What the reviewers are saying...
"If you thought rock and roll belonged back in the '50s and '60s, Bill Haley Jnr. And the Comets proved beyond any doubt that it deserves to live on. Every member is a gifted musician. Rich Flamini gave one of the best performances on drums I have ever seen while Mike Denaro¹s electric guitar riffs were ravishing. Mike also contributed some superb vocals including Chantilly Lace and Fats Domino's Ain't That A Shame, which wowed the crowd. Rudy's Rock allowed saxophonist Bobby Michaels to prove he is up there amongst the best players in the world, while the on-stage antics of double bassist Christopher Davis Shannon were simply extraordinary. He treated his instrument as a dance partner and the two never stopped moving. If the bass wasn¹t upside down he was lying on it, still keeping the warm regular beats that give the essential rich bass tones to this genre."
"Particularly enjoyable was Bill Haley Jnr.'s commentary on the history of rock and roll and how each song, most of them from the 1950s, fitted into its own place in that tradition. This show is clearly a tribute to his extraordinary father but he manages to give the music his own twist, providing a freshness and joy that brought lots of toe tapping and dancing in the aisles . . . (This show) was a beautifully crafted, highly professional, authentic exposition of rock and roll."
Adrienne Matthews of The Nelson Mail
" . . . Dressed impeccably in black pants, white shirts and red jackets, with Haley swapping red for white, they took the audience on a rock 'n' roll history ride back to the 1950s. Fans were taking everything in, from the brief history of each song to guessing what the next song would be, and they certainly enjoyed the music."
"Each band member had their moment to shine. Bobby Michaels was superb on saxophone, the ever-smiling "Italian from Philly" Mike DeNaro entertained vocally and on the electric guitar, 27-year-old "old soul" Christopher Davis-Shannon was an amazing entertainer on the upright bass and Rich Flamini kept the beat going on the drums."
"Haley, of course, was the man with the history, the rhythm and the voice. When he was born in July 1955, Rock Around the Clock was at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. And he had plenty of rock 'n' roll history stories to share."
"From the comments in the lobby afterwards, the diehard fans thought the show was 'amazing,' 'brilliant,' 'well worth it."
Jude Brown of The Southland Times
What the Fans Are Saying...
Last night I had the privilege of seeing Bill Haley Jr. and the Comets live on stage in Auckland. What a fantastic incredible show. As a Bill Haley fan from way back this show was amazing. What a difference modern sound systems make with amplified sax & base and the mics on all the Comets, so that all the background vocals were loud & clear. Bill started off with some of the early songs, then moved through all the well known Decca & Warner Bros most popular tunes. There were also some songs from other artists of the time and two of the Comets sang. But the highlight of the whole show for me was Rudy's Rock. I have never heard it played so well — a real tribute to Rudy. Thank you Bill for coming to NZ with your band and letting us hear this great music again.
Not long home from your concert tonight in Hamilton tonight. It was fantastic! My friend and I had an absolute ball rocking in our seats to your energetic music. Thank you for an entertaining evening and something we will remember. Thanks you also for taking the time to do autographs and the shake our hands and greet us at the end of the show. You obviously love what you do and we loved watching you.
Just home from your Invercargill performance, and what can I say—WOW! You guys certainly know how to rock, and gave a fantastic performance tonight. Really appreciated the personal insight to the development of Rock 'n' Roll, too. Keep up the great work, thank you so much for coming this far south (not many bands do!), and enjoy the rest of your NZ tour!
Dave and Leanne Hartley
Thank you for a terrific show in Auckland. You are all so dynamic on stage! Such a fun night and great memories. Hope you can return to NZ soon. There are fans of all ages here! All the best.
Great show in Palmy last night guys! Have to say I loved Chris' bass playing, what a showman — lots of energy, that's what rock & roll is all about for me. Had a great sing-a-long!
Bill Haley Jr. and The Comets Rocked the house in Dunedin last night! We drove from Queenstown to see your show. Great nights entertainment, you guys know how to rock!
The best live show we have ever been to. Thanks for a great night!
Gosh - what a WONDERFUL show that we saw in New Braunfels, Texas, last night! Bill Haley, Jr., and The Comets are FANTASTIC and put on one of the best shows that I have ever seen. I hope that they come back to the Hill Country soon.
I am glad Bill Jr. decided to take up the musical thing and put a show together like this. The Villages has tribute shows and the like, but this show was without a doubt the best of the best. This was rock 'n' roll in spite of what has been offered as rock 'n' roll over the years. I have never seen a more talented gathering of musicians!
Raymond Gene Roberts
What a show!!! The Villages of Lady Lake, Florida was rockin' and rollin' last night. So much talent and energy up on that stage! When will you be back?? I'll be there. Many thanks.
Saw your show at the Savannah Center in the Villages last night. You guys were great! Loved listening to your dad and the original Comets back in the 50's. Have always felt that he didn't get the credit he deserved for his contribution to the start of the rock and roll era. Anyhow, the show last night really brought back memories. Thanks for a great evening.
Online fan reviews from NZ Tour
• My wife and I enjoyed the show and the history. A great evening with music that wasn't too loud!
• Brought back many memories. One of my fellow rockabilly dancers got on to the stage and got a great ovation.
• This band were fantastic and had a wealth of wit, humor and musical skill to keep the audience entertained, from start to the last minute of their show. When the band encouraged and acknowledged the participation of the Rock 'n' Roll dancers out of the audience in the aisles and front of stage everyone felt like they were part of the show. Favorite moment: When the band encouraged the Rock 'n' Roll dancers out of the Audience and into the aisles.
• We go to a lot of shows, and some have dazzling fast action and wonderful music, but it was such a lovely change to have the older time type of show, just plain music and action from the band, of a band, with no distraction with all the fluffy bits and razzle dazzle.
• What can I say? The band took us back to our teens the music we love and want to dance to, the music that makes us tap our feet continually. The bass player was really fantastic, the drummer, guitars, and sax players were superb. Singing and timing was right on the spot. The best of luck to the band and hope they come back.
• I loved this show. This group is extremely talented and also humorous. I loved the way they interacted with the audience. I would see Bill Haley Jr. and The Comets again. I would also recommend them to friends and family.
Favorite moment: Rock Around The Clock.
• A night which should have seen more people come and jive to the music — Bill Haley Jr. telling the history of the songs and his father's era — unforgettable.
Favorite moment: It was all good — individual songs i.e. Big Bopper — and the enjoyment the Comets were having
Fan reviews from Auckland, ASB Theatre
• This would be the best show we have seen in a long while. From start to finish there was fantastic energy and the musicians were brilliant. It was great to get all of the history involved in Bill Haley Sr.'s career. Most of this was unknown to us.
It was also great that the performers were willing to front so quickly to the public after what must have been a strenuous performance. My husband had also met Bill Haley Sr. at the Theatre Royal in Dublin in 1956. Favorite moment: There were too many to single out only one.
• Was really looking forward to the night, and it did not let me down, Bill Jnr., is a chip off his Dad, which I saw when he last came to NZ... The double bass player displayed enormous amounts of energy, and his laugh was infectious... he could also sing… amazing, loved the Chantilly Lace number by the electric guitar player, they are a really talented group.... Favorite moment: Rock Around the Clock....
• Great to hear about the Bill Haley and the Comets story. Feet and hands were tapping throughout. Wonderful musicians and great rhythm. Favorite moment: Rock Around the Clock.