What can you say about a concert that starts with Sammy Hagar showing you how to make his favourite marguerita in a plastic cup and then introduces three bikini-clad blondes? Maybe afterwards we can look at his wardrobe, which consists of shorts and shirts that look like they all came from Hawaii…
Who is Sammy Hagar? He is in illustrious company with Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth (!!!). Arguably he is better than Eddie, but that is like the interminable Connery vs. Moore 007 arguments.
What can one say about this concert? It’s loud. It’s rather raw in places. Sammy drinks margueritas delivered by the above mentioned bikini-clad blondes during the breaks. There’s a fair bit of swearing, Sammy sniffs the panties thrown on the stage by the audience (apparently he is quite popular with the ladies), and he even secretes the joints (or “spliffs” as the kids say) offered by the audience.
You either ‘get’ the “Cabo Wabo” and the atmosphere of these concerts or you don’t. Sammy is energised, but he takes the time to sign autographs for the audience.
It’s not my job to convert you to this brand of high energy music, it is compulsive and would be greatly enjoyed in a group, especially with tequila sauce lubrication.
- The Real Deal (Intro)
- Ten 13
- Shaka Doobie (The Limit)
- Three Lock Box
- There's Only One Way to Rock
- Serious JUJU
- Top of the World
- Rock Candy
- High and Dry Again
- Deeper Kinda Love
- A Little Bit More
- Eagles Fly/Lay Your Hand On Me
- Finish What Ya Started
- Little White Lie
- Mas Tequila
- Why Can't This Be Love?
- Heavy Metal
- Let Sally Drive
- I Can't Drive 55
- Marching To Mars
- Cabo Wabo
The video is very good quality full frame throughout with a clean, colourful consistent look. It is a very bright looking transfer with perhaps the white balance being turned up just a little too high. leaving whites a little bleached and blacks and shadows more grey than truly black. Still, the colours are vivid and perhaps the raw nature of the stage production and lighting influences the look of the transfer. Crowd and open shots are detailed with good depth of field.
The only major flaw is some compression artefacts on rapid pans and some less than convincing compression on some tracks that utilise rapid strobing. This is very minor though with the 131 minutes being largely fault free.
There are three audio tracks and that’s probably one two many given the constraints of this long concert. You may know that the specs for DVD call for a recommended limit of 133 minutes. This concert runs 131 minutes along with a 448k/s Dolby Digital 5.1 track, a stereo 224k/s Dolby Digital 2.0 track and a 1,536k/s DTS 5.1 track. You can happily ignore the stereo track, it’s not much chop without the breadth and clarity of a downmixed 448k/s Dolby track.
The winner is the DTS track, but it’s by a very slim margin. Firstly this kind of music is not conducive to extended bitrates and audiophile equipment. The recording and type of music seems a bit thrashy and congested, so much so that I doubt using a 768k DTS track would have made much of a difference. Sammy Hagar, talented though he might be, has a harsh voice that is not suited to extended resolution recordings. The musical arrangement is also a bit inconsistent, with some tracks being wonderfully arranged, while others are perhaps less orchestrated - but that’s more down to personal musical taste.
There are perhaps only a handful of tracks that really show off the difference between DTS and Dolby Digital, notably the acoustic and largely vocal tracks. I would note that the DTS track perhaps accentuates the instruments just slightly over the vocals, the Dolby track just the opposite.
The surrounds and bass are tastefully used to accentuate the live atmosphere and are unintrusive. Bass is forceful but not flabby. Vocals are very clear, whether lyrical or stage banter, while background vocals are also well overlaid and exhibit little smearing.
The whole second disc is the extra. Personally I feel this is one for the fans (well who else would buy this disc?)
There are two parts and perhaps the hour-plus interview with Sammy would be tough going for people who don’t subcribe to the man’s colourful lifestyle. However, he gives his views on modern life and tequila and if you wanted to know it all about Sammy, then here it is.
There is also a ten minute-plus Scenes from Cabo Wabo featurette, which attempts to explain just what “Cabo Wabo” is. Expand your mind! Both are full frame and Dolby stereo, but a bit less polished than the main feature.
There’s a lot of music here, and for fans this is about it as far as I’m concerned. The flaws are few, and it has my favourite music format. The packing could have been a bit more thoughtful, that is instead of putting everything on one disc and then having a very empty extras disc, they could have streamlined the audio tracks. Be that as it may, this is quite an impressive production.