The biggest Rock Party and Crazy Times were had Saturday night September 10 at Fivepoint Amphitheater in Irvine, CA as Sammy Hagar & The Circle along with George Thorogood & The Destroyers played an old school rock n roll show as part of the Crazy Times North American Tour. On the tail end of a classic SoCal heat-wave that had temperatures over 100 degrees for several days prior, this particular night was overcast with an unusually high level of humidity for these parts but that did not stop the die-hards from missing this soirée.
With Thorogood’s many drinking themed songs and Hagars portfolio of spirit companies there was no way anybody was drinking alone on this night. Singer/Songwriter Chris Trapper started off the night with a 30-minute acoustic set that provided a nice soundtrack as the fans gathered inside the venue.
About 7:30pm the lights dropped and George Thorogood and The Destroyers took the stage opening with “Rock Party” and what a perfect song to start the night. Between the perfect vocals and the guitar picking, Thorogood quickly reminded you that he may be a bit older but is still a wildman onstage. Joined by his band The Destroyers that includes drummer Jeff Simon who has been with Thorogood since 1973, guitarist Jim Suhler, Buddy Leach on saxophone and for this tour the incredible Rev Jones on bass.
These cats had everyone in party mode with “I Drink Alone” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” and of course the night ended with “Bad to the Bone”. This 10-song set really resonated with the crowd who was a bit more on the 50-something side and Hagar truly chose the PERFECT band to prime the crowd.
Now Sammy Hagar is one of the most under-rated rockers out there but if you really think about his career, it is truly amazing. Lead vocalist for Montrose, successful solo career, Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductee as a member of the mighty Van Halen, member of supergroup Chickenfoot and now playing with The Circle that includes Michael Anthony on bass, Vic Johnson on guitar and Mr. Jason Bonham on drums – WOW!!
The band hit the stage and cranked out their amazing new single “Crazy Times” then into an incredible setlist of Montrose, Van Halen and solo Red Rockerar classics – this show was stacked with no filler. Johnson playing a Peavy Wolfgang guitar brought out the power-drill for the beginning of “Poundcake” as Hagar put aside his guitar and pranced around the stage interacting and joking around with both Johnson and Michael Anthony. Anthony and Hagar have been blood-brothers since the Van Halen days and are truly meant to play together and yes Anthony still nails those iconic backing vocals.
Jason Bonham needs no introduction and does a superb job behind the drum-kit – his favorite part of the night is no doubt a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock n Roll” as Anthony trades off lead vocals with Hagar on this one. Johnson is a bit reserved onstage but a killer guitar player as he just nails all the EVH (RIP) parts so well. This band is just balls out FUN from start to finish – lots of in-between song conversations and joking – these guys give the fans the total experience when you see them live.
Hagar continues to defy the aging process as he looks amazing and sounds even better – maybe a sign we all should be drinking more Tequilla. The band proved on this night “There’s Only One Way to Rock” as they ended their time onstage with “Eagles Fly” and finally “Cabo Wabo”. Be sure to pickup Sammy Hagar & The Circle’s new album – Crazy Times – when it hits the streets on September 30.
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