Cabo Wabo Birthday Bash Tour
On Friday, November 17th, 2000, Michael Healy, Bob Wayne, my wife Barbara Osborn and myself were witness to one of the better lives shows I have seen in my 20+ years of attending concerts. We sat Front Row almost center stage at the Sammy Hagar Ten 13 Tour.
A little background here though. Michael’s Dad has been standing in line to get us tickets (Rockfest Hagar Headlined) now for a couple of years since he is retired he has the extra time. We live over 2 hours from the ticket centers and calling for tickets never seems to work well. Michael’s Dad is 74 years old and when we asked him what the other people thought of him getting tickets, he just says they call him one hip old dude. And that he is.
The evening was great, as the four of us have been attending Hagar shows since I convinced them all to go see him on the Mars tour after he left Van Halen. This was my 8th time to see Sammy live. After we went out to eat we partook in our new tradition of several shots of Sammy’s Cabo Wabo (Vitamin T) Tequila outside Memorial Hall. We then went in to get our seats, we just could not believe we were on the front row.
Sammy started as just about 8:05 with a performance of the "Real Deal" backstage for those who were lucky enough to be on the stage of the cantina. The curtains then went up as Sammy and the Waborita’s lit into "Ten 13."
He played a mixture of hits old and new as you can see from the set list I have enclosed. I think one of the highlights of the evening was taking my 60 year old buddy Bob who during the previous year had had his heart arteries ballooned twice. We told him in the parking lot when he was doing shots that he could not drop dead until after the show, as he had never sat on the front row before.
Bob made a poster that said, "2 heart surgeries this year-but I survived to join the party." When Sammy saw the sign he picked it up and held it up for everyone to see. There was a little problem though – Bob used the symbol of a heart for the sign and Sammy read it as love surgeries, then it registered and he said "NO SHIT – 2 heart surgeries, well then let me take care of you."
He then proceeded to call for one of his waitresses, dressed ever so nicely in their thongs, He then brought Bob one of his famous "waboritas" and told him, "here you go – but if you keel over tonight, it’s not my fault." He signed Bob’s poster and got the security guard to hang onto Bob’s sign until after the show. After Bob drank the Waborita, he and Sammy exchanged high fives and the show continued to rock. Michael, Barbara and I thought that was really cool for Sammy to do this. Bob got everyone but Vic to sign his poster, because he was on the far side from us. "Oh well" Bob said, "There’s always next time."
There was also a young kid about 12 – 13 who sat front row and Sammy signed his shirt, gave him a couple of picks and a bottle of water. Another youngster sat 3 rows back and Sammy also took good care of him. My only wish were that my son who loves Sammy’s music could have been a little older to take to the show (He is only 5, but does like to rock.)
At one point in the show he used one of his older guitars that still plugs into an amp. While he was tearing it down he tripped over the cord, rolled backwards and popped up never missing a beat or lyric except to add, "you’ll never know when it will sneak up on you and kick your ass." Sorry I can’t remember the song, but it was a very cool adlib.
Another highlight was the mixed medley of songs by the Who and George Thourghgood. Also a highlight for me was an acoustic version of "Both Sides Now." After he performed "55" the band tool a few minutes backstage and then closed the show with "Marching to Mars" and an acoustical (almost acappello) version of Cabo Wabo (very cool indeed).
Again, Sammy’s shows are truly an experience and a party as he says. The evening was fantastic and was even better because I could attend it with the "Red Heads" from Iola, Kansas. The only way that this show could have been any better was to be up on stage at the Cantina, but then we would not have been "Upfront Fanatics." And as Bob said above there is always next time. We plan on going to Tulsa to the Brady Theater this summer. He has played there on the last two tours and we are only hoping that he comes back.
Thanks to Tim Osborn for the review!