Well, that commenter doesn't seem to be the only person crying "Suck!" regarding Unchained. On a sprawling thread that continues to seethe over at the Inforoo message boards, many dedicated 'Roosters appear to be upset at the prospect of a Jersey-based tribute act landing such a primo slot. Still others detect something rotten a-brewing in Manchester. In fact, the theory that Unchained is simply a red herring has been tossed around. Could Unchained simply be a placeholder for a secret, surprise set?
First off, if you're thinking that the real Diamond Dave & Co. might be secretly signed on for the 2 a.m. slot, think again. Van Halen will be smack in the middle of a string of West Coast dates on June 9 — even if they caught a red-eye after their Staples Center gig, they'd come nowhere near making it to Manchester on time.
One commenter on the Inforoo thread pointed out that "This kind of thing is also very much in the vein of humor of Trey/Phish." I can't say I'm remotely familiar with or interested in Trey Anastasio's sense of humor, but this commenter is one of many to suggest that the slot could in fact be reserved for some sort of secret Phish jam, or even a set in which Phish covers VH songs — be still my completely uninterested heart. Also, one dude said this pretty funny thing: "I'm expecting a Sammy Hagar Superjam featuring Trey, Jack White, and ?uestlove covering the Van Hagar years and unreleased B-sides from Chickenfoot."
But for all the rumors circulating, it appears as though Unchained is very much a real thing, with a website and a Facebook page (that dates back to November 2010) and press quotes like "The guy who played David Lee Roth had it down, and was a better Roth than Roth!!” and everything. As a matter of fact, Unchained guitarist Steve Brown was a member of Trixter. Remember that shit? See below.
So, while Unchained seems more like a band that would appear on a tribute-night bill at a local venue like The Rutledge than a band that would get a prime-time slot in one of the 'Roo's tents — look at that mildly MS Paint-lookin' flier up top, after all — they at least seem quite real. See a promo vid, also below (Credit where credit's due: Bro sounds quite a bit like Diamond Dave). I've put in emails both to Unchained and to some of the official 'Roo folk. No response yet, but my guess is that they wouldn't tip their hand anyhow.
Well? Anyone have any educated guesses, or are we just over-thinking this thing? And also, isn't it a bit weird that Unchained's tag line is "The Real Deal," even though they're quite literally the very definition of an unreal deal?