Something Else! sneak peek: Van Halen, David Lee Roth play secret pre-tour show; see the highlights!

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Van Halen played a secret show — well, not really: there were some 250 invited guests and media folks — at Henson Studios in Los Angeles overnight, as the band preps to tour again with original frontman David Lee Roth.

The set list largely replicated an earlier performance at Café Wha? in New York last month, mixing Van Halen classics (like the encore “Jump,” which is featured below) and tracks from the group’s forthcoming release A Different Kind Of Truth. Van Halen also played “Unchained,” “Dance the Night Away,” “Tattoo,” “She’s the Woman,” and “The Trouble With Never,” “Somebody Get Me a Doctor,” “Everybody Wants Some,” and “Panama.”

[READ OUR REVIEW OF ‘TRUTH’: In a pre-release review, we called the Van Halen reunion album “a return to form in the most complete sense of the word.”]

This new project, in stores Tuesday, February 7, is the first full-length album to feature Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth since 1984. Eddie’s son Wolfgang has taken over for original bassist Michael Anthony, now a member of Chickenfoot.

Here’s an overview of last night’s secret show:

Van Halen closed the performance with their biggest charting hit from the initial Roth era, 1984’s “Jump.” Bring on the dancing showgirls!:

A look back at our recent thoughts on Van Halen. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: VAN HALEN: A long-waited reunion with original lead singer David Lee Roth has Van Halen back in the news … and us digging through some old albums. Here’s a look back at a few favorite moments with Roth — and yes, Sammy, too — along with updated tour date information, a link to video from Van Halen’s recent small-club date with Roth and an early demo of one of the tracks to be included on the forthcoming A Different Kind of Truth, to be issued on February 7. Let’s start shredding!

SOMETHING ELSE! SNEAK PEEK: VAN HALEN, “SHE’S THE WOMAN” (2012): Van Halen’s first reunion gig with original lead singer David Lee Roth included plenty of parachute-pantsed favorites, but there was also one new track. The reformed band played a 45-minute set on Thursday at Cafe Wha?, at 250-seat club in New York’s Greenwich Village. Van Halen opened with “You Really Got Me,” and closed with “Jump,” but perhaps most interesting was their inclusion of this previously unreleased song that was first demoed in the 1970s. “She’s The Woman” was first recorded in 1976 with producer Gene Simmons of Kiss, then was re-recorded a year later as part of Van Halen’s initial Warner Brothers sessions. Riffs from the track eventually made their way onto “Mean Street,” from 1981’s Fair Warning album.

THE FRIDAY MORNING LISTEN: VAN HALEN – WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST (1980): Maybe the best thing about this Van Halen deal is the reemergence of the great Roth vs. Hagar debates. I’ve spent more than a little time over the years (and over the last week) reading fan commentary on this and it never fails to entertain. I’ve written enough about musical resonance to know that people have their own reasons, from nostalgia to general musical leanings, for their preferences. What cracks me up is when guys (and let’s face it, it’s mostly guys) start plastering the opposition (because face it, they are now “the enemy”) with all sorts of nasty labels. Gees guys, it’s only rock ‘n roll, you know?

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Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
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