Updated November 22, 2021 - 1:49 am
How’d it sound? No idea. Ask someone who heard it. Tough to tell from behind the stage. But it felt great, like a real rock show, with Sammy Hagar leading the party from at halftime of the Raiders-Bengals game at Allegiant Stadium.
Hagar’s hits were the highlight of an otherwise lackluster afternoon for the home team, which was dump-trucked 32-13 by the Cincinnati Bengals. But Hager, dressed in a new Raiders jacket embroidered with his name, seemed ready to suit up.
“It was like firing a bow an arrow, bam, man!” Hagar said after running through “There’s Only One Way to Rock” and “Right Now” with his guitarist Vic Johnson and David Perrico and the Raiders House Band. “It felt like it lasted three seconds. I feel good about it. Now, I have to sit down and figure out what happened. Did I just do that?”
Hagar was mobbed as he waded through fans at the end of the two-song medley at the Al Davis Memorial Torch. “Sammy! Huntington Beach! Can I get a picture with you!?” was a typical call-out.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) November 21, 2021
But what it all means beyond the experience is yet unknown. Hagar is coming off a blistering, six-show residency at The Strat Theater, a run promoted by a similarly inspired, Strip-facing concert on the roof of Beer Park at Paris Las Vegas.
“I just think that this town is really valuable in a lot of different ways. It’s a place where I can say, ‘I’m going to play here for a month,’ to my fans, and I guarantee you, you’ll have a good time.” Hagar said in the Allegiant Stadium’s green room, which is actually the UNLV Rebels’ locker room, just before taking the stage.
The Red Rocker, simply, has a hot hand. But he’s not sure how he’ll play it.
“Kind of like having your presence here all the time that you’ll picture me jumping on the side of the wall. And I want to keep it that way,” Hagar said. “And, you know, I just think that this town is really valuable in a lot of different ways. It’s a place to where I say, ‘I’m going to play here for a month,’ to my fans, and I guarantee you, you’ll have a good time.”
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) November 22, 2021
Hagar says he would love to return to town in 2022, and it’s hard to imagine him not returning to The Strat or entertaining other suitors for his Cabo Wabo-style rock experience. He talks of playing three days a month, every month, in an expanded venue at The Strat or even a new facility. He’s loyal to the Strat hierarchy, longtime friends especially Golden Entertainment Executive Vice President and COO Steve Arcana.
The Hagar shows were mutually beneficial to the property and to Hagar, who used the platform to launch his Beach Bar Rum line. The little cans ‘o booze have been quaffed with great zeal at The Strat, giving Hagar even more motive to come back to Vegas and grow his empire.
“I want to come back to Vegas, I want to do more residencies,” Hagar said. “I’d like to do half as many shows, and have the same amount of people, if you know what I mean. At my age, I’m not looking to do 100 shows a year, so I need a bigger venue.”
Hagar is 74. He knows what he likes, and he likes it here.
“Vegas is the kind of town where I’m happy to bring fans, because they have so much they can do, “I love this down. I really do dig this place.”
Owner in the house
Raiders owner Mark Davis has been on the scene recently, as a community honoree at Opportunity Village’s Camelot gala at its Magical Forest attraction on Nov. 11, when Perrico’s band surprised him with a 15-minute performance. Vegas businessman and gambler Billy Walters, long an O.V. supporter and for whom Walters Family campus is named; and Las Vegas Aces Nikki Fargas were also honored. Vegas singers Jasmine Trias and Ben Stone, featured in the upcoming “This is Christmas” show at Palazzo Theater; Trapeze Las Vegas; and the O.V. Elvi also performed.
Davis was also at Oscar Goodman’s packed dinner series talk on Wednesday night, and again for a quick look-in at Todd English’s Olives opening party at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on Friday. As we say of Vegas restaurants, if Davis is there, I’m there.
Bradshaw shuts it down
NFL legend, Fox Sports broadcast star and Strip headliner Terry Bradshaw has shut down all of his dates at Luxor’s Atrium Showroom. “The Terry Bradshaw Show” is latent until further notice, unless you want to catch it in Branson, Missouri, next week. The only word from the blonde bomber’s camp about Luxor is he wants to focus on other projects.
But Bradshaw has said from the stage he’s not enamoured of returning for a third season of his family’s E! reality show, “The Bradshaw Bunch.” Something about not enjoying life with a film crew in your face.
Bradshaw is also recovering from knee-replacement surgery. Performing a residency show in Vegas (as apposed to, say, a single weekend) is a grind. During the NFL season, Bradshaw had to fly from L.A. on Sunday afternoons and was hustled directly to the stage, whether he was in show attire or not.
Bradshaw has proven can really sing (or, “sang,” as he says), and is darn funny. We hope he can return in 2022, but we can see why he wouldn’t.
Cool Hang Alert
A triumvirate of Cool Hangs at Italian American Club begins Friday with Tyriq Johnson’s Serpentine Fire band. This is Earth, Wind and Fire and dinner, all in one showroom experience. Saturday it’s the return of Frankie Scinta. Sunday it’s Zowie Bowie’s ”Vegas Holiday Party” (band founder Chris Phillps has chosen to focus on Christmas). For all of these shows, it’s doors at 6 p.m., dinner 6:30, show at 8 p.m.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.