October 7 1984/Duluth Minnesota/ Sammy Hagar/Krokus
Thunder Bay never ever got top current American touring acts in the 80s it was only after the decade crashed and burned into the early 90s grunge wasteland that acts would make there way here…but hey that’s a story for another time. One top solo artist of the 80s who had a huge breakthrough was the Red Rocker the one and only Sammy Hagar. Sam was selling records especially with his current release V.O.A with the huge hit I Can’t Drive 55! Sam finally made a name for himself in Tbay for Christ sakes but it was Duluth that was getting Sam The Man.
So off to Duluth for the show me and my buddy Muc and 40 other yahoos on a party bus. I was into Krokus big time I mean One Vice At A Time sounded like ACDC the followup to it was Headhunter which they were sounding like Judas Priest no surprise since Tom Allom produced Headhunter and there they were in Duluth opening for Hagar on the back of there current release The Blitz sounding well ummmm commercial! Krokus as a opening act was a good act from Long Stick Goes Boom thru there singles like American Woman(cover) Stayed Awake All Night(cover) and old stuff like Heatstrokes and Eat The Rich good show so far but what would Sam have up his sleeve??
Well Sammy hit the stage with This Planets On Fire and just totally rocked the place. The show was sold out at about 5,000 or so as which he said from the stage he had only 3000 two years earlier. Who knows maybe he was bullshitting if he was I was buying it but hey who cares Sam rocked with his backing band and put on a big time arena rock show with a lighting truss that came down during the song Heavy Metal at which time he ran out above the crowds heads…we ate it up! This light Truss is the one Sam dragged with him to Van Halen the one seen in the Live Without A Net vid when Halen rips thru Ain’t Talkin Bout Love…but back to Hagar..great show and well as I had only the VOA album,on tap was more Hagar purchases. The thing I noticed was how much heavier Sam was in concert. Case in point his Three Lock Box Album was a AOR rock big time on the keys and commercial song after commercial song but VOA was a little heavier on the guitar(not much but a little) as Ted Templmen produced VOA and worked on the previous 6 albums with a guitarist who has the initials EVH! Sammy proved that night to us he was a crazy good frontman working the stage with his wireless headset,playing guitar,high fiving the front rows,the dude was jacked, we sold our souls to the Red Rocker! Still remember when he played the song Red the whole stage was Red/Crowd everything . I’ve Done Everything For You, Plain Jane,Love Or Money, and of course VOA was well represented with I Can’t Drive 55,Swept Away,Dick In The Dirt,Two Sides Of Love and of course the the title track VOA!
So less than 2 yrs later Sammy would bid his solo band adieu and head over to Camp Halen but because of his brilliant live show and album of the time Sam would be fine fronting Van Halen.
The above vid is from well I’m sure ya can tell and that’s Farm Aid. This is SAMs final show with his solo band as he split to join VH shortly after this performance…