Hagar, Sammy & the Waboritas-Cabo Wabo Birthday Bash Tour (2001)

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Released 6-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Cast-Over an hour with the thoughts of Chairman Sammy
Featurette-Scenes From the Cabo and the Wabo cantina
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 131:35
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:55)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jeb Brien

Warner Vision
Starring Sammy Hagar
Jesse Harms
Vic Johnson
David Lauser
Case Brackley-Trans-Lipped-Dual
RPI $39.95 Music Sammy Hagar
Eddie Van Halen

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    OK,  load up the ute with your best mates, pack off the ball and chain to an all-weekend lingerie party, and head off down to the beach-house with plenty of tequila and a copy of Sammy "The Red Rocker" live. Oh yeah and don't forget to pick up a few scantily clad, busty babes on the way, who don't mind plying you with margaritas while you party. If this is your idea of a great time (I wouldn't know - I've never been allowed to try it!) then this is the DVD for you. Long-time lead vocalist, axeman and songster with Van Halen, Sammy Hagar transfers his annual birthday bash from the Cabo Wabo cantina to The Chicago Theatre, Illinois for a 2 hour party with his band the Waboritas. I guess you could call this a laid-back, good-time rock show; as Sammy says "I don't want to get drunk after the show, I want to get drunk during the show!" 

    The set features over two hours of good-time rock 'n roll in the tradition of Van Halen and Guns 'n Roses. The twenty-two (!) tracks presented are a veritable encyclopaedia of rock music (is that oxymoronic enough for 'ya?). They range from the Van Halen classics (which Sammy co-penned with Eddie van Halen) Top of The World and Why Can't This Be Love to the tender ballad Eagles Fly/Lay Your Hand on Me. The pounding bass of Mas Tequila features well-recognised riffs from Gary Glitter's Rock 'n Roll (Part 1) whilst Let Sally Drive features the screaming, tonsil-scorching vocals more characteristic of Grunts 'n Poses. Finish What You Started is given a funky, irresistible, acoustic make-over with a cool guitar break from guitarist Vic Johnson.

    Over two hours in duration, the show features much of Sammy's banter and general stuffing around with the audience - if you're consuming margaritas at the rate knocked back during the show, you'll probably find this entertaining, if not you'd probably be better off skipping alternate tracks! Certainly the show was well received and Sammy's popularity could be judged by the rapidly increasing assortment of underwear finding its way from the audience (mostly female!) to bedeck the drum kit, assorted mike stands and of course the "Red Rocker" himself!

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. The Real Deal (Intro)
2. Ten 13
3. Shaka Doobie (The Limit)
4. Three Lock Box
5. Red
6. There's Only One Way to Rock
7. Serious JUJU
8. Top of the World
9. Rock Candy
10. High and Dry Again
11. Deeper Kinda Love
12. A Little Bit More
13. Eagles Fly/Lay Your Hand On Me
14. Finish What Ya Started
15. Little White Lie
16. Mas Tequila
17. Why Can't This Be Love
18. Heavy Metal
19. Let Sally Drive
20. I Can't Drive 55
21. Marching To Mars
22. Cabo Wabo

Transfer Quality


    The initial impression given is that this is a very good video transfer and if it weren't for a few MPEG artefacts this would right up there with the better live music DVD transfers. Intermittent severe compression artefacts and lack of subtitling suggests, not surprisingly, that with a 133 minute video and three soundtracks, disc space was getting short. Given that there was a second disk included, it might have been better to format the package as a dual sided single disk set with a Dolby Digital soundtrack on one side and the DTS version on the other leaving more room for what could have been a first rate video transfer.

    Filmed in video, the transfer is presented in a full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    A smooth clean transfer, the video lacks some sharpness and shadow detail but has little low level noise.

    The colours were limited by the stage lighting and consequently the red-blue bi-coloration of an unimaginative light show. However, the colours were clean with no bleeding nor chroma noise of consequence

    Lack of sharpness in the transfer did mean that there was almost no discernible aliasing in the transfer. The main shortcoming of the video was in marked macro-blocking in some of the rapid action sequences, such as at 30:21, 30:40 and 66:10. This was usually associated with major loss of resolution and consequent graininess, such as at 29:57. There was also poor foreground detail in some of the crowd shots (e.g. 31:16).

    The subtitles were largely a waste of space with very little of the lyrics translated. Most of the effort in subtitling is reserved for Sammy's between-song banter.

    The RSDL layer change occurs at 66:55 between Tracks 11 and 12 and is not disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    All three audio tracks were of excellent quality. The varied tempo and distinctive styles of each player coupled with an extremely wide soundstage made for an  interesting comparison between what was seen to be going on on-stage and what was heard.

    There was no skimping on the audio tracks with this DVD. The listener is presented with Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 and surround-encoded Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. Each of these tracks is selectable on-the-fly from your player's remote without recourse to the menu. This makes for interesting assessment of the DD vs DTS quality. All three tracks were of good quality. Track 14, Finish What You Started offers a superb opportunity to put your sound system on trial as it offers a mix of acoustic, vocal and isolated instrumental sections each having a different emphasis in each compression modality. All three tracks were listened to. The two 5.1 tracks were very, very similar but if anything I'd give the Dolby Digital track the edge on DTS for clarity and atmosphere. Once again I was impressed with the 2.0 track: its clarity, resolution and depth, although lacking some of the surround ambience and subwoofer support of the two 5.1 tracks, made it my preferred listening choice.

    The lyrics and between-track banter was clearly audible and there were no problems with audio sync.

    The surround channels were well-utilised with crowd noise and reverberation from the back of the auditorium achieving a realistic concert hall ambience. They were also specifically employed in Serious Juju to convey a mystical, embracing guitar surround effect and in Finish What Ya Started to position the listener, drummer-like, surrounded by kit.

    The subwoofer was tastefully employed to convey the punch of the bass drum from on-stage to the listener's midriff.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Over an hour's worth of extras are offered, principally found on the second disk. These consist of an hour-long interview with Sammy, a brief 'home-video' style clip of the Cabo and glimpses of Sammy performing at his Cabo Wabo.


    The menu is functional and consists of picture-in-box animation with choices accompanied by sound bites of Sammy.

Sammy Hagar Interview

    65 minutes of post-show interview with Sammy, in pensive mood, covering the Red Rocker's philosophy of life as a rock star, the rebirth from Van Halen and a variety of topics ranging from Napster to tequila:

  1. The Rebirth
  2. The Coolest Guy in Class
  3. Paradise
  4. Critique
  5. Van Hagar
  6. Cabo Wobble
  7. Waitress!
  8. Humbled
  9. Redheads
  10. The Kids
  11. Humbled
  12. Lasting
  13. Locks of Love
  14. In the Ring

Scenes from the Cabo Wabo

    Home video style footage of the Cabo, the Wabo cantina and pre-show party (spot John Entwistle!). It runs for 11 minutes and is presented in non 16x9 enhanced 1:33:1 and recorded in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Makes some sense of the Cabo Wabo philosophy to those of us who don't know where Cabo is or what a Wabo does!

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Apart from an earlier release date, R1 coding and NTSC format there appears to be no difference between the R1 and R4 releases.


Sammy Hagar & The Waboritas Cabo Wabo Birthday Bash Tour is a 2 hour rockumentary covering three decades of singer, songwriter Sammy Hagar. Presented as a 2 hour informal live show and party, this DVD is entertaining and insightful although a little on the long side. The extras, mainly consisting of an hour-long candid interview with Sammy will be well-received by the Red-Rocker party-faithful.

    The video falls short of reference quality for a live concert due to MPEG artefacts.

    The audio tracks are excellent and offer comparable Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround sound or a sonically superior 2 channel track.

    A must-buy for rock fans or those who just want to party with Sammy.

Ratings (out of 5)


© John Lancaster (read my bio)
Tuesday, November 20, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-900E, using RGB output
DisplayPioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersB&W 602 front/rear. B&W LRC6 Centre / Solid (AKA B&W) 500 SW

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