Sammy Hagar

Photos by Merideth C. & review by Dave G.

Everything about Sammy Hagar is big. His voice is big, his hair is big, his personality is big, even the set he put together for fans at Freedom Hill was big, and not just because of the roughly 2 hour length, but because of the magnitude of the sound and experience. The Red Rocker pulled together former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Waboritas guitarist Vic Johnson, and Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s son Jason Bonham on drums for “A Journey Through the History of Rock.” The packed amphitheatre got an awesome mix of Van Halen tunes like “Rock and Roll” and “When It’s Love,” Led Zeppelin tunes like “Whole Lotta Love” and “When the Levee Breaks,” Montrose tunes like “Rock Candy,” Chickenfoot tunes like “Oh Yeah,” and Hagar tunes like “I Can’t Drive 55,” which he jokingly said would make him vote for Sarah Palin since she used it as an excuse for a recent speeding ticket.

It’s hard to believe that Hagar is in his 60s. He is still one of the greatest rock and roll frontmen of all time and he performs as if he were years younger. He seems to be perpetually happy and loves nothing more than engaging with the crowd; holding fan signs, signing autographs in the middle of songs, and letting stage crashers sing with him all felt totally natural when Hagar did them.

A big highlight of the show was the drum solo by Bonham after “When the Levee Breaks.” It was a wonderful tribute to his father and he played it perfectly. Another nice moment was the second encore and final song of the night when Hagar did an acoustic rendition of the Van Halen song “Dreams.” I don’t think it would be possible to be disappointed with this show. Sammy Hagar is the consummate rocker. He seems to never really stop touring, so if you haven’t had the pleasure of a Red Rocker show, do yourself a favorite and don’t miss him the next time he’s in town, no matter what band he is performing with.

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Set List

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  1. There's Only One Way to Rock
  2. Rock Candy (Montrose Cover)
  3. Good Times, Bad Times (Led Zeppelin)
  4. Poundcake (Van Halen Cover)
  5. I Can't Drive 55
  6. When It's Love (Van Halen Cover)
  7. Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin Cover)
  8. Little White Lie
  9. When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin Cover)
  10. Mody Dick (Led Zeppelin Cover)
  11. Why Can't This Be Love (Van Halen Cover)
  12. Finish What You Started
  13. Heavy Metal
  14. Best of Both Worlds (Van Halen Cover) Encore 1:
  15. Right Now (Van Halen Cover)
  16. Oh Yeah (Chickenfoot Cover)
  17. Rock and Roll (Van Halen Cover) Encore 2:
  18. Dreams (Van Halen Cover)

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