Well it was a beautiful night for a Rock concert! I drove the two and a half hours from NY with my roomate from college. We arrived at the venue at about 5:30 just in time to catch the end of Sammy's sound check which included excerpts from Returning Home, Red, and Marching to Mars! The gates opend around 6:05 and we took out seats about 30 rows straight back from Sammy! As the stereo played Collective Soul's new album I couldn't help but think of the Balance tour where they we the opening band! Around 7:30 Sammy came out on stage "fashionably" late! Suprsiing fans as well as myself with the opening song Led Zepplin's "Rock and Roll" as he began to jam the riff Sam yelled to the crowd "Caught you by surprise" the band then rocked out to "one way to rock", "Salvation on Sand Hill", "Why Can't This Be Love and others!
After about every two songs Sam took a little time to share some stories with the crowd. Among them were one about a guy who drove his car of the bridge near Sammy's hotel room and he also shared the story on how Mona made the band! After about 10 songs it was time for a "Waborita" and a trip to Cabo! While there Sammy took a request from 2 fans from the meet and greet, and played "Both Sides Now" for the first time on this tour. They did it with Vic playing a 12 string acoustic guitar and it sounded great! After a couple more songs it was time to return to America with a "Little White Lie". he then played crowd pleasers like 55, Red, and Heavy Metal. All sounded great! Sam then came back for the Encore of Eagles, Dreams, and Marching!
Perhaps the nicist surprise of the night for me was the muscianship. All the songs were done very well. Victor Johnson amazed me with the ease in which he handled the solo to Dreams. It was great to finally se such Hagar classics like 55, Three Lock Box, and Red live. All the new songs were great. Yogi was some top notch and Sam's voice hit every high scream! Bad Motor Scooter and Good Lovin Tonight were both "get off your feet songs" I really enjoyed the Piano/Vocal duet of Right Now. One song I really would have liked to hear was "Amnesty is Granted", but you can't always get what you want.
My last comment is back in June of 96 MTV made speculation that Sammy may have left VH because of his dis-like of tourning! This concert and tour certaily put a big foot in that crap that MTV Spreads! At 10:00 Sammy left the stage saying this was the happiest time of his life and thanking everybody for all the Banners and T-Shirts! Most of which were saying "Hagar Rules" or "Its VH's Loss"! Sammy got one that had every song he ever wrote on it and he said "This one is going directly to Cabo!" Unfortunatly my idea for a banner was hampered by the rain in the days prior to the show! I was gonna make a huge sign saying "RIGHT NOW, GARY CHERONE IS SINGING A SAMMY HAGAR SONG"!!
Well Red Rockers if you can still see the show, get up and go! Well worth it!
Thanks to Matt Hemmer for this set list and review!