Welcome to the Van Halen News Desk’s “Cabo Wabo Birthday Bash 2011” recap, which features setlists of all 4 of the wild concerts, videos of the outdoor concert, and newly imported Cabo Wabo merchandise. Enjoy!
Van Halen News Desk staff once again attended the annual Sammy Hagar Birthday Bash at the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. As always, a couple thousand “Redheads”, as Hagar’s fans call themselves, made the annual pilgrimage to Cabo for the festivities. Many of the same people go every year.
Sammy has been celebrating his birthday at his club in Cabo every year since the cantina opened in 1990, in what was then a sleepy Mexican fishing village. Over the years the town has grown into a cruise ship destination and seaside tourist trap, at the center of which sits the Cabo Wabo cantina.
This year Sammy played four concerts that took place on October 7, 9, 11, and 13th. Special guests included Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani, Chickenfoot’s new drummer Kenny Aronoff, Kenny Chesney, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, Emeril Lagasse, Food Network’s Guy Fieri star of “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives”, and Vinnie Paul of Pantera.
The first three shows took place inside the cantina, and then Sammy tried something new for his October 13 birthday gig, moving that show outside for a street party. All four shows were quietly being webcast at Hagar’s site on an experimental basis.
Like last years shows, the tickets to the concerts were pre-sold on Sammy’s website for $55.00 each. (All the previous years, the shows were free, but lines formed around the club and down the block days before the event). Limited dinner tickets were available for sale in person at the Cabo Wabo Cantina via the traditional “line method”. Announcements for ticket sales are made on Sammy’s website several months before the October shows take place. For those fans hoping to make a future Birthday Bash event, some careful planning and a fast internet connection are needed to secure tickets to this popular event. Fans reported all shows selling out in a mere matter of minutes. Not at all surprising considering the magical environment of Cabo. Who wouldn’t want to spend time at one of the best parties on the planet at one of the planet’s best beach destinations?
One of the biggest draws for this annual event are the friends made. It is unlike any other vacation you could ever take. When else can you go on vacation and find yourself surrounded by a few thousand of your closest friends and comrades? Everywhere you go, you will meet kindred spirits anxious to include you in the party. Each year you will find yourself surrounded by more and more people that you know and eventually because of these connections, you will have friends around the world all united by the love of music, laughter and fun.
The biggest highlight and change for 2011 was the unprecedented event of Sammy holding his Birthday Bash concert out in front of the Cantina, right in the street! A temporary stage was constructed and the street to the Cabo Wabo was barricaded and shut down for this celebration. Even the bar across the street from the Cantina agreed to participate and provide space for the event. There were also many people spotted on top of buildings, parking structures and businesses trying to sneak a peak at the show. Definitely a noteworthy change to his traditional birthday concert.
Another highlight was the first official public appearance of Chickenfoot since their last tour, debuting all ten songs from the newly released second album “Chickenfoot III“, as well as highlights from their debut album. Chickenfoot performed with their “replacement” drummer Kenny Aronoff on October 9th inside the Cabo Wabo Cantina. This was their only show before their recently announced “club tour” which takes place in early November. What made it even better was this was a surprise gig! No one knew Chickenfoot would be there!
A big highlight for the writers at Van Halen News Desk was having the opportunity to hang out with Michael Anthony and his family backstage in the legendary “Green Room” inside the Cabo Wabo Cantina. Michael is simply one of the nicest rock stars you could ever meet. He couldn’t be a more genuine and down to earth. He’s super excited about the new Chickenfoot album and upcoming tour.
Just as we reported in past years, if you have ever thought about attending a Birthday Bash celebration in Cabo or if you ever get a chance to visit the Cabo Wabo Cantina, prepare yourself because….”Go there once, Be there twice” (or three times, or a dozen times, as is often the case).
Birthday Bash Set Lists
2011 Birthday Bash show #1
October 7, 2011
Top of the World
One Way to Rock
Three Lock Box
I’ll Fall in Love Again (with Kenny Chesney on vocals)
Beer in Mexico (with Kenny Chesney on vocals)
You Really Got Me (with Kenny Chesney on vocals)
Poundcake (with Kenny Aronoff on drums)
Foxy Lady (as Chickenfoot (Sammy, Mike, Joe Satriani, and Kenny Aronoff)
Whole Lotta Love (as Chickenfoot plus Chad Kroeger on vocals)
Born on the Bayou (Sammy, Mike, Vic, Chad Kroeger, and Kenny Aronoff)
Show #2 (Chickenfoot Night)
October 9, 2011
Sexy Little Thing
Jack & Diane (Mellencamp song, partial)
Soap On A Rope
Three And A Half Letters
Down The Drain
Something Going Wrong
October 11, 2011
Los Tres Gusanos
Love Or Money (Los Tres Gusanos – Sam, Mike &David Lauser)
Baby’s On Fire (Los Tres Gusanos)
Bad Motor Scooter (Los Tres Gusanos)
I Can’t Drive 55 (Los Tres Gusanos + Vic Johnson)
Runaround (Los Tres Gusanos + Vic Johnson)
Rock Candy (Los Tres Gusanos + Vic Johnson)
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers (tease) (Los Tres Gusanos + Vic Johnson)
Runnin’ With The Devil (Mike on lead vocals, Vic and Vinny Paul on drums)
Heavy Metal (Sammy, Mike, Vic and Vinny Paul on drums)
Shaka Doobie (Los Tres Gusanos + Vic Johnson)
Finish What Ya Started (Los Tres Gusanos + Vic Johnson)
Fight For Your Right (to party) (Sammy, Mike, Vic, Brad Wilk (drums) and guest Guy Fieri)
Whole Lotta Love (Sammy, Mike, Vic, Kenny Aronoff)
Rock ‘n Roll (Sammy, Mike, Vic, Kenny Aronoff)
October 13, 2011
Performed by Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Vic Johnson, David Lauser
I Can’t Drive 55
One Way To Rock
Why Can’t This Be Love?
Three Lock Box
I’ll Fall In Love Again
When I’m Sixty-Four
Make It Last
Happy Birthday (crowd)
Top Of The World
Best Of Both Worlds
10/13: “Cabo Wabo” & “Can’t Drive 55” & “One Way To Rock”:
“Three Lock Box” & “Right Now”:
“Happy Bithday” & “Top Of The World”:
Check out our of coverage of previous B-Day Bashes:
See all the officially licensed Cabo Wabo stuff for sale at Van Halen Store, such as t-shirts, hats, keychains, drinking accessories, posters, stickers, guitar picks, pins etc.
Newly added items:
2011 Cabo Wabo Birthday Bash Shirt
M, L, XL, XXL
“Living It Up” Cabo Wabo Poster
Cabo Wabo Cantina Collectors Tin & Picks
I Can’t Drive 55 Sticker
Sammy Hagar & Friends (Hardcover)
Coffee Table Photo Book
Cabo Wabo Bottle Opener / Magnet
“WABORITA AVE” Metal Street Sign
“CALLE CABO WABO” Metal Street Sign
(Spanish for “CABO WABO STREET”)
“CALLE WABORITA” Metal Street Sign
(Spanish for “WABORITA STREET”)
Cabo Wabo Logo Sticker
Cabo Wabo Lighthouse Collectors Tin & Picks