MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — It is hard to believe rocker Sammy Hagar will be hitting the big 7-0 in age in a few weeks.
Hagar and his band, Circle, rocked the Grand Theater in Foxwoods Friday night, with a set list spanning Hagar’s varied, four-decade musical career that has seen him fronting some early bands, going solo and then becoming the lead singer of Van Halen.
The ever-energetic and still youthful-looking singer/songwriter/guitarist opened with the usual number he kicks off his shows, his 1982 solo hit “There’s Only One Way to Rock” on which he played a black, winged guitar.
Van Halen’s “Poundcake,” Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times” and “Rock Candy” from Hagar’s Montrose days in the early 1970s kept the pace.
The show really took off with Hagar’s 1984 smash, “I Can’t Drive 55” that had a popular MTV video. Now on his classic red guitar, Hagar — nicknamed the “Red Rocker” — sang the tune with band member Michael Anthony, the former bassist for Van Halen.
The band then played “Sexy Little Thing,” a Chickenfoot cover that Hagar said the band had never played live before.
Two more Van Halen tunes, “Right Now” and “Why Can’t This Be Love,” a No. 3 song from 1985, continued the song list mix.
Timely with all the hurricanes was another Zeppelin song, “When the Levee Breaks” on which lead guitarist Vic Johnson was on a double-neck.
“Best of Both Worlds” and “Finish What Ya Started,” also from Van Halen, preceded the high energy “Heavy Metal,” the title track from that movie.
“Mas Mezquila’ from Hagar and The Wabos brought red streaming confetti shooting over the crowd.
Wrapping up the show was Van Halen’s “When It’s Love,” Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll,” and “Dreams” from Van Halen, the latter of which only involved Hagar and his guitarist.
There were plenty of Zeppelin numbers as expected, given drummer Jason Bonham is John Bonham’s son.
Also on the bill was Collective Soul, the Georgia post-Grunge group, which is strong on guitars and best known for “Shine.”
No surprise that was a highlight as fans sang along to the number that nearly made the Top 10 in 1994 and on which frontman Ed Roland was on keyboards and has help singing from brother and rhythm guitarist Dean.
“Heavy,” the electric “Better Now,” the acoustic “AYTA (Are You the Answer),” “World I Know,” and popular “December” that ends with frantic guitar play also made the song list along with a song coming out on an upcoming album, “Right As Rain,” and “When the River Flows.”
Opening was singer-songwriter Andrew Hagar, also known as Drew Hagus, and who is Hagar’s son.