One of the worst-kept secrets in rock music was officially revealed last week, as Van Halen, featuring original frontman David Lee Roth, announced they have a new Interscope album ready to go and will hit the road next month for a North American tour. In a rousing show last Thursday at New York’s cozy Café Wha?, the band roared through a number of their well-known hits in advance of the new single “Tattoo,” which comes out tomorrow. Our friend Mike Mullaney, APD/MD of WBMX (Mix 104.1)/Boston, was lucky enough to be in the audience at that once-in-a-lifetime performance, for which we will forever be jealous of him. “As a lifelong Van Halen fanatic, this was the single greatest night of my life!” he tells RAMP. “I was lucky enough to be directly in front of Eddie, and while my hearing will never be the same, it was worth it! The band sounded as good as they did the first time I saw them back in 1981 — Eddie is the best, Alex makes being a monster look easy, Dave was the ringmaster he’s always been, and while we all miss Michael Anthony, Wolfgang [Van Halen] is a great musician,” Mullaney continues excitedly. “The set was all vintage Halen, hit after hit. I cannot wait for the new album — this is the greatest hard rock band this country has ever produced, and they proved it in spades at Café Wha. Best. Night. Ever.”
Mullaney will have to cool his heels until Feb. 7, when Interscope releases A Different Kind of Truth, the band’s first studio album with DLR since the iconic 1984. Only a couple of weeks after putting out this long-awaited new material, Van Halen will kick off their tour, starting in Louisville on Feb. 18 and cruising through the U.S. and Canada before finishing in New Orleans on June 26, withKool & The Gang opening on selected dates. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, Jan. 14, when a crush of rabid Van Halen fans will swarm the Ticketmaster and Live Nation websites.