The circle pulled out the hits you know, sounded the way they should and had the near capacity Hard Rock Live clamoring for a 3rd encore.
Maybe you don’t think you know who the circle is but you’d be wrong. The circle is the latest supergroup from Mr Sammy Hagar and it includes long time bandmate (Van Halen, Chickenfoot) Michael Anthony on bass/vocals, Jason Bonham on drums and Wabos own Vic Johnson on guitar. Not only do you know them but you know the set since every single song is a mega hit.
I recall an interview with Sammy recently where he said something like he called it The Circle because it encompasses his entire career; he definitely stayed true to that statement. Reaching all the way back to the Montrose days through his various solo outings, while playing some of the biggest Van Halen hits as well as some Led Zeppelin classics, Sammy proved that at 67 years old you’re never too old to rock.
Kicking off the two hour hit fest with “There’s Only One Way to Rock” that’s what Sammy and The Circle did and did it well. With a video wall and screens around them showing video from days past during songs like “Heavy Metal”, “Right Now” and “Mas Tequila” the crowd was loving and singing along with every minute of this show. Although the show had a great mix about a third of it was devoted to the Van Halen hits that people want to hear from Hagar’s tenure with VH.
Sammy remains a true front man and sounded incredible with the help of the voice of fellow Van Halen alum Michael Anthony. Sammy spent time during songs interacting with fans shaking hands, signing things (license plates, albums, banners, etc) and has no issue sharing the spotlight with his band mates who are all prominently featured on songs throughout the evening. He took a couple of opportunities to plug and drink his latest venture, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, and even poured some shots for fans upfront.
Closing out the show with “Rock and Roll” followed by “When it’s Love”, I would say that this was one of my favorite shows of the year. This show is nothing but fun; hit’s you know, a solid band with great energy and stage presence. The Circle didn’t disappoint on any level and with 50% of the Hagar era Van Halen, I would bet, based on the Kimmel performances, this is a hell of a lot better than what Van Halen fans are in store for later this summer. Sure they are two different bands, two different eras and two different styles but there’s only one way to rock and if you want to do it the right way check out Sammy Hagar and The Circle.
Set List – Hard Rock Live, Orlando Florida 4-27-15
Rock Candy (Montrose song)
Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin cover)
Poundcake (Van Halen song)
I Can’t Drive 55
Right Now (Van Halen song)
Little White Lie
When the Levee Breaks (Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy cover)
Why Can’t This Be Love (Van Halen song)
Runaround (Van Halen song)
Dreams (Van Halen song)
Mas Tequila (Sammy Hagar and The Wabos song)
Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin cover)
When It’s Love