Reunited rockers Van Halen will invade New York's Cafe Wha? on Thursday night (Jan. 5), presumably to play their first concert with frontman David Lee Roth since the band's reunion trek ended in 2008. The show will precede a 2012 tour as well as a new album, which may or may not be arriving on Feb. 7.
Over the New Year's weekend, a billboard was unveiled in Times Square that featured Van Halen's signature logo and the date "2.7.12." In November, the band signed a new deal with Interscope Records, and a new album -- the band's first with Roth on vocals since 1984 -- has been confirmed to be in the works.
Meanwhile, the Cafe Wha? gig is expected to preview the band's live show before the first tickets go on sale Jan. 10. Last Monday (Dec. 26), Van Halen posted a series of video messages on its web site that showed the group having fun during their onstage rehearsals, and confirming that the they will hit the road in 2012.
In an interesting twist, sources tell Billboard that at least some of the music on the new album dates back nearly 30 years to unreleased jams from the original Roth incarnation of Van Halen. Onetime Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar alluded to the band reconstituting vintage unheard material in a November interview with Rolling Stone, saying, "From what I heard, they aren't working with new material. Ed and Dave didn't actually write new songs. They took old stuff from previous sessions, and then maybe Dave had to go in and add vocals because they just had scat vocals, or even no vocal part at all."
The reconfigured Van Halen lineup features Roth, guitarist Eddie Van Halen, bassist Wolfgang Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen. Before Roth returned to the group in 2006, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone each spent time as the group's frontman.