OurBrewCrew.com recently visited Cabo San Lucas Mexico for Sammy Hagar’s 25th Annual Birthday Bash at the World Famous Cabo Wabo Cantina
It’s pouring rain in Cabo San Lucas Mexico, but the air is electric. Some people are huddled under small awnings, others don makeshift raincoats and hats fashioned out of trash bags, but most are just standing in the downpour, drinking beer, and anticipating what they are about to see: Sammy Hagar’s Annual Birthday Bash at the world-famous Cabo Wabo Cantina.
Sammy Hagar built the Cabo Wabo Cantina in 1990 so he would have a place to play when he came into town. What began as a humble idea has since grown into one of the preeminent tourist destinations in all of Mexico, and one of the greatest party destinations in the world. Located approximately two blocks from the marina, on most days it is a mix of locals and tourists enjoying fresh, locally-sourced food, Cabo Wabo Tequila and, of course, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum.
With the rain still coming down, the doors finally opened for those lucky enough to have received the required wrist band for the night’s show. Within minutes, the bar was packed and standing room only. The crowd buzzed with excitement while the house sound system played classic songs from the 80’s, and the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants aired on every TV. The waitresses did their best to deliver drinks while navigating the ever-expanding crowd.
As if timed to the second, no sooner had the game finished did the lights dim and the crowd erupt. And then…
A young boy appears on stage; the crowd is confused. We soon learned that this is the son of Chef Emeril Lagasse — a very funny and entertaining E.J. Lagasse had been given the honor of opening the show. After spirited applause he exited the stage, and George Lopez emerged to inform the audience that he was present simply to ensure that at least one actual Mexican person was in the audience, and that Hagar is the only guy he knows that could live in Cabo for more than 25 years, yet still not speak a word of Spanish.
He was then interrupted by Emeril Lagasse himself, who pulled him off stage “because this is a rock show.”
Enter Sammy Hagar and The Circle (Hagar, Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham, and Vic Johnson) who opens with “Bigfoot,” a high-energy song by his band Chickenfoot. For the next hour and forty five minutes they play classic songs from Sammy’s solo career, including “There’s Only One Way to Rock” and “I Can’t Drive 55,” Van Halen songs including “Mine all Mine,” which hasn’t been played live since 1995, and a great rendition of “Poundcake” with Vinnie Paul of Pantera and Hellyeah fame on drums.
And since no show with Bonham on drums would be complete without a couple of Led Zeppelin songs, the audience was graced with “Whole Lotta Love,” “Levy Breaks” and, of course, “Rock & Roll.” And when it seemed the show couldn’t get any better, Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains joined the band onstage as they jumped into “Man in the Box.” Cantrell stayed with the band to play “Rock Candy, Rock & Roll” and then ended the night with “Cabo Wabo,” the song that started it all 27 years ago.