Vince and Carmine during Season of the Witch

DTE Energy Center, Detroit, Michigan
June 26, 2005
By Casey Butler - Photos by Shannon Buel and Casey Butler


The show was perfect, the sound was perfect. What more can I say?

A lot. The down side is that the "macro" button on my camera got accidently pressed without my realizing it, so half of the photos taken during the concert are blurry, since macro means it will only focus within about 18 inches for close-up photography. Groan! But my daughter will be attending the show next month in Vancouver, also with a photo pass thanks to Patty Stein, so there should be better photos to come.

As for the show...

The DTE Energy Center venue is big, outdoors... and it was hot that day! I lost 10 pounds just sitting watching. There is a large roofed pavillion with seats and, outside of the roof part, a grassy bank where people can sit on the grass and watch. Video cameramen filmed the groups close up and the images were shown on a large screen inside the pavillion. The scheduled bands were Pat Travers, the Yardbirds, Vanilla Fudge, and Steppenwolf, and finally the Doors of the 21st Century.

Of course, I was there to see Vanilla Fudge!

Here's a picture of the grassy bank as people were arriving just before the Yardbirds played:

You can't see the heat, but its there... During part of the show the sun was shining on the stage!

Here is a photo of the setup between the Yardbirds and Vanilla Fudge, as the technicians set up the group's instruments:

When the guys came on stage many in the audience, including me, stood up - a standing ovation before they began!  Here are the performance photos that came out pretty well:

Mark on the Hammond


Carmine on the drums....


Tim and Vince, Mark in the background...


Tim and Mark, Tim's face washed out because of the darn sunlight.


Tim and Vince during Season Of The Witch...


Mark singing...


Vince and Tim... and again:


Vince and Tim...


Vince on the guitar...


A stage shot with Vince on guitar, Mark on the Hammond, Tim on bass, and Carmine at the drums.

It's not fake! It really happened! It was a wonderful show, just a little short. YKMHO was fantastic, from iron organ intro to the end. When things go good, there's not much to say!

Sorry for the quality of these, you should see the blurry ones! If sharp, they would have been awesome.

After Vanilla Fudge played, my wife, my daughter and I went backstage. I shook hands will all four guys, and all four were terrific.

In the dressing room itself we also met up with Troy Wells, a fan who since 1988 has been trying to get the autographs of all 40 of the participants of the "Hear N Aid" concert, explained below:

    "On May 20 and 21, 1985, 40 artists from the metal community gathered at A&M Records Studios to participate in the making of a record called "Stars," as a part of a very special project known as Hear 'N Aid.  The "Stars" single and a video documentary on the making of the record was used to raise money for famine relief efforts in Africa and around the world. These 40 artists, along with hundreds of other volunteers, donated their time and talent over four months to make Hear 'N Aid a reality. "Stars" is a plea for unity in the fight against world hunger."

Troy brought his copy of Stars with 39 autographs with him. Carmine had been the 3rd to autograph it, and Mark, who also participated, provided the 40th autograph as we watched. Troy was thrilled! What an accomplishment to get all those autographs!  Thanks to Patty Stein, Troy was given a guest pass to get his autograph.

He also took the opportunity to tape an interview with the guys.

Here are some photos of backstage in the dressing room:

Mark signs Troy's Stars album cover, the 40th autograph of the 40 participants in Hear N Aid. Troy snaps a picture.


 Me, at right, with Mark and Carmine!


Troy, Carmine, and Vince during Troy's interview.

Finally, to give you a better idea of the size of the venue... Here's a picture I took from backstage during the Doors performance, after Mark and Vince took my wife, my daughter, and I back behind the curtain on the right side of the stage:

The people go all the way up to where you see the yellow lights. Here you see Bobby Krieger on guitar, Ian Astbury on vocals, and Ray Manzarek on keyboards.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening - the best. After 8 1/2 years of working on this Web site with all of the other dedicated fans, Pete Bremy, Stan Vaughn, Tom Pepper, Bill Bates, Joel Lavine, Tony Allen, Randy Senno, and countless others, it has really happened! Vanilla Fudge is back, and sounding better than ever. May everything go upwards from here!  A new album for example!!

Better pictures hopefully after Vancouver!

If you have pictures of the current tour you'd like to share with everybody, please email them to me here in a large format (size) if possible. I'll size them for the site, and we can have a page of fan shots from everywhere...

If you'd like to do a full review with photos, let me know as well.

And the beat goes on....