Sammy Hagar Rocks the Rooftop on the Vegas Strip
Recently I took a trip to Las Vegas and I had no intention of working, just checking out how Vegas was doing and relaxing at the pool. Then one of my favorite rockers, Sammy Hagar, announced he was going to play the first rooftop show in Sin City. I have photographed Sammy many times when he has played in my home state of Florida. I have been a fan of Sammy’s, since 1975 at the age of 16, when I was handed the first “Montrose” album and was totally blown away by tunes like “Rock Candy” and “Make It Last”.
Sammy the entrepreneur was promoting his new product, “Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktails” which are flavored rum cocktails in a can which you take to the beach, picnic or almost anywhere. There was a contest for 50 winners along with invited guests only to the Paris Hotel Beer Park which is above the Strip across from the Bellagio hotel. A great outdoor bar and restaurant, Beer Park became a new addition to the Strip scene in 2019.
Upon arrival, the Beer Park was decorated with beach balls, bikini girls and the smell of rum in the air made you feel like you were almost at the beach! The band was doing sound check sans Sammy and excited fan winners were arriving. Photographers were directed to stage right and video crews were stage left. Sound check ended and the party was getting started with sampling the Beach Bar cocktails in flavors of Tangerine, Cherry, Pineapple and Island Pop. There was free swag being tossed around, the crowd grew and everyone was waiting in excited anticipation for the arrival of Sammy & The Circle!
Sammy, his beautiful wife Kari and the Circle arrived by elevator to the small stage setup on the rooftop. They were all stoked for the show and the crowd was ready! Opening with Sammy solo hits “There’s Only One Way to Rock” and “Heavy Metal”, the Redheads were on full blast! Next in line came the Van Halen hits with Sammy’s pal from VH and the Circle’s Mad Michael Anthony on bass. “Why Can’t This Be Love” and this writer’s fav, “Right Now”. Special guest Mona from the Waborita’s sang background with the Circle! At this point, crowds had gathered on the Strip sidewalks and right down the median of the Strip. Hundreds of people singing along with Sammy as he was playing and talking to the people on the street and the Beer Park. It created some pandemonium on the Strip and of course the Las Vegas Police Department showed up but they were very cool about letting the crowd watch the show, just keeping them off the median and out of the street. Cars were honking as they passed by. At the same time the Bellagio Fountains made their appearance which added a piece of iconic Las Vegas to this extravaganza.
Sammy had everyone singing along to his 1984 megahit, “I Can’t Drive 55”; the whole Strip could hear it! “Mas Tequila” was another crowd favorite. Vic Johnson on guitar is a master and Jason Bonham on the drums kept the pounding beat. Sammy thanked the LV police for working to allow the crowd to watch the show and the encore song was Van Halen’s, “Finish What Ya Started”. This was not meant to be a full show; it started before sunset and ended after sunset. Sammy & the Circle headed down to Sammy’s restaurant on the Strip, “Cabo Wabo” to continue the party. The Paris Hotel Beer Park did a great job hosting the first rooftop show in Las Vegas with a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and a guy who knows how to throw a great musical party, Sammy Hagar.
Vicky Sullivan Photos