Sammy Hagar performs in spite of severe flooding at Moondance Jam
Timothy Bakken

Sammy Hagar and others were slated to perform from the Moondance Jam 24 stage in Walker Minnesota on July 16 but Minnesota nice had other plans. The day started out perfect with Pat Travers, Pop Evil performing full sets. It was leading up to the 7 p.m. show that things started to take a turn for the worse. Black Stone Cherry would take the stage on time and be forced to stop 30 minutes in due to heavy rainfall and organizers had to scramble to keep things on schedule. While nervously checking the radar on smartphones, they anticipated that the rain would soon dissipate and Black Stone Cherry would be able to resume their set. This would never happen as something more sinister would be added to the already monsoon like rainfall.

Fierce lightning would dangerously flash all around the fairgrounds creating an imminent threat to concert goers and any performances on stage. If that wasn't enough rain had started to saturate the ground in such a way that it began to build up having nowhere to go causing severe flooding throughout the festival. Stage managers deemed that conditions were extremely dangerous and the show was shut down until the rain stopped and the water could be safely removed. They figured it would be another 20 or so minutes and then they would plan on resuming the show. That 20 minutes would turn into a few hours. It was nearly 10 p.m. and finally the rain began to stop, however the damage had already been done. Numerous vehicles were submerged, campsites were flooded and the music had stopped for the night. Papa Roach was next on the bill however the main stage was not safe so organizers needed a plan and quick. Somehow the small Saloon stage was proposed for the remaining talent to perform which is usually reserved for regional bands.

A short time later organizers would make an announcement that Sammy Hagar had agreed to perform on the Saloon stage an hour earlier, followed by Papa Roach. This was not made public as logistics still needed to be worked out as Papa Roach required some equipment to be delivered to the Saloon stage. A little after 10:15 p.m. with no announcement made the Red Rocker himself Sammy Hagar walked out on stage to a thunderous applause and began to perform along with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony.

The Saloon was overflowing and people had to stand outside (all sides of the Saloon are wide open during performances.) Hagar and crew performed for a good 1:15 minutes hits like "Mas Tequila" "Fight for Your Right" (Beastie Boys cover) "Right Now" and "Fifty Five." Hagar's voice sounded great and on point. He did seem to struggle with the higher notes, but that is expected with an aging rocker. There is no comparison when someone attempts to put him up with Diamond Dave. David Lee Roth has more or less lost his voice and Hagar just keeps on rocking. Hagar has nothing to prove he's just an all-around nice guy and loves what he does, more than that he loves his fans. He gave them a show like no other, as he put it, where else do I get to do things like this (perform to a smaller audience) only down in Mexico.

Moondance Jammers were part of something pretty special that night and if you were there, you are a part of history that will always be remembered forever as part of the great Moondance tradition.