David Lee Roth promises that his upcoming Las Vegas residency will not simply be “Diamond Dave” fronting a Van Halen cover band. Roth has just rolled out a total of nine 2020 dates for the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino's 2,500-seat House of Blues venue.
Roth told Van Halen News Desk that his upcoming live extravaganza is as far away from a Van Halen show as you can get: “We do not sound like Van Halen live. 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. This is not a tribute band.”
He went on to say, “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 explained that he's already far exceeded the requirements for being a solid Las Vegas draw: “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.”
Greg Renoff, author of the recently acclaimed Van Halen biography, Van Halen Rising: How A Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal, explained that what David Lee Roth lacked in vocal prowess was covered by his passion and total dedication to delivering onstage: “One of the people I talked to was the bass player in Red Ball Jet — that was the band Dave formed after the Van Halen brothers turned him down the first time. He said from the first time he saw Dave — so this is even before Red Ball Jet — he said he saw him play in a park, on the same bill. These are like high school kids, everybody else is kinda swaying to the music while they play — y'know, Dave goes out there, he's got, like the Mick Jagger rooster tail going out of the back of his jeans and he's, like, y'know, grinding and doing these things and everybody's, like 'We were just having lunch with you in the cafeteria six hours ago — what are you doing, man?!' Like, y'know? But that was who he was. He was entrainment first all the time from the get-go. No. It's about the show. It's about being an entertainer.”
As it stands now, David Lee Roth will perform at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino's House of Blues venue on January 8th, 10th, and 11th; and returning for a six-show run on March 18th, 20th, 21st, 25th, 27th, and 28th.