Sammy Hagar doesn’t throw a concert so much as a party. His loyal fans, or Redheads, follow the Red Rocker to wherever he’s serving up his good time rock and roll, which made his stop at Harvey’s in Lake Tahoe something of a reunion for the fans crowding the front row. Visitors from Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Missouri flew into Nevada just for this gig, and those were just a few of the 5,000 plus fans in attendance.
Longstanding sideman Michael Anthony held down his rightful position on stage right, still delivering the harmonies and tasty bass that mark him as the greatest band mate the Van Halen brothers ever let go. Joining him in the rhythm section was Jason Bonham, proudly waving his father Bonzo’s flag on the head of his bass drum. Former Wabo Vic Johnson brought the shred, ably filling Eddie’s shoes on crowd pleasers like “Poundcake” and Jimmy’s on Zep classics “Whole Lotta Love,” “When the Levee Breaks,” and “Good Times Bad Times.”
Zeppelin covers aside, the set list was classic Sammy, from the Montrose years (“Rock Candy”), through his solo era (“I Can’t Drive 55,” “Heavy Metal,” “One Way to Rock”) and the Van Halen years (“When It’s Love,” “Best of Both Worlds,” “Finish What Ya Started,” and more). The Redheads hung on every note, and sang most of them back to the stage. Like I said, Sammy doesn’t throw a concert. He throws a party.