Get down on it
Weirdly perfect: Van Halen plus Kool & the Gang another unlikely pairing thatrocks
As if the long-awaited return of David Lee Roth wasn't enough, Van Halen has upped its party cred even more with the announcement that Kool & the Gang will joining the band on its upcoming reunion tour.
The multiplatinum California rockers — who, along with Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang Van Halen, currently claim Roth as their lead vocalist — land in town June 24 for an appearance at the Toyota Center. Judging from the songs played at a small New York gig last Thursday night, fans can expect vintage '80s hits like "Panama," "Jump" and "You Really Got Me Going."
Kool & the Gang have yet to be confirmed for the Austin date. Nevertheless, promo art for the tour on Live Nation includes the band, so keep your fingers crossed.
What's not to love about the band that gave us not only "Celebration," but "Ladies Night," "Jungle Boogie," and "Get Down on It"?
"Wait, so this actually might happen?" Sound Exchange record store co-owner Kevin Bakos asked CultureMap upon hearing the news. "I need a second . . . this kinda makes my brain hurt."
While admitting he wasn't exactly a huge Van Halen fan himself, Bakos seemed to have some love for Kool & the Gang. After all, what's not to love about the band that gave us not only "Celebration," but "Ladies Night," "Jungle Boogie," and "Get Down on It"?
Cliff Dotterer of Black Dog Records was equally less enthused by the Van Halen reunion tour, but said the funk and soul of Kool & the Gang might lure him to the show.
"You know, I've always admired David Lee Roth as a frontman," he said. "Seems like this is guaranteed to be a good time."
"Man, I saw a crazy combination back in the day," Dotterer remembered. "Uriah Heep played with Earth, Wind & Fire." Strange as it seems, he said, the pairing of '70s British hard rock with the smooth R&B flavors of EWF meshed surprisingly well.
"It was an amazing way to bring together people from different backgrounds. I wasn't really into Earth, Wind & Fire before the show, but I certain was after seeing them play live."
Tickets for the Van Halen tour go on sale this month. On Jan. 10, the band released the first single, "Tattoo," from its new record A Different Kind of Truth, the first album to include David Lee Roth in 27 years.