I’m certain all Van Halen die-hards have these dates memorized by now, but just in case, their first new album with David Lee Roth since 1984, A Different Kind of Truth, goes live on February 7.
The accompanying tour kicks off shortly after on February 18 in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s certainly been a long time, but judging by the reaction all over the ‘Net, the fans should be out in full force for both the album and the tour.
As we’ve reported previously on TG, the real test will be in the live arena (not to mention being together on the road without Ed and Dave killing each other), and the band played a surprise show in the lot of Henson Studios in Los Angeles.
Melinda Newman of Hitfix caught the show, and she reports, “As rough and ragtag as some spots were, there was never a moment when it felt like the band was phoning it in. For all the drama and demons that have chased the group during its fractured 40 years off stage, the state of the Van Halen union felt strong when they stood on stage together.”
She also wrote, “Roth’s once-pyrotechnic voice is still capable of great yelps and screams… It’s still powerful, even if he had occasional issues with staying on tune. At least there was certainly no doubt that he was singing live.”
The band’s set list was in order: You Really Got Me, Runnin’ With the Devil, Unchained, The Trouble With Never, Everybody Wants Some, She’s the Woman, Dance the Night Away, Panama, Tattoo, Hot For Teacher, Ice Cream Man, Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love, and Jump.
Of course, what’s Van Halen news without some Hagar griping as well, and Sammy was quoted on Radio Metal and Blabbermouth as saying the new album has “zero inspiration and zero creativity. If there was any, they would write new songs. I believe it was probably intentional, because I don’t think they had any choice. If they had a choice they would’ve done all new stuff. From today. They would’ve written together like a band.”
Ultimately, it’s not going to matter what Hagar, or all the critics in the world think. The court of public opinion is always the ultimate decider, and if the fans want to see Van Halen again, all the bad press and Internet sniping won’t stop ’em in a million years.