I can't put my finger on why, maybe its his dress or the way he moves, but I couldn't get a good feel for him as the front man for VH. But Eddie likes him, so get used to it. He will be around for a long time. Us true VH fans know that it doesn't matter who's up front, the reason we have stayed through three front guys is because of Eddie and the power of the music and what it has done to us for almost twenty years.
If you get a chance to see this show, trust me, don't let negative vibes about Gary keep you home. You will not be sorry.
Review by David Gaffney - email@example.com
I will first tell you that if you have the opportunity to see the show then do it! You will be amazed by Kenny Wayne Shepherd!
Now, as a long time VH fan, since the Whiskey A Go-Go days, I see the band every opportunity that I get. You are about to read a review that is not based on hype but rather history. History as to what the band is capable of doing and how they did it in Charlotte...
The small venue set was just fine, nothing fancy. Elevated drums and a couple of risors for the front guys to play on at their discretion. The lighting was actually extremely good for that size venue. The temperature was about 88F with lots of humidity (about 70%). My seat was on the 3rd row on Edward's side of the stage. From what I saw, Blockbuster Pavilion was filled to about 80%-85% capacity. Now for the meat...
I'm not quite sure what to make of Gary. If the business decision of VH was to hire Gary as a front man to run all over the set like a mad man and perform strange gestures and antics that one would typically see at a punk or alternative concert they they got their man. If the business decision of VH was to hire Gary as a talented vocalist or even a vocalist/musician to compliment the band, well they have failed.
The energy of Gary was incredible. However, the vocals weren't. It was apparent from the beginning of the show that he sounded flat. As the show progressed, it was apparent the range was not there either. During Josephina, he was off key a couple of times. Gary may have too much energy. Perhaps if he didn't try so hard to elicit pounding vocals, a better tone and range could be achieved.
Alex, looking like a crash test dummy with his arm wrap and neckbrace, was incredible as usual. He really stuck it out through the southern heat and humidity. Michael and Edward were both full of energy as well. They each were jumping and smiling through the entire show.
My report card is as follows: Guitar Work A+, Drums A, Bass A, Lead Vocals C+, Background Vocals B+, Stage Presence & Showmanship A+, Lighting A-, Sound Amplification Quality A-, Overall Value A.
This show is certainly a must-see. Anytime you have the opportunity to see the World's greatest guitar play it's a must-see. Enjoy the show!