Tinley Park, IL – Sammy Hagar and his newest super group The Circle, stopped by the Hollywood Casino Amphiteatre in support of the groups’ recent release of all original material, Space Between. The band features Jason Bonham – the son of the late and great Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, former Busboys guitarist Vic Johnson – who is also his longtime guitarist from the Waboritas since he was in Van Halen, and Michael Anthony – former bassist for Van Halen and frequent collaborator with Chickenfoot. The band also happened to bring additional friends with them, Don Felder of Eagles fame and Vince Neil of Motley Crue. Both of whom performed short opening sets to kick off the night.
First up was Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and former Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder. While he didn’t play any of his new music from his latest release American Rock ‘n’ Roll, he did perform several hits that he helped make famous during his tenure with the Eagles. Felder opened up his set with “Already Gone”, and then followed that up with “One of These Nights”. While his set only contained songs by the Eagles, the crowd was still enthusiastic to his performance and even sang along and danced in the aisles and up in the lawn seats to the music. Felder also performed “Heartache Tonight”, “Life in the Fast Lane” and the clear cut crowd favorite of the evening – “Hotel California”, which closed out his otherwise impressive set.
Former Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil took to the stage next. He was backed up by Slaughter members Dana Strum on bass, guitarist Jeff Blando and Zoltan Chaney on drums. If you have not seen Zoltan Chaney performing in concert with Slaughter or Vince Neil, he’s well worth the price of admission alone for his playing style behind the drumkit. While this wasn’t a Motley Crue show, with the band having officially “retired” in 2015, the lack of pyro, scantily clad backup singers and a circus-like atmosphere, Vince has kept on performing his solo material as well as the hits of Motley Crue over the last few years. Tonight’s performance, however, was all about songs from the Crue. The band started up with “Dr. Feelgood” which got the crowds energy pumping right off the bat. It’s not that hard to imagine that those in attendance for Sammy Hagar & The Circle, would also be keen on Motley Crue’s music as well. Vince welcomed the crowd and then continued into “Shout at the Devil”, encouraging those in the crowd to sing along. The band wrapped up their set with “Wildside”, a long time Motley Crue favorite with the crowd, that also featured Zoltan Chaney climbing to the top of the amplifiers and jumping down about 10 feet to his drum kit to finish off the set.
The Circle has been touring together since 2014. But it’s only until recently that the supergroup consisting of Sammy Hagar, Jason Bonham, Michael Anthony and a hobbled Vic Johnson with a broken leg that he suffered during a show a few nights earlier, have released their first album of all original material. The album features very intimate and introspective eye-openers to heart-pumping anthems. The music on the album draws from the bands’ substantial careers independently and collaboratively, that presents a veteran band performing at the peak of their game. They took to the stage kicking off their 2 hour night in front of a near capacity crowd with “Trust Fund Baby”, their lead track from their latest release Space Between. It’s hard to imagine with Hagar’s youthful appearance and exuberance, that the man is 71 years old. Clearly, music is keeping him, as well as his bandmates, all looking and feeling young.
Tonight’s setlist contained a great mixture of Sammy Hagar’s solo efforts, along with songs from his time spend in Montrose and Van Halen, as well as showcasing new songs from Space Between. Introducing some of the songs, Sammy would call out a year, like 1984 – and then start playing “I Can’t Drive 55”, or shouting out, “The year was 1977!” and then launched into “Rock Candy” from Montrose. The band also performed a kick-ass rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”, with Jason Bonham doing his father most proud pounding it out on the drums. With the crowd already in a frenzy high, the band performed several Van Halen hits including “Poundcake”, “Finish What Ya Started” and “Best of Both Worlds”. For the entire 2 hour set, I don’t think anyone sat down. They might have paid for the seat, but the reality was they didn’t need it with Sammy and The Circle up on the stage performing crowd favorites. Sammy talked a bit about the latest album title – about people needing not to be left or right but needing to occupy the space between the two and for us to come together and be more in the middle ground. This also got a roaring response from those in attendance. The band looked great and sounded even better all evening long.
A perfect example of this was when the band played “Can’t Hang” off the new album, with Vic Johnson playing amazing steel guitar. Michael Anthonys’ high pitched backing vocals were also prominent throughout the evening and harmonized wonderfully with Vic Johnson. The band finished off the evening with “Best of Both Worlds” from Van Halen’s 1986 release 5150 and then closed out their set with “Affirmation” from their latest release. Overall, a fantastic night musically. If you’re a fan of anything done by Sammy Hagar or Van Halen, you’ll want to pick up their newest release, and also catch them while they’re out on the road. The show will certainly not disappoint you.
Show Date: June 7, 2019
DON FELDER Photo Gallery
Don Felder Set List:
One of These Nights
Life in the Fast Lane
VINCE NEIL Photo Gallery
Vince Neil Set List:
Shout at the Devil
Looks That Kill
Home Sweet Home
Kickstart My Heart
Girls, Girls, Girls
SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE Photo Gallery
Sammy Hagar & The Circle Set List:
Trust Fund Baby
There’s Only One Way To Rock (Sammy Hagar)
Three Lock Box (Sammy Hagar)
Poundcake (van Halen)
I Can’t Drive 55 (Sammy Hagar)
Finish What Ya Started (Van Halen)
Right Now (Van Halen)
Rock Candy (Montrose)
Devil Came to Philly
Full Circle Jam (Chump Change)
Why Can’t This Be Love (Van Halen)
Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin)
Heavy Metal (Sammy Hagar)
Mas Tequila (Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas)
Eagles Fly (Sammy Hagar)
When It’s Love (Van Halen)
Best of Both Worlds (Van Halen)