Sammy Hagar to headline Shellabration

Sammy Hagar to headline Shellabration Main Photo

21 Feb 2019

Hans Madsen

Sammy Hagar and The Circle with special guest Vince Neil, singer for the band Motley Crue, will perform during the June 8 Shellabration concert at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex.

Jim Reed, president of Shellabration Inc., announced this year’s performers Wednesday.

Hagar, known as The Red Rocker, is noted for his song “I Can’t Drive 55” from his 1984 album “VOA.” Hagar has a string of successful albums and hit songs dating to back to his career start with the band Montrose in 1973. He began his solo career in 1976.

Reed is proud that this year’s performers are major national acts.

“This represents only the third in our history that the event will feature two national acts,” Reed said. “Our choices this year were to go big or go home. Our response was to go big.”

Reed said this year’s show is the most expensive production to date. The budget this year is more than $450,000.

Ted Bodensteiner, Shellabration vice president, talked about plans for the warmup act.

“Pending approval,” Bodensteiner said. “The lineup will also include Wild Ambition, of Carroll, as the opening act for the night.”

The band was not able to play last year during Shellabration due to weather conditions. The headliner, ZZ Top, played an abbreviated set during a break in the thunderstorm.

“We felt terrible having to eliminate them from the lineup last year due to impending weather.” Bodensteiner said. “We’re looking forward to finally having them get to deliver their set, even if it is a year late.”

Hagar’s group, The Circle, includes his former Van Halen bandmate Michael Anthony, guitarist Vic Johnson, of The Bus Boys and Jason Bonham, son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

“The name was chosen because the band plays a blend of Sammy’s hits from Montrose, his solo hits, his Van Halen hits and a couple of Led Zeppelin covers thrown in as a nod to the Bonham legacy,” Reed said.

Reed and Bodensteiner said that fans can also expect some classic Motley Crue and solo work from Vince Neil.

Hagar and Neil will each play their own sets, Neil first, then Hagar.

In one other first this year, Hagar is expected to arrive for the show via his own jet at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport. The crew and equipment will arrive by bus and truck.

“Sammy Hagar will fly in over the venue while we’re loading in the gear,” Reed said. “How many venues are there where you can almost park the plane next to the venue?”

Reed actually begins planning for Shellabration a year ahead. The process of booking a band and getting everything arranged is a long one.

“Booking a band is not as easy as buying a candy bar,” he said. “It’s not that simple.”

One final question does remain. Can either Reed or Bodensteiner resist the temptation to not drive 55 when Hagar’s song comes on the car radio?

“Ted can’t drive 55,” Reed said. “Out of respect for the people I know in law enforcement, I always only drive 55. Wink, wink, nod, nod.”

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