I’ve been a fan of Van Halen — the original Van Halen with David Lee Roth — since the late ’70s. Likewise for my girlfriend. We’ve both wanted to see them in concert for a very long time, but for some years now have assumed it to be a lost cause due to their breakup back in the mid-’80s. So imagine our delight when Van Halen reunited recently (with David Lee Roth), produced a new studio album, and announced a huge tour in support of the album. (Let me just say, the new album rocks. Eddie just SHREDS the guitar!) When I learned the group was going to be performing in Knoxville, my former hometown that’s two hours up the road from us this coming August, I immediately decided to get us a pair of tickets. You only live once, right, and this would be a dream come true. When the tickets went on pre-sale, I logged on and got two of the remaining best ones available — which truthfully weren’t in an ideal section, but oh well — for a pretty steep price, IMO. But that didn’t matter. We had tickets and we were finally going to see Van Halen in concert this coming August!
Well, they’re currently on tour, and I’ve seen a set list of their stuff, and it looks pretty good. It should be a good concert. Or more accurately, would have been! See, I got an email recently telling me Van Halen had “postponed” their Knoxville concert, but that the tickets would be honored at a later show. I was horrified. This show was going to be on a Saturday night, which meant we didn’t have to take any vacation time. We could go up to Knoxville, hang out with some friends, see the show, and get back in time to start the new week. So I did a little digging. Turns out the band cancelled 31 shows, all after June 26th, I believe. And Rolling Stone reported it was cause they hate each other and are fighting bitterly. About what, who knows? And that just pisses me off! They had bad blood — well, David and the rest of the group — for all of these years, and then they reunite and everything sounds fine and dandy and they release this great album and start touring and reviews are good, and then this…? WTF??? Surely they’ve had plenty of time to work out their differences. Otherwise why would they have gotten back together? And if they’re so pissed at each other, why aren’t they cancelling ALL of their shows, effective immediately??? Why are they playing til June 26th and THEN cancelling everything after that? It makes no sense. And my girlfriend and I are especially ticked that as longtime fans, we’ve waited decades — literally — to see this show, paid out $200 for tickets (which is a lot, in my opinion), and this is what we get? Crapped on? Seriously? How about a little respect for the long suffering fans? How about honoring your commitments? How about getting past your differences and pulling off a great return? So, I’m not asking for a refund — for now — but I don’t have high hopes that this actually has been postponed. I fear it more likely has been cancelled and that’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth.