Concert Review: Sammy Hagar and the Circle and what the St. Louis Blues had to do with Sammy and his marriage to Kari Karte.
Sammy did what Sammy does. At his show on Sunday night at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, the St. Louis crowd was euphoric after a Cards game, a Blues playoff win, and they celebrated the best way they knew how: SammyFrickinHagar, of course!
Due to the report of severe storms on Saturday night, the show was postponed one day. The night couldn’t have been more perfect for concertgoers at what we all know as “Riverport”.
At 8:14pm, the lights go down and the thunderous roar of the crowd signals that it’s about to go down. Sammy tore open the show with band’s first single, “Trust Fund Baby”, from their latest album, Space Between. A legion of Hagar classics, from Montrose, to solo, to Van Halen, and back raucously followed.
Sammy played to the crowd and constantly showed his appreciation to the dedication of his most die-hard fan base of Red Heads here in St. Louis. With a seemingly go-with-the-flow approach to the show, he showed his strong relation to STL by letting go and rocking out without a carefully constructed plan.
He shared his personal stories that are unique to his experiences in St. Louis. One of which included his credit in part to the St. Louis Blues for his marriage to his [now] wife, Kari Karte. Following their performance of “I Can’t Drive 55”, Sammy shared a story from circa 1992. He went on to say that Van Halen was scheduled to do a show in St. Louis, but they had one night off. The boys decided to catch a Blues game at the old St. Louis Arena, f.k.a. “The Checkerdome”, a.k.a. “The Barn”. Sammy had just began courting a statuesque blonde. Before the game, Sammy, his lady, and the boys from Van Halen decided to pre-game hard on margaritas which led to the demise of the Red Rocker’s ability to hold his own alcohol. He passed out and missed the entire game. He went on to say that at some point, he woke up in his hotel room and his girlfriend was gone. With no recollection of the events of the prior evening or how he managed to get back to his hotel room, panic set in. Tearing through the hotel room, he stumbled upon his beautiful lady sprawled out in all of her drunk-sick glory while she was out cold on the bathroom floor. He went on to say, “And I still married her! That’s what the Blues did for me!” Dawww…Thanks, St. Louis Blues.
Henceforth, Sammy turned “the whole fuckin’ place RED!” and the crowd remained on their feet until the last note of the last song.
The Red Rocker pleased his followers with more heavy-hitting hits, St. Louis quips, and even relied on the audience to sing chunks of songs while he autographed hometown sports jerseys.
Vince Neil joined Sammy on stage for “Rock Candy” and at the end of the song, chill-worthy chanting erupted from the entire crowd. “LET’S GO BLUES! LET’S GO BLUES! LET’S GO BLUES!” continued on and Sammy said, “Fuck it.”. He grabbed one of the Blues jerseys that he autographed, and put that shit on.
The rest of the show exuded really high energy, given that it was a Sunday night and the vast majority of the crowd in attendance were working class men and women in their 40s and 50s*. It’s a fair assessment that Sammy delivered everything that the Red Heads came to see.
Sammy Hagar and the Circle are: Sammy Hagar, vocals/guitar; Michael Anthony, bass; Vic Johnson, guitar; Jason Bonham, drums.