SAMMY HAGAR / DAVID LEE ROTH
Sam and Dave Tour 2002
Gorge at George
Washington

Billed as the Sam And Dave show 2002, this unique spectacle gave audiences the chance to see the two legendary frontmen share the same stage together. What was once thought completely absurd became reality in a fitting tribute to Van Halen.

DAVID LEE ROTH, the infamous frontman of Van Halen from 1978 to 1985, packed 90% of his set with vintage VH. 'Hot For Teacher', 'And the Cradle Will Rock', 'Runnin' With The Devil', 'You Really Got Me' and 'Atomic Punk' were just a few of his best. Wearing a blue lame, form-fitting suite from head to toe, and with his peroxide blonde hair and golden tan, he stuck out from as far back as the fenced off lawn section. One must admit, the man was defiantly fit - just as flexible as he was in the 1980s maybe even more so. He may be a bit zany but he is limber, toned and built to rock.

On the down side his hair is massively thinning and his voice is going. Several times in the set he struggled for his signature high notes - particularly on 'Runnin' With the Devil’ and 'And the Cradle Will Rock.' His guitar player did an expert job of stepping in and nailing the high notes when Dave just couldn’t get it up there. But, that aside, the show was superb. Roth lives, eats and breaths show business and that was what he came to deliver.

There was the occasional bout with Hagar from the mic – but it was more of a friendly joust than a bitter rivalry. Most of the time is was just business as usual. During 'Mean Street'a large screen descended and projected a collage of Dave’s finer film moments. There were snippets to his videos which would correlate with certain song like 'Yankee Rose', 'You Really Got Me' and 'So This Is Love?' Some of it was funny, some was karate shit with a staff and some was just plain whacked.

Surprising everyone, Dave excused the band at one point and stepped forward strapping on an acoustic guitar and launching in to 'Ice Cream Man.' It was actually riveting to watch him carry it off alone – and he nailed it dead on bringing a loud, extended applause from the 13,000 in the house. It must be noted that Roth’s band was top-notch. His guitar player was spot on and played Eddie and Vai note perfect. His rhythm section held steady and never out flashed the man whose name was on the marquee.

In perfect Roth fashion it was the wind up that mattered most. 'Everybody Wants Some', 'Unchained' and 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love' closed the show. After a thunderous applause he came out to do the “Roth” splits from the drum riser and take it home with 'Jump'. This was as close as one might ever get to see the mightiness of what was once the greatest band in North American – maybe even the world - and it was good to see Dave (almost 50) still in his prime.

David Lee Roth set list:

Hot for Teacher
Panama
And the Cradle Will Rock
Mean Street
Dance the Night Away
Runnin' With the Devil
I'm the One
Eruption
You Really Got Me
Beautiful Girls
So This Is Love?
Atomic Punk
Little Dreamer
(Oh) Pretty Woman
Yankee Rose
Ice Cream Man
Everybody Wants Some
Unchained
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

Encore:
Jump


SAMMY HAGAR AND THE WABORITAS: Sammy Hagar had the distinctive honor for following the number one showman in rock both tonight and in Van Halen. However, Hagar had a very successful solo career before VH, during VH and after VH. He started in Montrose in the early ‘70s and then blazed his own trail for nearly a decade. In 1985, after coming off a world tour in support of the multiplatinum "VOA" (generated by the smash hit 'I Can’t Drive 55') Hagar got a call from Eddie Van Halen. The next ten years would see both Hagar and Van Halen reach the highest level of their careers as a team unstoppable.

There has been some pander of Hagar as of late naming him the Jimmy Buffett of rock. This may have started with Roth in the press but does strike a somewhat true chord when the lights go up and the stage has been designed to reflect Hagar’s Cabo Wabo cantina in Mexico. The show is instantly turned into a frat party gone wild complete with stripper waitresses and free flowing alcohol. Hagar lines the backdrop with hand-selected concert attendees who shout and wave during the band’s entire set.

Hagar himself comes out dressed like a yellow beach bum wearing bright red tennis shoes. His band, consisting of guitarist Vic Johnson, keyboardist Jesse Harms, bassist Mona, and drummer David Lauser, are loud and having the time of there lives. 'Red' got the party started and 'Runaround', 'Three Lock Box' and 'There's Only One Way To Rock' kept it that way.

While a member of Van Halen, Hagar needed to fulfill contractual obligations to his solo deal and cut a single disc. It yielded a number 10 hit called 'Give To Live', which he used to segued into the middle of his set. 'Give to Live', 'Top of the World' and 'Why Can't This Be Love' all merged the best of Van Hagar. Then the band pealed off the hits one right after another. '5150', 'Poundcake', 'Finish What Ya Started' (with a comical story involving Roth) and 'Eagles Fly' encapsulated a time of radio monsters.

When Hagar left VH in 1996 the entire incident became a media sensation, ensuring that Hagar's 1997 solo album "Marching to Mars" would be greeted with much media-generated fanfare. It sold surprisingly well, peaking in the Top 20 and re-establishing Hagar as a viable solo act. 'Little White Lie' came from that record and it still a killer live. Keeping the momentum going were 'I Can't Drive 55' and 'Heavy Metal.'

Hagar followed his second wave of solo success two years later with "Red Voodoo" (1999) on the strength of the Gary Glitter inspired single 'Mas Tequila.' The band stretched this one out giving Hagar a chance to party with his mates on stage bringing out his own special “blue” tequila and passing it around. Stopping just long enough to catch his breath Hagar and friends returned to do a rousing rendition of 'Dreams' and 'Right Now.' He closed the night by thanking the crowd. “Man, we appreciate you coming out to see us,” he said sincerely. “We know there are a lot of Van Halen fans out there. We did this for you. Thanks for the support.”

*Photo by Red Randy

Sammy Hagar set list:

Red
Runaround
Three Lock Box
There's Only One Way to Rock
Give to Live
Top of the World / Why Can't This Be Love
5150
Poundcake
Finish What Ya Started
Eagles Fly
Little White Lies
I Can't Drive 55
Heavy Metal
Mas Tequila

Encore:
Dreams
Right Now