We haven't held Debate Club in a long time, but when Van Halen announced they'd be coming to the Clark County Amphitheater Sleep Country Amphitheater Amphitheater Northwest on Tuesday, July 7 (tickets here), we knew we had to dust off the old Mercury Debate Club podiums and start bickering. (Well, and Eddie didn't want to do an interview with us.)

This was an unprecedented two-on-one style debate, in which Aris Hunter Wales and Mark Lore took the "pro" side. I was so confident in my side ("con") that I happily took on two challengers, like a fine game of Canadian doubles. And things... got... heated.

MARK: David Lee Roth was a great showman. And he brought an aesthetic to the music, all the weird vaudeville stuff and the razzle-dazzle and the physical athletic stuff...

NED: Hmm... is that a net positive?

MARK: In the context of Van Halen being a hard-rock band, yes. They were ready-made for arenas, and Dave's lunatic personality made them a little more interesting. And fucking fun!

NED: But if you need to have someone doing scissor kicks every two minutes in order to keep people entertained, doesn't that say something about the rest of the show?

MARK: Yeah, it says gimme a time machine to go back in time and see Van Halen back in the day because they were awesome! You go to a rock show now, and what does a singer do? Looks down at their shoes.

ARIS: When was the last time you saw high-flyin' split jumps at a rock show? It's all about the party! Put on some Technicolor stretch pants and do some roundhouse kicks! Reach for the sky, man!

Read the whole thing here! Mark and Aris held up their end well, but I have to say I defended the anti-Halen corner pretty well, too—and we didn't even talk about Gary Cherone.

But you be the judge! Who won the debate? Read it all, then come back here and vote in the poll below to determine the winners. Are Van Halen flippin' awesome and badass and fun and cool? Or... not so much. Vote!

VAN HALEN Whither Michael Anthony?
  • VAN HALEN Whither Michael Anthony?