Sammy Hagar is celebrating 40 years in the music business and what a career it has been! Montrose (1973-1975), Van Halen (1986-1996 and 2003-2005), his solo work and other projects have produced some great music and many hits over the years. For me his 80’s solo and Van Halen songs are a favourite.
I was in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma over the last weekend and noticed there was a Sammy Hagar “Four Decades of Rock” concert at a casino in the nearby town of Shawnee with his band The Wabos and the support was Tom Keifer (Cinderella). I like both, so I had to see this show!
I headed out there but did not yet have a ticket. It turned out to be an outdoor venue next to the Grand Casino. I went and lined up at the casino gift shop to get my ticket when an old guy approached me and offered me one instead. I thought “OK here we go, how much is he going to try to rip me off?” but to my surprise he only wanted $20 (the ticket price with a booking fee would have been $47)! Welcome to Oklahoma, that was one nice saving! I checked the ticket to make sure it was valid, then gave the man the money and headed straight for the concert.
What a great set up they had out there. Despite the area in front of the stage being set aside for VIP ticket holders you could still get a good view from just about anywhere in the arena area. I found my spot fairly close to the stage and had a very entertaining evening surrounded by chain-smoking, drunken but good-natured Okies (apart from a few brawls near me with security later in the evening)! The sound was good and the performers put on a great show.
Tom Keifer is an interesting character. Despite being from Pennsylvania he surprisingly had quite a southern drawl when speaking to the crowd. He still has that great and unique singing style and sound from the glam metal days of Cinderella and apart from his solo work also sang a number of the old hits from the 80’s which was great.
Songs included: Somebody Save Me (Cinderella), The Flower Song, his wife Savannah joined him for the Cinderella song Don’t Know What You Got (she was also on backing vocals for a number of songs), Solid Ground, Coming Home (Cinderella) and Gypsy Rose (Cinderella).
Then The Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar hit the stage. One of his first comments was that compared to California where he had just flown in from, it was a bit chilly in Oklahoma (very true). For the rest of the night people were throwing shirts and jackets up on stage for him to wear. He didn’t have to worry about the cold anymore!
What a performance! He must have played for about 2 hours and covered his entire career. It is hard to believe Sammy is 66 years old! He sounded great and interacted with the crowd and his excellent band The Wabos throughout the night. Wabos bass player Mona is a great backup on vocals especially when filling in the Van Halen vocals once sung by Michael Anthony who these days also performs in the supergroup Chickenfoot with Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers). It was a lot of fun and he didn’t miss any of the big hits.
Songs included: Rock Candy (Montrose), Jump On It (Montrose), Red, I Cant Drive 55 (a huge crowd favourite), Bad on Fords and Chevrolets, There’s Only One Way To Rock (Van Halen), I’ll Fall In Love Again, Three Lock Box, Right Now (Van Halen), Why Can’t This Be Love? (Van Halen), Top Of The World (Van Halen), Finish What You Started (Van Halen), Heavy Metal, Mas Tequila, Knockdown Dragout, Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode cover) and Marching To Mars.
For a random night and $20 bucks for the ticket it was a fantastic show. I am so glad I made it. My only disappointment was that Tom Keifer didn’t sing Nobodys Fool, an old Cinderella classic. Trust me that was all, a very minor matter indeed and it was a great night. If you get a chance to see them on tour somewhere don’t miss out. Now to wait for a Cinderella tour someday.