Sammy Hagar still knows how to throw one heck of a beach party. It didn’t matter in this case that the “beach” was a damp parking lot in the Detroit suburbs, thousands of miles from his typical home base in tropical Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Fans began meeting early in the day, putting out food, playing games (including cornhole) and often just sitting and enjoying themselves as music from throughout Hagar’s career blasted out of stereos across the grounds.
Backstage, the atmosphere was no less festive. “I’m going to leave you guys here. Stop stealing my shit,” Hagar joked after an interview. The former Van Halen the singer’s wardrobe case was packed with red sneakers and extras of his trademark aviator sunglasses: “Put these on, everyone looks cooler with shades,” he told UCR. “Trust me.” There were also plenty of on-brand T-shirts, especially the one that said, “But first, Tequila.”
Hagar revealed that he had received pushback from traders about his idea to open with “Crazy Times,” the title track from Circle’s upcoming album the same name. They suggested that Hagar place it between a couple of Van Halen songs. “Fuck it, I’ll open with it,” he said.
He did just that, not long after our conversation, as the second part of the Circle’s ongoing tour with George Thorogood started in Aug. 23. The track made its debut that night in front of a packed house at the Pine Knob Music Theater and served as a high-energy lead into the classic chaser of 1982’s “There’s Only One Way to Rock” Standing Hampton. You can see a selection of photos from Hagar’s visit in the gallery below.
The rest of the night was filled with a mix of Van Halen and Hagar classics as fans anticipate the upcoming live debut of Circle’s reproduction of at Elvis Costello “Pump it up.” Hagar and the members of the band have been rehearsing it – and offered the crowd a pre-recorded preview in the form of the video for the song that played out late in the night.
Sammy Hagar and the Circle in Detroit, Aug. 23, 2022
Five little-known Van Halen ‘Poundcake’ facts