Van Halen re-emerged from a long hiatus with a short, sweaty and generally fantastic concert at a small club in New York City tonight (Jan. 5). They also premiered a brand-new and extremely catchy song, 'She's the Woman,' halfway through their set.

Frontman David Lee Roth was charmingly nervous and excited throughout the show at the tiny Cafe Wha?, which used to be owned by his now 92-year-old Uncle Manny. After blistering set-opening performances of 'You Really Got Me' and 'Runnin' with the Devil,' he launched into a winding, directionless story about being a paramedic in New York and sharing half a cupcake with some family on New Year's Eve. This eventually prompted both Wolfgang and Eddie Van Halen to musically nudge him into the next song, 'Somebody Get Me a Doctor.' Which smoked.

After a typically but never boringly dynamic 'Everybody Wants Some' came the real moment of truth for the evening - Van Halen debuted a previously unreleased song. It was called 'She's the Woman,' it apparently dates back to the band's '70s demos, and.. it was really good at the very least. We'll reserve judgement because the proximity to our childhood heroes and the open bar and the excitement of the moment probably left us biased. But there's no way on earth it sucked and while it was playing we could not possibly have been happier.

After that, things got even more up close and personal, with Roth mashing up classic rock heroes by performing a bit of 'Stairway to Heaven' as he imagined Jim Morrison would sing it during 'Dance the Night Away,' recounting his own personal history with the venue during the opening of 'Ice Cream Man,' and urging the crowd to pretend the band left and returned from the confined, tiny stage before the inevitable set closer 'Jump.'

If you're looking for someone to say this was anything less than the best place on the entire planet Earth to be this evening, you might wanna fish in some other pond.

Shortly after the show, Van Halen announced their 2012 tour dates - you can see the complete list right here.



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