David Lee Roth Says Las Vegas Residency Won’t Be Van Halen Tribute
David Lee Roth insisted his 2020 Las Vegas residency won't be a Van Halen tribute show.
He announced the run of shows after apparently running out of patience with his bandmates, who last played together in October 2015, saying he “paid a price” for having been left “paralyzed” during the four years since.
“We do not sound like Van Halen live,” Roth told Van Halen News Desk about his new band. “You have not heard this. Van Halen live is lead guitar, bass, drums, sing. Here, we bring it the way a record brings it. To do that requires two or three guitars. We have five people hollerin’. It’s big rock sound. It’s not ‘Just a Gigolo.’ It’s not brass band. That was a quickie vacation.”
He noted "this is not a tribute band. I wrote these songs. I structured these songs. … We bring the respect and dignity to what we are doing the same way that the Lincoln Center brings to the Beethoven Festival with the latest Philharmonic. It’s a new orchestra, and a whole new sound.”
Roth looked back to his collaboration with DJ Armin van Buuren on a remix of the classic Van Halen song “Jump," which they performed together at a festival in Europe during the summer.
"He was the only act who treated 70,000 people to surround sound," Roth said. "Everybody else in the guitar bands – modern or otherwise – played traditional presentation public address. And when he came on with ‘Jump’ in 360 degrees … put the boom in the room! Make your ass get bumps when the bassman thumps.”
As far as the set list for his upcoming Vegas shows, Roth noted that “you only need five songs. You must have five songs in order to play Las Vegas. It says that in the Bible, or the Torah, or somewhere, we’re pretty sure. Well, I have 20 songs. ... There is an attitude to Las Vegas. It’s where we go to celebrate whatever ‘living life large’ means to you.”