Buddy Blachard was quick to point out on a recent telephone interview that he and his bandmates don’t actually think they are the members of Van Halen.
But when Blachard, the lead singer of VH tribute band Romeo Delight, was asked about how fans react to his band, he certainly seemed to be channeling his inner David Lee Roth.
“They are awesome,” Blachard said. “The come out wearing their Van Halen shirts. The guys are great.”
He then hesitated for just a moment before adding a line that sounded as if it came from Diamond Dave himself.
“The girls are even better.”
The Philadelphia-based band will bring its show to the Woodlands on Aug. 31. Blachard promises diehard VH fans won’t be disappointed.
“We create a full Van Halen show,” Blachard said. “All the music, all the costumes, all the things that made Van Halen famous.”
That includes all the theatrics that Van Halen brought to the stage, Blachard added.
“We really do try to bring it all,” Blachard said of Van Halen’s energetic shows. “We stay in shape, do all the jumps and stuff. (We) just try to bring the authentic Van Halen experience.”
The group also brings an impressive resume.
Romeo Delight is the most viewed Van Halen tribute band in YouTube, have had one of their video’s chosen by David Lee Roth to be shown on his podcast, have recently played for 5,000 fans at a music festival and have received plenty of praise from fans and celebrities.
“When I need a shot of Vitamin V these days, I get a healthy dose from VH tribute band Romeo Delight,” WMMR’s Jack Bam Bam is quoted on the band’s website. “Lead singer Buddy Blanchard should be the fourth singer for Van Halen. He high kicks and jumps like a young Diamond Dave.”
Blanchard said that the band tends to favor the era of the band when Roth was lead singer, but they do play some of the hits Van Halen had with Sammy Hagar fronting the group.
The band has also become known for recreating Van Halen albums, playing the songs in the sequence they appeared on the album. Blanchard said he expects the band to perform the group’s “Greatest Hits” album at the Woodlands.
Fans can expect to hear such VH classics as “Eruption,” “And the Cradle Will Rock,” “Hot for Teacher” and, of course, “Jump” to name a few.
Romeo Delight takes it name from Blanchard’s favorite Van Halen song, an underrated track from VH’s “Women and Children First” album. He pointed to the song’s “intensity and power” as one of the reasons it’s his favorite.
The group has been together for 10 years, longer than Roth himself was with Van Halen.
However, Blachard’s association with Van Halen started years earlier.
“When we were kids, we would play some of these songs,” he said.
Years later, Blachard noticed the type of crowds Van Halen was still drawing and the idea for a tribute band dawned on him.
Van Halen classics aren’t the only tunes the band has been known to play. Blachard and his bandmates have also backed Blachard’s brother-in-law – Mikey Dolenz of The Monkees.
“We were asked to perform with Mikey Dolenz at The Monkees convention,” Blachard said. “It was pretty thrilling to play with someone like that.”
But don’t expect to hear any Monkees classics at the Woodlands.
No, the Woodlands show, Blachard promises, will be pure classic Van Halen.
Reach Joe Soprano at 570-991-6393 or on Twitter @jsoprano.
IF YOU GO
What: Romeo Delight, Van Halen tribute band
When: 9 p.m., Aug. 31
Where: The Woodlands Inn