On Thursday, Van Halen canceled 31 dates on their summer tour without any statement from the band or from promoter Live Nation, including their July 11th show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, a concert that I was eagerly awaiting, ticket in-hand.
The initial reaction was that the tenuous relationship between Diamond Dave and the Van Halen family had already broken down. This was supported by a report from Rolling Stone that said the band members "hate each other" and "are fighting".
I attended the March show in Philadelphia and found that Eddie was rejuvenated. Having battled cancer and alcoholism during Van Halen's 14 year hiatus from the studio, he was smiling and enjoying himself while succinctly speaking through his screeching EVH Wolfgang.
It wasn't exactly the same old Van Halen from '78-'84, but Dave and Eddie seemed to get along well enough to play a tight, two-hour set of classic songs. That's why it didn't make sense that they would can 31 big time money making concerts because of fighting.
Although the band has yet to make a formal statement, reports indicate that the postponement is due to exhaustion rather than consternation.
I also received an email from Wells Fargo Center that said the following:
"We just learned that this event has been POSTPONED and a new date will be announced at a later time. Hang on to your tickets - they will be honored once the new date is announced"
While that could be standard procedure from the venue, I'd expect them to take a quick breather and return with another great concert in Philadelphia in the next couple months.
They play a high energy brand of music and are all entering their late 50s (besides Wolfgang) and have jumped back into a long tour.
The concerts they've canceled were originally not planned to be part of the tour. The 31 dates, including Philadelphia, were added later based on the immense public support for the A Different Kind of Truth Tour.
UPDATE: David Lee Roth released a response via a video posted on his Vimeo account.