House of Blues
September 16, 1998
Set List - Click here!
Review by Dave Prince - Davevanhln@aol.com
This evening Van Halen played a gig at the Orlando House of Blues. 2000 people in attendance. The House was a rock'n! Edward seemed as young as ever. It showed in his guitar playing, in how very active he was, and he seemed very happy! The band was right on, very tight.
I know there are a lot of people that will never give Gary Cherone a chance. However, I was more than pleased with VAN HALEN 3!! David is gone. Sammy is gone. Right now the only way to see Van Halen is with Gary. As far as this Van Halen fan is concerned, Van Halen is still the MIGHTY VAN HALEN!!!
My buddy and I where even lucky enough to shake hands with Mike Anthony. Very incredible moment! He is genuinely a really great guy! Incredible evening with Van Halen. If you get the chance to see them, don't pass it up! You won't regret it. I know I didn't. Thanks guys!!!!!
Review by Steve Miller - email@example.com
WOW...it was like a party...they rocked like I've never seen before! I walked out with the biggest grin on my face...I just had the best fucken time I've had in years...I would like to personally thank the band and the fans in FL! What a time...all I can say is, if you have the chance to see them, you won't regret it. Thanks again guys...you made my year!
Review by Jerry Wright - firstname.lastname@example.org
Call it luck. Call it fate. Call it devine intervention. Call it what you will, but I had it. It was the hottest ticket in town. There were only 2,000 to go around, and I had one.
They had been from Australia to Europe. They had played cavernous arenas from San Diego to Boston. They were on their way to Japan after a 2-night gig in Las Vegas. Now, for reasons unknown to me, Van Halen had decided to play a single show at the diminutive, somewhat funky, House of Blues in Orlando.
As I entered the door, I was stunned by how small this place was. It wasn't until that moment, when I found my spot only feet from the stage, that I fully recognized just how fortunate I was. I flagged down a passing waitress, ordered a drink, and decided to pass the time before the show by carefully inspecting the crowd that had gathered under that small tin roof.
Oldsters...youngsters...children of five different decades. Bikers and bankers...and some who didn't even speak English. Hungover hangers-on from the 1970's rubbed elbows with collegiate crew-cuts in Duck's Head khakis. The room very nearly buzzed with anticipation.
We didn't have to wait very long. At 9:30 PM, on that cool September night, amidst the asundry icons of Southern religion, the monsters of rock stormed the stage.
The boys opened with "Unchained". The white-hot spotlight found Eddie first. I was close enough to read the "Wolfgang" tattoo on his right shoulder. He was clad in black. His hair was longer than I had seen it since the "1984" tour. Chaos ensued as the six-string-king of metal harmonics and two-handed tapping ripped into the night air with wild abandon.
Gary spun onto center stage as Michael turned and delivered a sharp thud from his five-string bass. Then we were struck with a thunderous blow as Alex shifted his double bass-drum kit into sub-woofer overdrive.
The band was magnificent. They played with, around, and over each other. Mocking facial expressions and stunt kicks that would make Bruce Lee's spirit smile with approval. Eddie and Michael seemed to be having too much fun to deserve their pay. Alex was as powerful as ever, even if he is still wearing a cervicle collar around his neck.
As the band played, I stood and looked at this Cherone fellow for a long while. This new guy...this lead singer who supposedly doesn't have LSD...this platinum-haired kid who used to wear saddle-oxfords in his videos...was he going to be any good? It took me about half a song to figure it out. He's not Dave, and he doesn't try to be. He's not Sammy, and he doesn't try to be. He's Gary...and he's just plain talented. He dances, he pouts, he spins, and he poses. I see a little Mick Jagger as he dances away from the audience with exagerated hip gyrations. I see a little Jim Morrison as he displays a self-assured, playful, even sexual manner. I even see a little Michael Jackson in his facial expressions and hand gestures. The guy obviously loves to perform, and he's a lot of fun to watch. Oh, and by the way, he also has great pipes. There will always be nay-sayers, but I'm convinced. Gary fits well into this band. I honestly hope he is the last lead singer this band ever has.
For 2 hours, Van Halen pumped out 2 decades worth of hits. From "Jamie's Cryin'" to "Without You", from "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" to "One I Want", the band was virtually flawless.
Eddie displayed his amazing virtuosity best during his solo. Once, when I saw Eric Clapton from the front row, it occured to me that the reason "Slow-Hand" closes his eyes during his solos is because he enjoys the music as much as we do. I got the same feeling watching Eddie. For the first time in a long, long time, Eddie seemed to be expressing himself, unhindered. That's what music does best, it gives you part of the perfomer's soul...and everyone who was there that night felt it. As the audience stood transfixed, Eddie squeezed, stroked and caressed the chunk of polished wood and strings of steel he held in his hands. It was magic, and I think Eddie loved it as much as we did.
I always love to see this band, but the show at the House of Blues-Orlando was the best I've ever seen. I'm sure the venue helped, but Van Halen proved something to me on that night: Sometimes old dogs don't need to learn new tricks. Rock on guys, you still kick my ass.
Review by Gary Ross Hicks - email@example.com
I'll keep this brief. This was my sixth Van Halen show and the second of this tour, the first being from the 3rd row in Madison Square Garden right in front of Edward on May 22 with David Lane. That in itself was an amazing experience.
I never thought I'd get the opportunity to see what I just saw in a club setting. It was basically the same show you've read about in all of the reviews...times ten! While Gary, Alex and Michael were beyond fantastic, Edward is just on another plane altogether. What planet is that guy from?!
There are simply not enough adjectives in the English language to describe how great a player he really is. It is now the day after the show and my jaw is still dragging the ground! I can't wait for the next show.
Review by Allan - firstname.lastname@example.org
With the new lead singer Gary Cherone, Van Halen once again has reinvented themselves. The concert at the Orlando House of Blues was entertaining and included several hits from the past and present. Two hours of music filled the halls.
With disappointment, there was excessive distortion in the balcony, detracting from the music.
It is truly surprising that a lead vocalist such as Gary Cherone was selected to lead one of the premier rock bands of our time. Gary cherone attempted to act like David lee, while sounding similar to Sammy. After laying down on the stage several times, Gary attempted to jump on top of the speaker stack only to fall behind the stage. Cherone waltzed around the stage with a VERY feminine attitude and attire, including a tight black sheen shirt that screamed "FAG". Though, gays have rights in this world, I do not feel such actions should be flaunted in front of one of the worlds most masculine bands. It changed the entire appeal of the show.
In my opinion as well as many of the other fans, the concert would have been MUCH better had the original 3 played the tunes and the vocals left out.