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Sammy Hagar to play Van Halen classics in Vegas show

It might not be full circle, but Sammy Hagar is navigating his own raceway in VegasVille.

The Red Rocker is playing Pearl at the Palms on July 15, headlining with his band, The Circle, alongside bassist Michael Anthony, guitarist Vic Johnson and drummer Jason Bonham (tickets start at $59, not including fees, on sale 10 a.m. Friday at ticketmaster.com).

This show should excite Hagar’s already excitable “Redhead” fans, and also Van Halen devotees.

“Michael and I will feature what we call, ‘The Other Half,’ with a lot more Van Halen, even a few early songs,” Hagar said in a text message Monday morning. “We debuted this band in Cabo at my birthday bash, years ago, and it makes all the sense in the world that there is no one out there supporting the Van Halen catalog, which has some of the greatest rock songs ever written.”

Hagar’s show is promoted by Live Nation, in an exclusive booking partnership with the Palms at the Pearl. Hagar is also playing Harvey’s amphitheater in Lake Tahoe on July 14.

Hagar recalls playing the Pearl “years ago, after it first opened.” Yep, that would have been in February 2008. The set list for Hagar’s return to the Palms will largely reflect that performance. “I Can’t Drive 55,” “Right Now,” “There’s Only One Way To Rock,” “Mas Tequila,” “Why Can’t This Be Love,” “Father Time,” “Heavy Metal,” “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy,” are all promised.

For those keeping track of Hagar’s track record in Vegas, he most recently headlined (and largely salvaged) the rock show at February’s Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala at MGM Grand Garden. Hagar summoned such superstar friends as Alice Cooper, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, Rick Springfield, John Mayer, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon and Michael McDonald to the event-closing concert.

In 2021 and again last year, Hagar fronted a wild, Cabo-style series at The Strat Theater over 16 dates, ending in July.

There has been no formal plan to return Hagar’s residency to The Strat, which remains in a kind of rock ‘n’ roll limbo. Bob Weir, Springfield, Gavin DeGraw, Trombone Shorty, Lita Ford and Steven Pearcy of Ratt were among the guest stars at Hagar’s shows at The Strat.

Residency co-producer Adam Steck of SPI Entertainment said Monday, “We’re proud to have Sammy perform 16 amazing sold-out shows with a lot of great stars showing up. We love Sammy and wish him nothing but the best.”

Just last weekend, Springfield, Hagar’s business partner in the Beach Bar Rum spirits company, sold out two shows at The Strat Theater. And, spirits from Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co. will be permanently and plentifully available at the Palms.

Behaving entirely on-brand, the 75-year-old Hagar is a master at mixing his drinks, business interests and rock festivals.

“This won’t be that much different than the shows from the residency at The Strat,” Hagar said. “Because no matter where I play, or with whom, I throw a party.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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