The night brought 106 degrees to the Las Vegas Valley and Sammy Hagar to the Hard Rock Hotel for a poolside evening of pure rock and roll.
The air had been eerily still for days leading up to the July 2 performance, yet just as Sammy Hagar took the stage, it seemed that the wispy, ocean breezes of Cabo San Lucas had been summoned specifically to accompany the show.
With palm trees gently swaying, Beach Bar Rum notoriously flowing, and a crowd of eager fans at the stage, in the pool, and lounging in cabanas, the scene was set for a night that only Sammy Hagar could make happen.
From the opening notes of Little White Lies through the final versus of Marching to Mars, Sammy gave the crowd a little bit of everything they came to see. With a repertoire spanning over 40 years this can be difficult. To please the Montrose fans, the Van Halen fans, and the solo fans, I imagine compiling a set list to be a daunting task to say the least.
Personally, I live for the Van Halen tunes and Sammy gave us Why Canâ€™t This Be Love, Dreams, Top of the World, Finish What Ya Started, and Right Now. All amazing. The rearrangement of Dreams so absolutely gorgeous, it was difficult not to get choked up.
Michael Anthony, former Van Halen and current Chickenfoot bassist, joined Sammy for a good portion of the show and the seamless musicianship, friendship, and camaraderie between these two is unmatched. The blending of Anthonyâ€™s backing vocals with Sammyâ€™s leads are pure bliss. Neither Sammy, nor Michael, have lost a shred of vocal prowess as the years have passed and Anthonyâ€™s playing has also not missed a beat. Often underrated, Anthony is just so good at what he does, that I think it sometimes gets overlooked. His positive attitude is contagious and even his bass notes sound jubilant.
Sammy, of course, is essentially ageless. His trademark curly, sandy blonde, mop top is a beacon of sunshine even at night.
When Anthony wasnâ€™t on stage for his guest appearance, Waboâ€™s bassist Mona Gnader was tearing things up, while holding things down with deep bass lines and island flair.
Rounding out the Wabos was drummer David Lausser and guitarist Vic Johnson. Chemistry, chemistry, chemistry. The Wabos work together effortlessly, drawing upon Sammyâ€™s vast catalogue of tunes, yet infusing them with a quality that only these four can produce together. Always doing the originals justice, yet never compromising what has become their own signature sound.
Essentially, the night was magical. The only downside was I was really, really, hoping to hear Summer Nights and Cabo Wabo considering the setting and the time of year. And honestly just because I love those songs. But, thereâ€™s always next time!
Many thanks to Sammy, Michael, and the Wabos for finally making summer feel like summer and for always bringing the most positive side of rock music to the masses. Itâ€™s a gift and we are grateful.
For now Sammy is performing a select number of dates with Michael Anthony and Vic Johnson billed as â€˜A Journey Through the History of Rockâ€™ from July 17, 2014 through August 16, 2014. After that thereâ€™s nothing on the books until the ever so sought after, invitation only/luck of the draw, Birthday Bash, in Cabo for Sammyâ€™s birthday October 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th.