SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE – At Your Service (2015)
THE CIRCLE is the side band assembled by legendary rocker Sammy Hagar alongside his old pal in Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Led Zeppelin’s drummer son Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson (The BusBoys and Hagar’s The Waboritas).
SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE take a roll through Hagar’s career, with some Led Zeppelin added in for good measure, in their first album “At Your Service“. Recorded at various shows during last year’s fall tour, the double CD covers as well Hagar’s Montrose years and his ’80s era in Van Halen (in a nod to both Hagar and Anthony).
Hagar formed The Circle to play live his own songs that he can’t perform with Chickenfoot, his current band. So this is a ‘live band’, and they did this recording for the fans.
Sammy says; “The Circle is the band that I want to play with right now. I miss playing ‘When It’s Love’ and ‘Right Now’ and ‘I Can’t Drive 55’, etc. I miss doing that, as much as I love Chickenfoot.”
The Circle is a band of solid professionals who all know their business.
There is no weak points or dull performances here. Whatever era of Hagar – or Led Zeppelin – you are a fan of, you will be pleased by the performances of those songs.
“At Your Service” features four Led Zeppelin songs, and aside from ‘Good Times Bad Times’ having a bit of an ’80s feel, it only adds coolness to it. Hagar is, perhaps a bit surprisingly, a good singer of Led Zeppelin.
There’s great versions of VH classics like “Why Can’t This Be Love”, a killer “Poundcake”, “When It’s Love”, and Sammy’s solo favorite “I Can’t Drive 55”.
One of my personal highlights is the take on “Dreams”, where Sammy and Johnson take a seat for an acoustic arrangement of this Van Halen hit from 5150. Stripped of Eddie’s keyboards and pyrotechnic guitar licks, it’s an extremely pretty song performed with emotion.
Hagar rocks great all over the concert, while the band sounds tight. Jason does a great job on drums and, with Michael Anthony doing back up vocals, this band sounds better vocal wise than Van Halen does, especially on their new live album.
It’s nice to see these guys just get together and have some fun. Pick this up if you are a fan of great live rock n roll.
Seriously, “At Your Service” sounds terrific.
01 – There’s Only One Way To Rock
02 – Rock Candy
03 – Good Times Bad Times
04 – Poundcake
05 – I Can’t Drive 55
06 – Mikey Bass Solo
07 – When It’s Love
08 – Whole Lotta Love
09 – Little White Lie
10 – When The Levee Breaks
01 – Jason Drum Solo
02 – Why Can’t This Be Love
03 – Finish What Ya Started
04 – Heavy Metal
05 – Vic Guitar Solo
06 – Best of Both Worlds
07 – Right Now
08 – Rock and Roll
09 – Dreams
Sammy Hagar – vocals, guitars
Michael Anthony – bass, backing vocals
Jason Bonham – drums, percussion
Vic Johnson – guitars, backing vocals
BUY IT !