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Review by James West, The Rocker

Photos by Danette West, The Rocker Chic

Completely Unchained, Atomic Punks, Fan Halen, Romeo Delight, and even Nerd Halen (What, really? Yes really!) When it comes to tribute bands honoring the spirit and legend that is Van Halen there are no shortage of cover bands out there running with the devil to a small town venue near you! The Rocker Chic and I can attest as we’ve certainly seen our share of them, and they are all great with their particular angle in paying tribute to one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.  But what The Rocker Chic and I witnessed this past Saturday at Brookstock Events in Dover, Arkansas takes things to whole other level! 


We seriously took a JUMP back to the early Eighties and were blown away by what I feel is the absolute very best Van Halen tribute band touring today - and we witnessed it right here in the small town of Dover, Arkansas!


But, before we got to go ‘Runnin’ With The Devil’, we first got to ‘Dance The Night Away’ with one of the best opening bands we’ve seen in a long time- Dirty Lindsey!  Now, I’m not sure who Lindsey is or how she got to be so dirty, but these four guys in the band knew how to definitely get this party started!!



One guy in particular I remember well from my days working at local Russellville radio station River Valley Radio during the 1990’s was DJ Sharpe Dunaway from both Magic 105 and The Point 94.1 Radio Stations in Little Rock.  At the time I was selling radio ads and writing commercials for both KCJC 102.3 and KWKK 100.9 here locally, but secretly I was also tuning in to listen to Sharpe Dunaway when he was on-air up in Little Rock!  Sharpe was sharp as a tack and knew his rock and roll like I did from my days DJ’ing for the Armed Forces Radio Network in Tokyo, Japan. 


Fast-forward 20+ years later and here I am watching Ol’ Sharpe playing drums in Dover, Arkansas for Dirty Lindsey!  Anyway, I digress… speaking of going back in time, Sharpe, along with Ryan Harmon on guitar, Matt Hays on bass, and Danny Millsaps on lead vocals took everyone on a magic carpet ride by playing incredible renditions of songs from the past few decades. 


With Sharpe on drums and Matt on bass, they set the perfect groove for Ryan’s incredible guitar playing and for Danny’s unbelievable talent of sounding like the actual singer of the songs they played.  For the next hour or so we were transported into a musical time machine of hits that left the crowd wanting more! 

After Dirty Lindsey’s great set The Rocker Chic and I got to once again take in all the beauty and tranquility that is Brookstock Events. The crowd seemed to be all as one in this atmosphere; peaceful and harmonious under another beautiful sunset.  We also noticed several campers and RV’s parked in a designated area to fully take in all of what this great venue has to offer. 

What The Hell - Might As Well...


With the sun setting and the stage all set Jump was ready to ROCK this cradle of excited fans!  Like a bolt of pure energy being delivered by King Edward himself “Unchained” was unleashed from the amps and JUMP leaped into action to perform an incredible musical experience of over 20 Van Halen classics delivered with supercharged energy and emotion! 


I immediately was amazed at how well they managed to fit all the cool risers and lighting trusses onto such a smaller venue stage!  Multicolor lights, smoke machines, and effects all working in tandem along to the incredible sound mix coming from this well-tuned and rehearsed band of talented performers! 


Michael Neumann (David Lee Roth); Cody Alexander (Edward Van Halen); Eric Sutherland (Alex Van Halen) and Jarrett Cunningham (Michael Anthony) all played with precision and choreography to the elaborate lighting and effects for the next two hours of non-stop David Lee Roth-era tunes. 


It was a challenge for The Rocker Chic Danette and I to keep pace with Michael’s “Running With The Devil” pace all over the stage, but with a show of this caliber, sometimes you might as well JUMP and just enjoy the great performance that’s in front of you! 


We were really impressed with all the cool outfits and extra attention to detail to all the wardrobe and props used during the show.  It’s hard to believe this Ohio-based band of youngsters were all born in the mid-90s and early 2000’s!  The songs featured a variety of hits and deep cuts off of the first 6 albums, and also featured a selection of skits and one liners portrayed by Van Halen from bootlegs of their live shows between 1978-1984.  Talk about attention to detail- These guys NAILED IT! 


Again, special thanks to the incredible staff and owners at Brookstock Events for their Rockin’ hospitality! 


And we got the pleasure and honor to experience it all- right here from the comfort of our small little town of Dover in Arkansas.  ROCK LOCAL and ROCK ON! 

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