There are certain artists that are a surefire guarantee that you are going to get a fun show when you see them.  Sammy Hagar is one of them.  His shows are the epitome of fun.  I’ve seen him at least three times and every time is just a party that we are all invited to. 

Sammy Hagar and the Circle were at Mystic Lake Casino in Minnesota on March 30, 2018.  The Mystic Lake Casino has really changed since the last time I was there and their showroom for concerts is amazing.  Great sound, extremely comfortable seating, it’s just a great place to see a show.  This show actually wasn’t part of a tour, which was brought up during the show when Sammy said that their crew had no idea what they were going to do next.  It was one off show after they were in Nashville to play Kenny Chesney’s birthday party.  I can only imagine how crazy that was.
For those unaware, Sammy Hagar and The Circle is a mix of Van Halen and Led Zeppelin songs, to make it easy.  If you want to break it down even more, the show also includes songs from Chickenfoot, Sammy Hagar’s solo stuff, and some random covers.  The band is comprised of Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham, and Vic Johnson.  If you’ve ever listened to a rock station in your life, it’s impossible to not know half this setlist.  They opened with “There’s Only One Way to Rock” a wonderful opener that got everyone on their feet and excited.  The first half included songs such as “Poundcake”, “Right Now” and “Why Can’t This be Love?” while the second half included “When the Levee Breaks”, and “Finish What Ya Started”.  A number of Sammy’s solo songs were also on the list, such as “I Can’t Drive 55”, “Little White Lie” and my personal favorite, “Heavy Metal”.
This setlist is filled with songs I grew up with, which may be why I love Sammy Hagar shows so much.  It was full of immense nostalgia and then the Zeppelin songs came in.  As if listening to Van Halen stuff all night wasn’t already enough.    And if everyone is curious, Jason Bonham rocks.  From start to finish, he was perfectly timed and had so much energy.  I very rarely watch drummers so intently at a show, but found myself doing just that through many numbers.  Speaking of watching musicians, Vic Johnson is another one that you could just sit and watch play the guitar.  He makes it look like the easiest thing in the world.
The atmosphere at this show as welcoming enough for everyone to forget how cold it was outside.  The character that Sammy Hagar puts on in his music and videos isn’t a character at all; it’s just him.  He’s all about having a good time and making sure everyone else does too.  Throughout the show, he was signing things for the audience, joking around with his bandmates, and more.  He actually gave me a drink and let my husband sing a little part of “Rock and Roll”.  You could tell that the band just has a great time together, as their energy was constant, they were always smiling, and just really playing off of one another the whole night.  I saw them in Wisconsin a few years back and the energy was the same.  They’re just an entertaining group to be a part of.
There was a really cool acoustic version of “Dreams” done near the end of the show. I really love the original recording of it, but the acoustic one played out very well.  The show ended with  a tribute to John Bonham, with Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”.  It was a killer way to end the show, bookending the amazing opener perfectly.  Oh and Sammy, Thanks for the drink!
Review Tracy Hansen – Photos Kyle Hansen