Posted by on March 4, 2012 in Music - 4 Comments

Kool and The Gang with Van Halen at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan, 2-20-2012

Van Halen @ The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan 2-20-2012 #2We know you’re wondering, readers, why Van Halen isn’t the first band in this post’s title. Well they would be if they’d put on nearly as good a show as Kool and The Gang. But they didn’t. Don’t get us wrong….they were fun. But Kool and The Gang were fun and excellent. Passable to good performances by Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang (Eddie’s bassist Son) were mostly Kool & The Gang @ The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan 2-20-2012 #3rendered moot by the not-so-well-aged vox of David Lee Roth. We loved Roth’s captivating stage presence, his obvious passion for performing, and his world-class schnozz, but sadly, none were enough to justify overlooking his plain inability to hit all the necessary notes. We know, we know: Van Halen’s mammoth fan base definitely justifies their headlining Kool & The Gang @ The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan 2-20-2012 #6status….and we also know it’s not a competition between the bands….but suppose it were? If Simon Cowell were the judge, Kool and The Gang would be headlining, no question. If some beer-swilling, small-town former jock who considers his 1984 high school senior year to be the best of his life were the judge? I believe you know the answer to that one. Check out I Love Detroit Michigan‘s YouTube video of Kool and The Gang performing their 1974 hit “Hollywood Swinging”, compare it to the very best Kool & The Gang @ The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan 2-20-2012 #4YouTube video we could find of Van Halen’s performance, their 1984 hit “Hot For Teacher”, both from the night in question, and see if you don’t agree with us on who truly brought it. Bassist and founding member Robert Bell is “Kool”, for y’all who didn’t know. Van Halen’s implausibly perfect backing vocals, and numerous inaudible but blatantly visible gaffes by Kool and the Gang’s guitarist leave us questioning the actual “live-ness” of both acts. ~I♥DM

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Kool & The Gang @ The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan 2-20-2012 #8

About the author

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Dale Carlson grew up along the northeastern shores of Lake Michigan, where at a young age Detroit called out to him in his dreams. In 2008, after extended stays in ten different Michigan cities, the author settled permanently in southeast Oakland County where he currently lives and works in various capacities within the local real estate industry.


  1. Grant
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    We’ve seen Diamond Dave perform wirh Eddie et al, but now we’re looking forward to Kool & the Gang more. Thanks for this Dale!

  2. Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Hey! Thanks for reading Grant! I still recommend seeing Van Halen on this tour, but I wish that Kool & The Gang were given more time to perform more songs during their opening slot. I would’ve been in heaven if they’d played “Summer Madness”.

  3. Themall124567
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I was there and I really cant say that I paid much attention to Kool and the Gang. The one thing I do remember is that I could barely hear them. Their sound didnt even come close to filling the arena I didnt think.

    As for Van Halen, they weren’t perfect but in my opinion they put on a way better show than Kool and the Gang. And I graduated in 1987, and it most definitely was not the best year of my life. So what gives Dale? Ha!

    I think you may have been one of no more than a dozen people that left thinking Kool and the Gang put on the better show.

  4. Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Themall124567. I just call ’em the way I see ’em, knowing full well that there’ll be those who disagree with me. I wrote the article fairly certain that most people who were there would take issue with my opinion since a couple of people I attended with did also. I’d recommend the show to people living in towns with upcoming dates on this tour, but I still maintain my position that Kool & The Gang put on a better show, and I believe my posted video is evidence that their sound most certainly filled the arena. I was in the second tier and I think they sound great despite the complete amateurish-ness of my recording.

What is your opinion?

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