David Lee Roth is taking Van Halen’s classic catalog of hits to Las Vegas for a nine-show residency at the House of Blues Las Vegas. “A weekend with me is interactive way beyond just music,” Roth said in a statement. “It starts with the best food on Earth. The fellas smoke their three cigarettes for the year and we all stay up way past our bedtime!”
According to a press release, David Lee Roth: ROCKS VEGAS will feature “26 instantly recognizable songs, including ‘Jump,’ ‘Panama,’ and ‘California Girls.’” It goes on to label the music “the sound of a generational prison break.”
This is actually Roth’s second Las Vegas show. In 1995, he tried out a lounge act in the casino town featuring Nile Rodgers, Edgar Winter, members of the Miami Sound machine and exotic dancers. The show contained just two Van Halen songs and instead focused on covers like Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle” and James Brown’s “Living in America.” It struggled to sell tickets and closed within months.
This new Vegas show is sure to cause many Van Halen fans to question the group’s future. They have been completely inactive since wrapping up a 2015 summer tour at the Hollywood Bowl. “The best years of my life, high points of all of my life, onstage with you, homeboy,” Roth told Eddie Van Halen that night. “I will always do the half Jesus towards you.”
Eddie and Alex Van Halen have rarely been seen in public since that night, though earlier this year original bassist Michael Anthony says he was contacted about a possible tour. “I spoke with [Van Halen’s manager] Irving Azoff last October,” he told Eddie Trunk. “He asked if I would be interested in any kind of a reunion, and I told him, I said, ‘Yeah.’ I was finishing up a couple of shows with Sammy [Hagar] and I said, ‘Yeah, I’d be interested to hear what you guys have going on. I’ve got these few dates left, and give me a call.’”
A couple months later, Anthony heard from a representative for David Lee Roth and wheels seemed to be in motion. “And for whatever reason, they never got in touch with us about any kind of a contract or any kind of a meeting to discuss or whatever,” Anthony said. “The next thing I knew, the plug got pulled on it.”
Sammy Hagar has gone on record several times saying he’d gladly return for a tour where he shared vocal duties with David Lee Roth on the condition that Michael Anthony also returns to the fold. “Can you imagine the competition of that?” he told Rolling Stone in 2017. “Dave goes out and does ‘Jump,’ and ‘Ain’t Talkin ‘Bout Love.’ I go out there and blow out something like ‘Good Enough.’ You gotta hit it hard, and you better be good. I would give my money to food banks if they would do the same. I would love to give the fans the greatest Van Halen show they could possibly have today. And then say, ‘OK, I still don’t like you guys.’”
This dream tour always seemed like a long shot, but now that David Lee Roth has booked a deal to play the hits by himself in Las Vegas, it seems even less likely that it will ever happen. It just doesn’t seem like a move he’d make if he saw a big tour coming in the future, but this band’s history is so crazy that predicting any future move is nearly impossible.
David Lee Roth: VEGAS ROCKS at the House of Blues Las Vegas
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