3/27/86: Van Halen's First Gig With Sammy Hagar

From the VHND Three days after the delayed, release of 5150, Van Halen performed their first live concert with new front man Sammy Hagar.  10,000-strong showed up to the Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana that night to witness history.  With "Why Can't This Be Love" the only song fans had heard of the new album, tensions were running high. Would the new stuff fly? Sammy had this to say about the night: 

"...truthfully, it was really scary to say 'Wow, we’re going to walk out there and play the 5150 record' and this is sold out," Hagar said. "These people are expecting some old Van Halen and some old Sammy Hagar, because that’s who sold it out. But it worked and I just remember opening up with ‘You Really Got Me’ and it was like the frikkin’ barricade went down and it was like 'Okay, the nerves are gone.' But I was a wreck, man, I was really a wreck. I thought 'Man, this could bomb.'"  Per Ultimate Classic Rock 

Overall the show was huge success. As was the ensuing tour as albums sales soared ,  5150 hit #1 for over a month and became the Band's first album to do so. To that point, none of the previous, six 'Halen albums with DLR managed to accomplish that feat.  Below is an excerpt from the MTV Special "Unleashed" which was filmed in support of that Tour. 


 
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