The reunited Van Halen — with, yes, original singer David Lee Roth — gave a giant dose of '80s nostalgia to long-time fans and music critics at an invite only club show on Thursday night. The show, held at a 280-person capacity club in Greenwich Village, was basically a musical press conference/stunt to generate buzz for their upcoming album and tour. Nearly every music writer in the city was there, while dozens of die hard fans waited fruitlessly outside in the cold, but the effort worked to perfection, giving rock fans plenty to talk about this morning.
The album, recorded last year and set to be released on February 7, is the first Van Halen record to feature Roth since their smash sensation 1984, which was also the year it was released. Previous reunion tours were marred by infighting and shaky performances, usually falling apart amid angry disputes between Roth and guitarist Eddie Van Halen. However, those who got into the show last night attested that the band sounded solid and acted professionally, with the aging rockers actually appearing to enjoy themselves on stage. "Diamond Dave" told stories and engaged the crowd, as the original lineup (with bassist Michael Anthony replacec by Van Halen's son Wolfgang) delivered a short set of classic favorites to the delight of the children of 1980s arena rock.
The show was quickly followed by the official release of tour dates that will cover large arenas across most of North America, staring in Lousville, Kentucky on Feb. 18. Tickets go on sale next week, but you can out this preview via VH1's Mark Graham.