Andrew Hagar and Sammy Hagar at Fallviews Casino June 21 2017


Sammy Hagar and The Circle
Avalon Theater, Niagara Falls

June 21, 2017
Concert Review by Darren Hancock

As the crowd anticipated the appearance of the Red Rocker, we were first treated to a solo acoustic performance by none other than Sammy Hagar’s son Andrew Hagar (aka “Drew Hagas”). Seated on a stool due to a minor leg injury, he played an acoustic guitar with a harmonica and sang some of his original tunes. With song titles like “The Dead Awake” and “Handicapped Heart”, Drew showcased his competent musicianship and songwriting skills – he even paid homage to the great Bob Dylan before leaving the stage for his Dad and crew to rock the house.

Four decades of rock. That message displayed as a theme on the stage backdrop, as vintage footage from Sammy Hagar’s career progressed on screen, prepping the crowd for the evening ahead. Then they walked on stage: Van Halen’s long time bassist Mike Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham (son of Led Zepplin’s drummer John Bonham), and legendary Vic Johnson on guitar, Sammy Hagar and The Circle was primed to rock the house. And rock it they did. As soon as Sammy walked on stage, the crowd rose to their feet and remained standing for the rest of the show! Sporting a red “Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum” t-shirt, Sammy performed a mixture of Van Halen covers like “Right Now” and “Why Can’t This Be Love”, Sammy Hagar hits including his 1984 hit “I Can’t Drive 55”, as well as some Chickenfoot and even a Led Zepplin cover paying tribute to Jason’s dad. Jason stole the microphone and in his thick English accent started talking to the crowd – Sammy remarked that usually no one can understand him, but Mike exclaimed “We’re In Canada Now” eliciting cheers and applause. A seasoned showman at 69 years young, Sammy didn’t show any signs of slow down, and was belting out the tunes in true Hagar form while constantly roaming the stage, shaking hands with fans and signing autographs and taking selfies at the edge of the stage. During the Hagar blues number “Little White Lie” Vic played slide on a double-necked guitar… Mike sang a few lines throughout the night showing that he has vocal chops too! Jason and Mike left the stage, and Vic and Sammy did a 2-man ballad version of Van Halen’s “Dreams”. Fans of Sammy Hagar, Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot and even Led Zepplin were all left satisfied as the Red Rocker brought the Avalon theater to its feet and kept them there to the bitter end… a consummate rocker, Sammy is still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down.

There’s Only One Way to Rock (Sammy Hagar song)
Poundcake (Van Halen cover)
Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin cover)
Rock Candy (Montrose cover)
I Can’t Drive 55 (Sammy Hagar song)
Big Foot (Chickenfoot cover)
Right Now (Van Halen cover)
Why Can’t This Be Love (Van Halen cover)
Little White Lie (Sammy Hagar song)
When the Levee Breaks (Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy cover)
Finish What Ya Started (Van Halen cover)
Heavy Metal (Sammy Hagar song)
Mas Tequila (Sammy Hagar and The Wabos cover)
Dreams (Van Halen cover)
Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin cover)

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