The Sands Event Center in Bethlehem has hands down become the Lehigh Valley’s best concert venue in the past year, mainly due to their uncanny ability to pull in a wide variety of musical talent and even some musical legends. Last Saturday their stage was graced by yet another one of the biggest names in rock n’roll history, the one and only Red Rocker. Yes that’s right, Sammy Hagar was in the house for an amazing performance that showcased his now 4 decade long music career. Most will probably know him for his time with Van Halen, a period in the band’s history that lasted from ’85 until ’96 that saw Sammy Hagar become the frontman he always deserved to be. Before the Van Hagar saga began, Sammy was in a band known as Montrose that delivered hits like “Bad Motor Scooter.”
Why does this matter? I’m trying to paint you a picture of just how much material Sammy Hagar had to choose from to make his setlist for the Sands Event Center show. Our younger readers will probably know him best as the lead singer of the rock supergroup, Chickenfoot. Sadly none of those songs made an appearance last Saturday but they didn’t need to because the performance shined without them.
Sammy Hagar and his band, “The Wabos,” emerged to a three song medley of Montrose song that was specifically aimed to all the old school fans in the audience that night. The venue wasn’t entirely sold out and you could see a few empty seats towards the back but there were still at least 3,000 people who attended this evening of rock n’ roll history. After the medley, Hagar and the band took us on a journey as they progressed from song to song in his career. There were solo hits like “Can’t Drive 55,” Van Halen ballads like “Why Can’t This Be Love,” and brand new heavy material like “Knockout Dragout.” I don’t want to spoil the entire setlist for any reader who is still planning on making it out to one of those shows but let me just say that you won’t be disappointed with the progression of the evening and it is aksi safe to say you will be surprised a few times along the way as well.
In terms of production Hagar and his band rank among the top that have performed on the Sands Event Center stage. Their set up featured three large LED screens behind the drum kit that continually flashed imagery from videos, album covers, tours, and more to help visualize the whole 4 decades of rock concept. Being that Sammy Hagar is known as the “Red Rocker,” it was safe to assume that the colors would match and they did but not overwhelmingly so with the red light being complimented with beautiful yellows and purples. As always at the Sands, the band was lit with spotlights so there wasn’t a bad angle to view the performance from in the entire house.
This is the part you are waiting for the most I would imagine, am I going to recommend going to see Sammy Hagar on this tour? Well, of course! Sammy Hagar is one of the few musicians in the rock industry that I would actually say has gotten better with each decade he’s been making music. Just when you think you have him all figured out he goes and changes the game all over again. His talent is ageless and this is why he continues to pack arenas with fans both young and old. All and all Hagar and delivered a memorable evening for everyone in attendance and I hope you feel persuaded to go experience 4 decades of rock history for yourself.
Be sure to check out our exclusive photo gallery from the Sands Event Center show below and as always thanks for checking out Sight of Sound Magazine :