Roth & Hagar Tour Gets Underway

May 30, 2002

May 30, 2002

David Lee Roth & Sammy Hagar Tour Gets Underway
Thu May 30, 4:57 PM ET

(5/30/02, 5 p.m. ET) -- David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar might not be fond of Van Halen these days, but they're certainly--and justifiably--proud of the music they made during their separate tenures fronting that band. Thus, it wasn't surprising that Van Halen songs were the stars of the show when the two singers opened their joint summer tour on Wednesday (May 29) at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

With fans turning out in vintage Van Halen tour T-shirts--and at least one
whose back read "Who the F#@! is Eddie Van Halen?"--Hagar kicked the night
off with an energetic 90-minute set that was also designed to remind the
crowd that he had a career of his own both before and after his 11 years
(1985-96) with the band.

Following a 15-minute highlights film, a yellow-clad Hagar led his band, the
Waboritas, to the stage, which was flanked by two grandstands of concert
winners. While on stage, a pair of scantily clad "waitresses" served Hagar
drinks throughout the show--which he, in turn, shared with fans in the front
row, even mixing his own margarita (er, waborita) at one point.

Eight of Hagar's 17 songs came from his days with Van Halen, with the
Montrose classic "Rock Candy" dropped from the setlist because of time
restrictions. Hagar sampled liberally from his solo albums, ranging from
1977's "Red" to the speed limit protest "I Can't Drive 55" and the more
recent "Mas Tequila," the latter of which ended with Hagar breaking a pinata
shaped like one of his Cabo Wabo tequila bottles.

Hagar did refer to Roth as "my buddy" during the set, but he made his
feelings about Van Halen known when presented with a cardboard stand-up
figure of Edward Van Halen, which he proceeded to slap in the head.

With strained vocals and a four-piece band that never quite seemed to lock
in as tightly as it should, the high-kicking Roth didn't quite pick up
Hagar's gauntlet, but he had the benefit of great material, including a
large selection of vintage Van Halen songs that haven't been heard by
audiences in years. Playing just one solo selection, "Yankee Rose," in his
80-minute, 19-song set, Roth dazzled the crowd with metallic renditions of
"Panama," "And The Cradle Will Rock...," "Dance The Night Away," "Beautiful
Girls," "Unchained," and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love," as well as Halenized
covers of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" and Roy Orbison's "(Oh) Pretty

But Roth really sent the Halenheads over the top with the album tracks he
pulled out, such as "I'm The One," "Little Dreamer," "Ice Cream Man," and
"Atomic Punk" from Van Halen's 1978 debut, as well as seldom-heard fare like
"So This Is Love?" and "Everybody Wants Some."

Guitarist Brian Young did a good job of replicating Edward Van Halen's
best-known licks and solos, while Roth spoke sparingly with the crowd and
didn't reference his former band by name at any point.

The Hagar/Roth tour continues Friday (May 31) at the DTE Energy Music
Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan, and since the two singers are alternating
spots, Hagar will close that show.

The full opening night setlists included:

Sammy Hagar
"Red," "Runaround," "Three Lock Box," "There's Only One
Way To Rock," "Give To Live," "Top Of The World," "Why Can't This Be Love,"
"5150," "Poundcake," "Finish What Ya Started," "Eagles Fly," "Little White
Lies," "I Can't Drive 55," "Heavy Metal," and "Mas Tequila," with the
encores "Dreams" and "Right Now."

David Lee Roth
"Hot For Teacher," "Panama," "And The Cradle Will Rock...," "Mean Street," "Dance The Night Away," "Runnin' With The Devil,"
"I'm The One," "You Really Got Me," "Beautiful Girls," "So This Is Love?",
"Atomic Punk," "Little Dreamer," "(Oh) Pretty Woman," "Yankee Rose," "Ice
Cream Man," "Everybody Wants Some," "Unchained," and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout
Love," with the encore "Jump."
-- Gary Graff, Detroit