With his gold discs on the wall and money in the bank, Sammy Hagar is in the enviable position of the gentleman rocker: he does what he wants, when he likes. And what he likes right now is The Circle, probably the best bar band in the Western world.
“The Circle is so satisfying I don’t even see a reason to make a record,” he says, and there’s a logic behind that notion. Joined by his old Van Halen compadre Michael Anthony, his solo band guitarist Vic Johnson and drummer Jason Bonham, he can offer a setlist that runs through Montrose, Hagar’s solo work, Van Halen, Chickenfoot and – stretching a point, but why not – Led Zeppelin.
There’s perhaps too much of the latter (Good Times Bad Times, Whole Lotta Love, When The Levee Breaks, Rock And Roll and a Bonham drum solo) but that’s a minor cavil: this is a big, boozy night out with a band supple enough to swap from the hard stuff – Rock Candy, Poundcake – to the dazzling AOR of When It’s Love and Dreams, all topped by one of the great voices of the age./o:p