Thanks to John King and Ben Swain for this set list!
The wedding adage "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" would definately apply to Sammy Hagar's first solo performance in Indianapolis since 1984.
In Wednesday's 2 1/2 hour set, the venerable "Red Rocker" entertained a less-than-sold-out Murat Theater crowd with music spanning 25 years and three phases of his career.
Hagar, who seemed ecstatic to be a solo artist once again, and his new band careened from one decade to the next, playing tunes from his Montrose days to his Van Halen tenure and still finding time to work in some of his solo hits and tracks from his new album, "Marching to Mars".
The long retrospective approach, bolstered by Hagar's usual high-energy antics, worked.
Fans got to hear Hagar's stock winners, such as I Can't Drive 55, One Way to Rock and Bad Motor Scooter. But the extended set and lack of an opener left time for plenty of the new album, most notably Kama, a low-key song dedicated to his young daughter.
Guitarist Victor Johnson deserves extra praise for his stellar playing, which unfortunately got swallowed by the room for much of the show. He handled the unenviable task of playing a number of Van Halen songs, which he did with a great deal of skill and his own flair.
The main problem with the night's show was the sound. At times, it apperared to be a good thing that everyone knew the words to most of the songs, as Hagar's voice was lost. Some of the better musical work was lost in the cacophony created by the small size of the venue.
And although he has claimed many times that he isn't holding a grudge against his former bandmates, one has to wonder why he would throw in an obvious poke at Eddie Van Halen's replaced hip by using his guitar as a crutch early in the show.
But it was a good show nonetheless with a party atmoshere, right down to the Cabo Wabo backdrop and the impromptu lesson on how to mix a "waborita", after which he passed around samples to some audience members.
Guess solo life suits Sammy just fine.
Thanks to John King for transcribing this article.
CONCERT REVIEW by Michael D. Clark (Indianapolis Star)
Went to the show in Indy last night and all I have to say is wow. It is hard to compare the show to others I've seen because I've only seen one other concert (Van Halen 2 years ago at Deer Creek). Sammy's show was at the Murat and was an indoor theatre holding about 2000 people and I was in the tenth row. The VH show was at Deer Creek, and outdoor pavilion and I was at least 100 feet from the stage. So no matter what the Murat show is going to be better.
There was a little confusion for the meet n greet but we got everything figured out and I got to meet the man! He was real cool, but was in a hurry so he didn't stay very long and couldn't really stay to talk. He took a picture with the mailing list people and I got my Rematch album signed (It'll be framed and put next to my autographed picture of Gene Keady. For a Boilermaker that's the next best thing to God). The coolest part of the meet n greet was that one of the contest winners from Q95 was a mentally and physically handicapped kid and Sammy took extra time to get pictures and sign stuff for the kid. I pray that that kid is able to remember that for the rest of his life. We also got to meet David Lauser and he was real cool. He seemed about in awe of Sammy as we were. Real down to earth guy. I'm kicking myself that I didn't get his autograph too.
The concert was great. He was having a blast and it was just a big party. Victor was having fun with the whole thing. He is a very good guitar player. I was very impressed.Mona looked like she was still getting used to playing for that many people. Sammy told her to do a bass solo and had to push her to the front of the stage. She spent most of the time back by the drums. The funniest part was someone threw a rose with a note on it. He read it and it was asking his middle name because she was pregnant and wanted to name her kid after him. So he told everyone his middle name was Roy and told her not to name her kid Roy. Then the crowd started chanting Roy. He said that in all of his time putting on concerts he's never had that happen. He told everyone that he named his new girl Kama and played the song.
With the songs he played he said that "Bad Motor Scooter" was the first song he ever wrote. He also told the story of how "Finish What Ya Started" was wrote. He said that he had gone to bed, but wasn't trying to fall asleep, and Eddie came over saying that Val was ticked at him and so Eddie wanted to work on another song. So Eddie and Sammy sat on Sammy's front porch with acoustic guitars and spent the whole night writing the song (which was about how Eddie ruined the night for Sammy).
I think he's having fun being on his own again. The big difference between this concert and the VH concert I saw was that with VH he didn't talk as much. I think this was a better concert than VH, but it's still dissappointing not to see Eddie there. And I'm also dissappointed that I will never see Van Hagar play "Humans Being" live. I think Victor can play anthing Sammy tells him to and he will do it very well, but Victor still isn't the guitar god. I'm very glad to have seen both concerts.
Thanks to Ben Swain for this review!