Breaking Down the VH NYC Debut

January 9, 2012 | By | Reply More

(Photo credit: ?)

She’s the Woman!

Cafe Wha – yeah man! Couldn’t wrangle my son and I an invite, so instead awaited the sure-to-follow YouTube vids.

Fingers were crossed that the band would play some new tunes, though had to admit that didn’t make much sense since they hadn’t even released a tune yet.

Anyhow, here’s what we can learn from the Cafe Wha vertigo-inducing amateur-shot vids:

1. The boys can play. Should be no surprise. Ed is Ed, Alex is a monster and has been the one constant throughout the ups and downs of VH, Wolfie does an admirable job playing the fat strings and singing (and let’s face it, you have to be pretty darn good to play with Ed and Al), and Dave still has his ringmaster schtick (maybe too much, lol) and can belt ’em out, even though the audio ain’t the greatest.

2. Ed still makes stuff looks easy. Check out this vid of “Somebody Get Me a Doctor.” Us mortals can play the solo, but not that easily….

3. Tone-wise, sounds like Ed still has kind of a nasaly overtone/undertone/whatever – that “aww” cocked wah-ish sound. Similar to the last (“reunion”) Dave tour, but not as much. So we can conclude:

> Ed likes this new tone and thus it has to be good in some form or fashion. C’mon – the dude has ears like a dog: We’ll never be able to hear like he does, even with his tinnitus….

> It’s not necessarily the amp or the guitar making that tone. The 5150 IIIs are versatile amps, and so are the Wolfie guitars/pickups. So we’re hearing how Ed sets up his amps and maybe pedals – and maybe it’s the speakers too (more on that theory coming soon).

Cafe Wha setlist, last two tunes not played. (Credit: Eddie Trunk)

4. Last but not least, “She’s the Woman!” A tune that was recorded before Van Halen I, and apparently will be on the new album. Great tune, cool classic VH groove (Ed digs it, check the first vid at about 7:11 to 7:25).

They replaced the original “Mean Street” break with a new one, also killer. Definitely hope the rest of the album is in the same vein…but the leaked clip of the tune “Tattoo” – which you can hear here – worries me a bit. Sounds like a tune off one of DLR’s solo albums (not the first one!)….

“She’s the Woman” starts at 6:39

Same tune, different angle

The original

More: Gear

> Ed used his Wolfgang Stealth the entire time. This is the model with the ebony fretboard (basswood/maple top body). Fender/EVH said Ed preferred ebony over rosewood. If you’ve never used ebony this is probably because it’s harder and more articulate-sounding than rosewood, more maple-like.

> Everyone who guessed that the red button-looking thing on the lower horn of Ed’s guitar is a kill switch, you’re right. Check out this vid of “You Really Got Me.” When he does the Ace Frehley stuttering thing at the end of the solo (around 1:52) he turns to the cabs, but you can see him pressing on the kill switch.

> Eddie Trunk of metal radio fame posted this pic of Ed’s heads. The Trunk-man obviously ain’t a guitar-slinger. If he was, he wouldn’t taken the pics much closer up and wouldn’t have omitted whatever is on top of the heads! (Apparently it’s a tuner.)

(Photo: Eddie Trunk)


Here’s the track listing for the new album, “A Different Kind of Truth.” Bullethead may be an oldie too.

01. Tattoo
02. She’s the Woman
03. You and Your Blues
04. China Town
05. Blood and Fire
06. Bullethead
07. As Is
08. Honeybabysweetiedoll
09. The Trouble With Never
10. Outta Space
11. Stay Frosty
12. Big River
13. Beats Workin’


Category: Alex Van Halen, Edward Van Halen, Van Halen

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