SAMMY HAGAR and THE CIRCLE – Live at Hard Rock Rocksino – Cleveland, OH (Concert Review)

Sammy Hagar and The Circle Live in ClevelandMany of our favorite rockers are getting up there in age, and it shows with many of them. That’s not the case with Sammy Hagar as he’s simply defying time. He can still rock with the best of them. He proved it when he brought The Circle to Cleveland, Ohio a couple weeks ago!

From the first lines of “One Way to Rock,” the band kicked in and had the crowd on our feet all night.  With The Circle, Sammy pulls from every era of his career: solo, Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot…and Led Zeppelin! Sammy still sounds incredible. He might lean on Michael Anthony to take on a chorus or verse from time to time, but the Red Rocker can still hit the notes.

Michael Anthony was on fire all night. Playing with Sammy Hagar gives him room to shine that he never had with Van Halen. He’s one of the most underrated bass players in rock. And, just like Sammy, he’s out to have fun and loving every minute of it.

Sammy Hagar Live in ClevelandWith a catalog like Hagar’s, the hits don’t stop coming. Especially great were “Good Times, Bad Times,” ”Bigfoot,” “Little White Lie,” “Heavy Metal” and “Finish What Ya Started.” The best of the night was when fog filled the stage for a New Orleans swampy vibe, and Sammy tore into “When the Levee Breaks” with extended solos throughout the song.

Guitarist Vic Johnson might be the latest hardest working man in rock as he has to pull off the guitar duties of Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Joe Satriani and Ronnie Montrose. That’s a tall order even for any of those listed to take on, but Johnson handles it well. Meanwhile, Jason Bonham is a beast behind the drums and especially shines when channeling his father on the Zeppelin songs.

As always, Sammy Hagar doesn’t put on a concert, he throws a party. He even brings the booze. Passing out tastes of his Beach Bar Rum and filling up front row cups with his brand new Santo Mezquila, we all got to join in the fun. It might be shameless promotion of his alcohol, but what better way to do it!

The only complaint might be that the show was a little short at roughly an hour and 20 minutes. But, if that’s what it takes to keep Sammy’s voice as strong as it is, I’ll take it. Just as long as he keeps Cleveland in his touring plans!

Set List:

  1. One Way to Rock
  2. Poundcake
  3. Good Times, Bad Times
  4. Rock Candy
  5. I Can’t Drive 55
  6. Bigfoot
  7. Right Now
  8. Why Can’t This Be Love
  9. Little White Lie
  10. When the Levee Breaks
  11. Finish What Ya Started
  12. Heavy Metal
  13. Mas Mezquila

Encore:

  1. When It’s Love
  2. Rock and Roll

Buy: The Circle – At Your Service

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