David Lee Roth appears to be taking an early retirement. The 66-year-old former Van Halen singer was slated to cap his long, loquacious career with a string of five residency shows at Las Vegas’ House of Blues at Mandalay Bay this month after canceling his planned New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day shows at the venue due to the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
According to the Las Vegas Journal-Review, a rep for the HOB said that the entire run has been canceled, putting on ice shows booked for Jan. 5, 7 and 8, as well as Jan. 14-15 and Jan. 21-22; a spokesperson for HOB had not returned requests for comment at press time, though the shows are listed as “canceled” on the venue’s site. Roth’s team and Live Nation had also not confirmed the scotched shows at press time, but Roth’s reps did announced on Dec. 30 that the New Year’s shows would be pushed to Feb. 11-12 due to “unforeseen circumstances related to COVID and out of an abundance of caution for those working and attending the shows.”
Back in October, Roth said he would end his musical career after the Vegas residency, announcing, “I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring This is the first, and only, official announcement. You’ve got the news. Share it with the world… these are my last five shows.” Roth also did not appear to have confirmed the news, though on Monday (Jan. 3) he posted a cryptic watercolor image on Twitter of a city seen from above with the message, “a funny thing happened on the way to Las Vegas.”
EW reported on Tuesday that Roth’s manager sent a statement addressing the decision to shelve the shoes. “Sometimes you win, Sometimes you lose, We got rained out.. Covid cancelled. Future shows?When the benefit concerts for Colorado, Farm Aid, and hospital workers ‘everywhere’ come up; Call me..” Along with the cryptic note, Roth’s team sent along an image of Roth performing painted on the side of a road case, with a pile of top hats and scarves piled on the case alongside the words “to be continued…”
On Monday, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a statement about the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases following the winter holidays. “Today, we are seeing an alarming number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reported after the end of year holidays. My team is continuing to analyze the numbers and we are working with health districts and other partners to provide resources to combat the surge we are facing,” said Sisolak.
The Gov. urged Nevadans to get vaccinated and/or get their booster shot, as well as wear masks indoors in public settings, regardless of vaccination status, and to stay home if they are sick. Like many areas of the country, Nevada has seen an explosion of post-holiday COVID-19 cases, which have led to a cascade of Broadway shows closing down, as well as the cancelation of dozens of concerts, tours, public events and flights.
See Roth’s cryptic tweet below.
— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) January 4, 2022