Sammy Hagar and the Waboritias marched into Cleveland's Nautica outdoor theater Saturday July 19th. The Picturesque Nautica stage is located on the west bank of the Cuyahoga river in the Flats. The Flats, still a buzz from the celebrity packed All Star game a few weeks ago, is the famous bar & restaurant district of converted warehouse buildings( like Chicago's rush street ) and the place to be in Cleveland near the Harbor and the Rock Hall. The stage is backed by the river and is flanked on one side by a converted power station which now holds some great bars and restaurants. The other side by a warehouse building and a large steel draw bridge. The weather was choice .. in fact Sammy complained about how light it was " This is the most fun you can have in daylight!" because of the stage facing west into the setting sun.
Before the show we were able to talk to Sam for a few minutes and get some autographs. As he approached us wearing a Cleveland PD T shirt. Sam said " Wait a minute you guys cant be the net heads where's the geeks and the glasses?". I said "Sam you say that at all the shows" he smiled looked down the small line we were in and said "It's true man!" with a big ole grin on his face. My friend was copping a feel of his hair telling him "I love your hair". Sam told her you dont know how many mornings I wake up and want to do that!" pointing at my military doo. After chatting a bit I shook his hand good bye and told him how nice it was to meet him. Sam said to me laughing "Bet you say that to all of them." ( getting me back for geek thing ). All in all Sam was very nice and down to earth. It was great opportunity to meet him ( and his tour manager Chris ) and I have to thank Little White Liza for this one.
Sam opened the show of 4,100 with MTM followed by One Way and Returning Home. Was kind a nice being so light out. It gave me the chance to snap some choice pics form our Third row center seats with that $4 camera I was hiding in my pants! Let me tell you how comfortable that was! Someone threw up an Indians' hat and when Sam put it on the place went nutz! He then stopped the band and apologized for his weak first pitch (that wasn't that bad ... believe me) at Jacob's Field to start the game earlier that day. He blamed it on the promoters waking him up at 8:30 am. He then put it on Vic saying that the glare from the sun reflecting off his bald head was killing him. Victor kept it on most of the show. During the bathroom break, with the club backdrop, he did Cabo Wabo and Right Now. It was typical Sammy ... he seemed quite comfortable and as always gave it his all, singing his heart out - one thing Sam has always done. (Although it was still different to me not seeing Ed, Al & Mikey since I saw him with ZZtop in those years that remain near blank in my head.) Two of my biggest enjoyments of the show were Bad Motor Scooter (cause it's been so damn long !) which he opened with some Crossroads licks and Yogi So High. From what I understand a very typical set closing with encores of Eagles Fly, Dreams and MTM again.
Thanks to T Gerbic for this review!