Review by Marguerite Benda, Staff reporter for the Redding NewspaperRed Rocker belts out a good time
Hagar gave the sellout crowd at the Redding Convention Center what it came for—his best tunes and some good times with the "Red Rocker."
Sammy Hagar knows how to have fun. And if you're anywhere in his vicinity, you better be prepared to just go along for the ride. Friday night at the Redding Convention Center a capacity crowd did exactly that.
Hagar, who kicked off the concert with the single "Marching to Mars" off his new album of the same name, spent approximately 21/2 hours playing his music, telling stories, mixing drinks and genuinely having a great time with those who paid to see him.
Decked out in tight crushed velour pants, sequined Vans and a flowing yellow silk shirt over a black T-shirt, Hagar whipped an already enthusiastic group into a frenzy with "There's Only One Way To Rock," "I'll Fall in Love Again," Led Zeppelin's "Rock 'n' Roll," "Where Eagles Fly," and Van Halen's "Finish What You Started" and "Why Can't This Be Love."
Hagar was the lead singer for Van Halen for 10 years before leaving in June 1996.
He was recovering from a cold, but he didn't let it slow him down, covering every inch of the stage, dancing, running, jumping, kicking and crawling. "I'd rather be hurt 'cause I had a good time," Hagar told the crowd, adding that his manager had wanted him to cancel because he had lost his voice.
Shaking his famous kinky blond locks and feeding from the crowd's energy, his smile was ever present, even when he ducked backstage and was away from the audience.
The "Red Rocker" continued to pump out the hits, energizing the crowd with the favorites "I Can't Drive 55," "Heavy Metal," "Red," and "Three Lock Box."
Hagar, who hosts an intimate birthday concert for several hundred fans every year at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Luca Mexico, wanted to duplicate to feel of those shows on the road The first part of his tour is limited to venues which can only hold a few thousand.
"I'm playing all the little towns I used to play," Hagar said. "I have more fun playing Redding and Chico than New York City."
If actions speak louder then words, then Hagar wasn't Iying. Friday's concert was all about having fun, whether Hagar was setting up bar and making "Waboritas," his version of a margarita, for the crowd before starting his acoustic set or throwing out the song list before launching into "Bad Motor Scooter," it was evident that he was enjoying himself. And he wanted you right there with him.
Thanks to Sherri Parnell for transcribing this review.