Happy Birthday to Sammy, 72 years and counting!

October 15, 2019

Sammy’s highly anticipated Birthday Bash at the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico brought the “Redheads” out en masse. Some waited three days in a line that wrapped around the city block, with blow up furniture, coolers and tarps for as far as the eye could see.

The weather was hot, with humidity up in the 90s, yet the fans' spirits were even higher. Once the doors opened all 500+ found a place inside for the the first show (a FREE one) on Tuesday, October 8th. As showtime neared there was a low roar of anticipation and when the lights dimmed at 9:30pm it grew into a full-blown riot of screams and applause – an appropriate start to this year’s annual Birthday Bash that lasted all week long!

Sammy hit the stage with Mona Gnader, David Lauser and Vic Johnson for a reunion of the Wabos and the fans drank it down all night. This lineup hadn't played together since 2015, but it was just like riding a bike.

As is tradition, the set list changed each show and for these shows with the Wabos was packed with deep tracks from the Red Rocker's career. Songs he hasn’t played for 15-20 years or more, like “Turn Up The Music”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekend“, “Sympathy For The Humans“, “Shaka Doobie” and “Baby's On Fire“. The Montrose classics “Space Station Number #5”, “Make It Last”, and “Bad Motor Scooter” brought the house down. But of course the show wasn’t complete without Van Halen hits “Top Of The World“, “Why Can’t This Be Love”, “Best Of Both Worlds” and many more, along with Sammy solo hits everyone knows and loves. With a selection of songs like that, no one walked away without hearing their favorite songs!

Special guest Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains joined Sammy on stage for their hit, “Man in the Box” as well as “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”. It was a brilliant mastery of sounds and a statement to the diversity that is Sammy Hagar’s voice. Every year the special guests change and every year the set list is just as powerful!

Long-time friend, brother-from-another-mother, and bandmate Michael Anthony rocked the bass barefoot and why not, it’s a Cabo tradition! Mikey is truly the "Life of the Party”, not to mention one of the world's sauciest bass players (pun intended #madanthonyshotsauce!) Wabo Vic Johnson, who also handles lead guitar for Sammy Hagar and The Circle (who will be back on tour in 2020), took the fans on a journey with his face-melting solos and incendiary sound. Vic also has a knack for style - did you see those shorts, oooh-weeee those were hot!

No stranger to social media, Sammy pushed the Cantina’s wifi to its limit, going live on Instagram for a few songs. It was a much appreciated gesture by fans across the globe, as many fans were not lucky enough to win the lottery to purchase tickets to these most-desired intimate party-vibe performances.

The genuine flow of love going from stage to crowd and back again, was electric. True to his close connection with his fans, Sammy signed many personal items while performing without missing a beat, and often wore tossed-up jerseys, hats and homemade flags, all while sharing drinks with the fans and telling stories. His commitment and loyalty to his relationship with fans is irrefutable: they love Sammy and Sammy loves them.

Not willing to let the party die down between Sammy’s shows, the Cantina also hosted free shows on Thursday (Bullet Boys) and Saturday (Roger Cline & The Peacemakers) in addition to shows earlier in the week with Aunt Mary (Oct 4 & 5). More than enough to keep the party going!

It was a week making once-in-a-lifetime memories and an amazing time was had by all. Not even a storm could stop this party! In the words of Sammy, "Happy Birthday to me, 72 years, let’s do another 28"!

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