Van Halen meets... Ky-Mani Marley?!

Marley_lThere’s been plenty of speculation in recent months about just who’ll be participating in Van Halen’s planned reunion tour. Will the famously prideful David Lee Roth drop out? (Not yet, at least.) Will bassist Michael Anthony really be replaced by Eddie Van Halen’s teenaged son Wolfgang? (Yup.) But all that ballyhoo pales in comparison to the latest and most perplexing twist: VH announced yesterday that the opening act on the tour will be…drumroll, please… Ky-Mani Marley, best known as "the second-generation Marley star who isn’t Ziggy, Stephen, Damian, or Rohan."

Look, I like Ky-Mani’s hip-hop-flavored reggae just fine. (YouTube has clips for his 2000 single "Warriors" and his more recent collaboration with G-Unit rapper Young Buck, "Puff Puff Pass" — both NSFW but well worth checking out.) And if Diamond Dave and the gang are feeling his vibe too, more power to ‘em. But do Van Halen and Ky-Mani actually have any fans in common? Should concertgoers expect VH to bust out a mellow reggae remix of "Runnin’ With the Devil"? My mind is reeling already.

This news also got me to thinking about the most incongruous tour pairings of all time. PopWatch’s Gary Susman suggests the time in 1967 when a still-little-known guitar-slinger named Jimi Hendrix opened for the Monkees, which feels more like a case of "mind-blowingly awesome" than "head-scratchingly weird" to me. As for myself, I doubt I’ll ever see a stranger lineup than the free show I attended this summer where preppy indie-rock newcomers Vampire Weekend opened for furiously lyrical cocaine-rap masters the Clipse. Anyone out there want to try topping that?

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  • Mavis

    Although I personally didn’t attend this u2 show (I wish!) Kanye West did open for them for a few dates during the Vertigo tour. Perhaps because I am a younger u2 fan, I also appreciate Kayne’s music. But I think for the older u2 fans, they were probably not enjoying the sounds of Kanye as much!

  • professor74

    I saw Sugarcubes and Public Enemy open for U2 in 1992. There were very few people there who enjoyed Public Enemy, but I was one of them!

  • Nathan

    That tour is gonna be so terrible.

  • andy kirkaldy

    You will need to carbon-date my age, but I saw a triple bill of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Blue Oyster Cult and the Byrds at the University of Vermont in the 1970s. The only thing they had in common was their record label. Strange show, indeed.

  • Ian

    run dmc and the beastie boys opened for madonna on her like a virgin tour

  • Suz

    I don’t know if I can top you Simon, but I saw Public Enemy open for U2 awhile ago. I thought that was pretty random, but it was awesome as hell.

  • Suz

    Woops.. looks like U2 has lots of random opening acts!

  • Adriane

    craziest pairing… snoop dogg opening for linkin park. odd, but a good time!

  • Jill

    When I was in high school, I saw Kool Keith open for the Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers. A few people up front cheered kind of ironically, but everyone else was just kind of confused.

  • EP Sato

    What do their fans have in common? A mutual love of ganja, DUH.
    Funny,when the mention of oddball pairings came up, I too thought of the Monkees/Jimi Hendrix tour. The Monkees still joke about that in their live shows (saw them for free about five years ago).
    Still, I always thought that the pairing of Anthrax and Public Enemy for a few shows must have led to some interesting exchanges in the crowd.
    But I still think the title of “most awkward groupings” belongs to Lollapalooza II. It was Lush, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Jesus& Mary Chain, Pearl Jam and ICE CUBE (during the height of his “I hate all non black people” phase) all in the same day.
    From my recollection of that show, the Alt-rock fans acted very awkward when they saw this brother perform with FOI (Fruit of Islam) bodyguards on stage.

  • Stephanie T.

    I agree with EP, it’s the ganja. lol!
    Secondly I have seen worse pairings:
    REM and Sparklehorse.
    Uhm, Sparklehorse??
    Janes Addiction with some odd African drum section.
    The drum section would have fit nicely with Peter Gabriel or Paul Simon.
    Aerosmith and the Cult. Both are outstanding groups but oil and water don’t mix.
    Squeeze and Fountains of Wayane. Stacey’s Mom is Up the Junction.

  • Nix

    Cocaine-rap? That an actual subgenre? Yeah, if you need me i’ll be in Lancaster PA churning butter. *runs like heck from pop culture*

  • Shamrock

    Little disappointed about Eddie’s son playing bass. Talk about a little nepotism. As for the opening act, I don’t put down anyones taste in music but I think i will be showing up late for this concert.

  • mary

    In ’90 I saw Don Henley and a comedy team called Pinkard and Bowden was the opening act. The performed song parodies of real songs sort of like Weird Al, but with a country sound. It was bizarre.

  • Poinky

    Ky-Mani was probably the only act not afraid to climb on the back of this nightmare…

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