The Circle with Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Vic Johnson and Jason Bonham.
Kansas City Speedway, Rockfest, Kansas City Kansas 6/3/17
This was a great surprise at the end of the night for me. I had not seen Sammy Hagar since 1984 “VOA” tour at the St. Paul Civic Center. I have wholeheartedly boycotted Van Hagar. It’s not because the music was bad, in my opinion it became a different band. Van Halen is David Lee Roth in my opinion. Having said that though I’ve never stopped liking Sammy Hagar’s music and there are several Van Halen tunes I actually like.
I was looking forward to seeing Sammy Hagar because it’s been so long but I was unsure what he would be doing. It was billed as a solo show and not as The Circle. Boy am I glad that it turned out the way it did. It was a true treat to see Michael Anthony again, he such an incredible musician and was the heart of all of the background vocals for Van Halen. Vic Johnson the guitar player is also absolutely amazing. This is the first time I’ve seen them live but I’ve seen many shows over the years on VH1 and other networks featuring Vic. He nailed all of the Eddie Van Halen stuff to a T. He didn’t improvise he just played it the way it should be played. As for Jason Bonham? What can you say about the son of the legendary John Bonham from Led Zeppelin. I’ve never seen Jason play live and he is an incredible musician in his own right. Oddly enough the coolest thing I’ve ever seen him do was a role he played in the fake band Steel Dragon in the movie Rockstar.
As for Sammy Hagar himself, the thing that stuck out to me the most about this show is how much fun he was having. He seems like one of the good guys that you just want to root for. He mentioned that he’d been there all day filming different segments with several of the bands that were at the festival. He currently does a show on AXS TV called Rock ‘N Roll Roadshow.
Their set was one of the highlights of the festival. They pulled out all the stops and played songs from Montrose like “Rock Candy” all the way up through Chickenfoot. He even pulled out some songs I wouldn’t expect them to do like “Little White Lies”. They did my favorite Hagar era Van Halen song, “Poundcake”. But the true highlight for me was the amount of songs he did off of his 1982 release “Standing Hampton”. To me that’s Sammy Hagar at his best. In addition to pay tribute to the late John Bonham they pulled out several Led Zeppelin songs including “Rock ‘N Roll”.
Overall it was an absolutely fantastic experience and I will definitely go see them again when given the opportunity. My only regret is that I waited this long to see them.
Review and pHotos by tommy Sommers