Local Current Blog

Van Halen films explanation for tour cancellation in the Twin Cities

In a video simply titled “Public Relations,” Van Halen’s recently reinstated frontman David Lee Roth has taken to the internet to dispell rumors that the late summer leg of the band’s tour is being postponed due to infighting and drama. Van Halen was just in St. Paul to perform with tourmates Kool and the Gang, and the video was filmed just prior to Saturday night’s show at the Xcel somewhere north of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Dressed in overall-style waders, standing near the edge of a small pond with his dog, Russ, and looking very Minnesota Bound, Roth insists that “the band is getting along famously, better than we have in a long time, and I think the shows reveal that.” He then goes on to implore fans to check out recent clips of them performing on YouTube for proof that there is no in-fighting between the members (which has been suggested by news outlets like Rolling Stone, who cited an anonymous source claiming the band “hates each other”), and explained that “as usual, we bit off way more than we could chew when it came to scheduling. The band is winning, but our schedule has been sidelined for unnecessary roughness.”

Twin Cities fans, of course, had the opportunity to experience the tour first-hand. I was just chatting with The Current’s midday host Barb Abney, who has been a fan of the band since the ’80s, and she reports that Eddie Van Halen was in rare form on Saturday but Roth left much be desired — he missed cues, his voice sounded rough, and he grabbed at his lower back and winced when attempting one of his famous high kicks. 

Check out more of Barb’s thoughts on the show over on her Twitter feed, where she posted a play-by-play of the show. Many of her observations were echoed by reviewers at the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press.

Here’s a photo of the set list Barb snagged at the show (she notes that it does not include “Cradle Will Rock,” which they also played Saturday):