Scarlett-haired howler. Tequila entrepreneur. The dynamic vocal presence that makes Van Halen vs. Van Hagar a legitimate discussion — albeit a one-sided one (dependent upon where you stand).
He’s Sammy Hagar, and over a four-decade career, the Hall of Fame frontman hailed as the Red Rocker has left an indelible impression on generations of fans. Now, he’s touring with some old friends, and he’s bringing his Full Circle Jam Tour (with opener, Night Ranger) to Artpark at 6:30 p.m. June 4.
Here's a quick look at his career, and what to expect at the show.
You know him from: His inability to drive 55; a Van Halen stint that unveiled memorable hits (and one incendiary, drill bit-enabled guitar lick); and a return to solo greatness, all while promoting his tequila brand, Cabo Wabo.
Noted lineup: Hagar’s most celebrated era was during his four Van Halen albums from 1986 to 1996, and their brief reunion from 2003-2005. That band’s lineup was Hagar (vocals), Michael Anthony (bass), Alex Van Halen (drums) and Eddie Van Halen (guitar) — and unless you’ve lived without electricity for the last 30 years, you already know this.
Current tour’s lineup: Along with his exemplary adaptability to various band dynamics, Hagar’s also been an impressive architect of supergroups, whether with ongoing side project Chickenfoot (with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith and guitarist Joe Satriani) or the Circle, featuring fellow VH alum Anthony (also in Chickenfoot), percussion royalty Jason Bonham and longtime Hagar associate Vic Johnson on guitar.
Best of both worlds: The beauty of seeing musicians from a variety of backgrounds is that you never know what you’re going to get. Yes, the Circle released its debut studio album (“Space Between”) in May, and it’s full of wild roadhouse rockers (“Trust Fund Baby”) and reckoning lament (“Can’t Hang”). But when the onstage talent is comprised of two Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, a student of Jimi Hendrix and a descendant of Led Zeppelin, the only guarantee is a hail of amplified bombast.
What to expect: Despite the aforementioned, there are some bread crumbs left from previous set lists — and former affiliations — to inform Hagar and Co.’s upcoming visit off Niagara Gorge. Judging from recent set lists, Hagar has been mixing in his solo material as well as classics from Van Halen ("Finish What You Started") and Led Zeppelin ("Rock and Roll," "Good Times, Bad Times").
Tickets: $19 in advance, $24 week of show (box office, tickets.com).