Van Halen is out to prove that they are not only still relevant, but still capable. After launching their latest tour on Hollywood Boulevard for a special performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live that spanned two nights, Van Halen took to the stage on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The band kicked things off before the live studio audience with “Jump” from their 1984 album, which was televised. They then performed “Dance the Night Away,” which was made available on the website for the Ellen show.
“This is the most auspicious way of starting the tour. We’ve never played American television before, and it was our idea that you couldn’t possibly pick a better audience than this here. This is our Ed Sullivan Show! This is James Brown on The Ed Sullivan Show. This is the Beatles. This is a really big showcase for us.”
Ellen then proceeded to give away a copy of the newest Van Halen album, Tokyo Dome Live in Concert, and a pair of tickets to see the band on their tour in support of the new album to every member of the live studio audience.
While Van Halen fans seem mostly enthused that their favorite guys are “back,” the band is just as much a lightning rod for opinions and controversy as ever. Van Halen fans are notoriously hard to please and always willing to spout their opinions about which vocalist was better for Van Halen — the David Lee Roth classic lineup, or the hit-generating Sammy Hagar incarnation.
Also a hot topic is the absence of original bassist and signature vocal presence Michael Anthony, who has since been replaced with Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang.
Add to that the always-smoldering rumors of continuing ill will between Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth, and the Van Halen machine rolls on with just as much murky steam as ever.