Concert Stubs: Sammy Hagar - Feb. 16th, 1985
McNichols Arena, Denver CO
Tour Promoting Album: VOA (1984)
Well, everybody has it. The best concert they ever went to. Have seen quite a few acts throughout the years, and this concert is without a doubt, the best concert I ever saw. Whether it was due to me being a huge Sammy fan, a testosterone-laden young man, an American patriot, or most likely a combination of all of those, this concert ranks #1 in my books. I doubt it will ever be topped, although there are a few shows that came real close!
Saw this show with my buddies and bandmates Tony and Mike. Mike and I had tickets. We talked Tony into going to the show. We figured we could get a ticket from a scalper there. We arrived fired up at "Big Mac" ready to rock. We did manage to hook Tony up with a scalper's ticket. Because the opening act had already started, the kid was ready to unload the ticket. Tony got in for $10. I think the opening act was um, White Lion? Can't remember. I do remember that the guitarist was playing a white Doubleneck guitar during the closing of their act. Bah, I'll have to see if I can find out who was on tour with Sammy back then.
Tony's assigned seat was actually across the arena from ours. I told Tony not to worry, that where we were sitting, nobody would be checking tickets anyway. He came down and was hanging with Mike and I. Then the show started. MAN! Sammy came loaded for bear and didn't disappoint. Sammy had SOOOO much energy. It was truly electric in that arena that night. Moreso than anywhere else I had been. Band in true 80's fashion, had their "uniforms" on.
He was running everywhere, playing his ass off. Bill Church was really on it that night as well. Cruising through the night with solid, fluid, and sometimes gut-crunching bass. Sammy did the "local" tie-in. He talked about arriving at Stapleton airport, meeting fans etc. That segued into a (planned I'm sure) story about a guy pulling up in a Jeep and yelling "Suckers Walk, Money Talks, but it can't touch my Three Lock Box . . . " Well, we were just floored. I was yelling and screaming like crazy, pumping my fists in unison with everyone else. It was really nuts.
Sammy was climbing the rigging with his guitar strapped to his back. He was also using one of the earliset versions of a headset mic. He needed to as much as he was moving around. It was something else. Well, my voice was starting to fade a bit by the end of the show. I remember people throwing all kinds of stuff on the stage. Banners, stuffed toys, underwear (from the females) etc. Sammy commented on one fan who was holding up a "Cruisin and Boozin'" sign. I remember him saying something like, "Now that is one of our OLD fans!" Sammy didn't play the song though.
Well, to start off the encore, all the house lights went down. It was a sweaty, charged up, electrified audience in there. When the spotlight came on, there was Sammy on top of the highest rigging. He started blasting out his version of the "Star Spangled Banner" on a red explorer (don't remember if it was a Dean or a Hamer) draped in an American flag. I about lost it. I mean, damn, he was just getting the audience so fired up. After that, he broke in to VOA. By the end of the tune, fireworks started going off. The entire audience was screaming "VOA" at the top of their lungs. It was just crazy.
After the show, we were still fired up. I was screaming at Tony, "See aren't you glad you went now?!?!?!" See, Tony was on the fence of going the whole time. I think to this day he is glad that he went.
My voice was shot for a few days after this show. HA HA! It was worth it!
Were you at this show? e-mail me at email@example.com and tell your experience/comments. I will post them here.