Sammy Hagar’s High Tide Beach Party & Car Show, Huntington State Beach, October 6, 2018
Sammy Hagar & the Circle (ft. Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson) and REO Speedwagon headlined the inaugural festival. Adding to the fun were special guests including Joe Satriani, Vince Neil and Eddie Money. The lineup also featured performances by Sir Please, Drew Hagar, Dead Mermaids with Tre Cool, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers and Reel Big Fish.
The High Tide Beach Party was not only a concert but an experience like no other. From an amazing collection of cars and trucks of all types, fest-goers also enjoyed several food and drink offerings including a beach side outpost of Sammy’s legendary CaboWabo Cantina. The CaboWabo Taqueria Grill served authentic handmade tacos while bars were located throughout the festival featuring specialty drinks containing Santo Mezquila and Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum.
Sir Please, a band from Thousand Oaks, California features two of Kevin Cronin’s sons, while Drew Hagar is the son of Sammy Hagar. Tre Cool’s Dead Mermaids gave us a taste of “Norwegian Death Metal” and Reel Big Fish brought their unique brand of Ska music to the event. Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, from Tempe, Arizona brought their own take on “Americana Music” to the event.
Kevin Cronin, Neal Doughty and Bruce Hall lead the way as REO still rocked the house like they’ve been doing since the 1970’s. Along with guitarist Dave Amato and drummer Bryan Hitt the current line-up has been performing together since 1989.
The crowd sang along the most with REO Speedwagon’s signature power ballads like Keep On Lovin’ You, Take It On The Run, Can’t Fight This Feelin’, and Time For Me To Fly. Although REO Speedwagon’s set may have been dominated by many slower tracks there was no shortage of energy from both the band and the crowd.
The band brought out Eddie Money for a crowd gratifying rendition of his hit Two Tickets to Paradise. They finished off their set with a rockin’ version of Roll with the Changes.
Eddie Trunk made an appearance to introduce us to the night’s main event Sammy Hagar. Followed by a career spanning video of his music, The Circle then entered the stage.
Starting off the set with a Hagar staple There’s Only One Way to Rock, the show was off to a flying start. Bonham pounded out a familiar drumbeat to all Hagar fans and thus began the Montrose hit Rock Candy. Hagar, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, nailed the vocals all night long. Not bad for a man who will be celebrating his 71th birthday in another week.
Mötley Crüe vocalist Vince Neil was introduced and joined The Circle for a trio of Crüe staples Kick Start My Heart, Wild Side and Girls, Girls, Girls. The latter of which, they were joined by REO’s Kevin Cronin and Dave Amato along with Sammy himself.
The Circle was back in high gear tearing into I Can’t Drive 55 and Heavy Metal. Guitarist Joe Satriani made his entrance to the beginning notes to Surfing with the Alien. He stayed on stage being joined by Sammy for a trio of Chickenfoot songs. The classic Led Zeppelin song Rock and Roll officially brought a very successful day to a close.
We were told the Festival would return next year and the website is already selling tickets as I write this review. https://hightidebeachparty.frontgatetickets.com/
As with most every new event there were some flaws that will undoubtedly be handed before the next event. All in all it was a fun show and great experience and will definitely be back to attend and cover next time around.
(Review and Photos by Joe Schaeffer)