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Sammy Hagar took Saint Louis on a raucous history of rock

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Sammy Hagar concert in Saint Louis Saturday

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Sammy Hagar, The Gateway City’s favorite adopted son, played to a packed Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Saturday night on the 2nd stop of his “A Journey Through the History of Rock” tour, encompassing material from every era of Hagar’s 40 plus year career. And even an added bonus was thrown in a few times along the way.

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Red was abundant all over the amphitheater as is customary at the Red Rockers shows. Security and other amphitheater employees wore things like red sparkly hats with adjustable flashing lights. Couple that with several hundred glowing (red, of course) large foam sticks and bracelets and a virtual sea of red was facing Hagar, and that suited him just fine.

Appearing in better shape than he has in years Hagar appeared to have even more vitality and vigor on the stage than recent memory. The energy flowed from him and throughout the Amphitheater to his beloved Redheads (an affectionate term for his fans) and back again.

Hagar looked out in amazement at the reception he got, again, in St. Louis and wondered aloud if he should do a residency here. The crowd ate that up faster than a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Unlike last year’s St. Louis stop, which included the reunion of the living members of Hagar’s original major label band Montrose to perform the Montrose era songs and his band the Waboritas, Hagar has decided to run with a staple of three other musicians in longtime friend and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Waboritas guitarist Vic Johnson and drummer Jason Bonham, son of legendary Led Zeppelin thunder god John Bonham.

The band sounded crisp, electric and tight. The only noticeable slip was a lyric misstep on “Whole Lotta Love”, but more than made up for it by nailing “When the Levee Breaks”.

Hagar started off the show with the most obvious way a show should start: with the classic “There’s Only One Way to Rock”.
With that Hagar rolled through a setlist that mixed back and forth between his solo material, the Montrose era, his Van Halen days, as well as his most recent band Chickenfoot. The added bonuses were the five Led Zeppelin covers strewn throughout the set, especially fitting since Bonham was bashing away on drums.

Bonham’s cover of his father’s epic drum track of “Moby Dick” was spectacular, drawing a standing ovation from the Redheads as the older ones in attendance marveled at the younger Bonhams remarkable similarity in sound to his late father.
Each member took turns with a solo, Anthony in particular showed off his skill in performing part of The Star Spangled Banner in his solo.

Unbelievably, the show with its incredible setlist, was topped by a truly remarkable and moving acoustic version of “Dreams” with Johnson playing Hagar’s acoustic guitar, and Anthony came out to help put his falsetto backing vocals. For anyone who left early – your loss entirely.

In true St. Louis form dozens of items were tossed onstage for Hagar to sign, wear, and display through the entire set. Items from a red boa, shirts and even a marriage proposal from one female fan to her boyfriend in written form were tossed up at Hagar.

Hagar’s shows are always a party and Saturday night’s performance showed that at 66, Hagar’s not even close to a last call.

Sammy Hagar Setlist:
There’s only one Way to Rock
Rock Candy (Montrose song)
Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin cover)
Poundcake (Van Halen song)
I Can’t Drive 55
Michael Anthony Bass Solo
When It’s Love (Van Halen song)
Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin cover)
Sammy Hagar guitar solo
Little White Lie
When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin cover)
Jason Bonham drum solo
Moby Dick (Led Zeppelin cover)
Why Can’t This Be Love (Van Halen song)
Finish What Ya Started (Van Halen song)
Heavy Metal
Vic Johnson guitar solo
Best of Both Worlds (Van Halen song)

Encore:
Right Now (Van Halen song)
Oh Yeah (Chickenfoot song)
Rock ‘n Roll (Led Zeppelin cover)

2nd Encore:
Dreams (Van Halen song - acoustic)

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