Watch Michael Anthony Sing Van Halen Classics Onstage
Van Halen fans in the audience at Sammy Hagar’s Las Vegas residency show on Feb. 12 were treated to the experience of bassist Michael Anthony taking lead vocals for two of the band’s classic tracks.
The latest Hagar and Friends show, featuring Anthony from Hagar's band the Circle, included renditions of “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” which can be seen below. As Anthony delivers lighthearted renditions of the songs, encouraging the crowd to join in, Hagar acts as cheerleader and backing vocalist for his former Van Halen bandmate.
Hagar has often argued that Anthony’s vocal contribution to Van Halen was undervalued by their former bandmates. In 2019 he told UCR how he came to realize the strength of the bassist’s voice. "When we jammed, Mikey didn’t sing at all, that first time," he said. "But when we started writing, and I would say, ‘Hey, Mike, can you hit these backgrounds on this?’ … And when Mike started singing ‘Summer Nights,’ I’m going, ‘Holy shit, this fucker can sing!’ That really got my attention."
He added that "if you listen to the harmonies on 5150 and OU812, there are a lot of background parts, which are very Van Halen-esque. They always had some nice singing, and it was always Michael’s voice that gave it that sound. And I think I utilized that even more than they ever did before because I was so excited that I had a guy who could sing harmony to me. We became more melodic, with more intricate melodies, holding out notes longer and so forth. … It was just a whole different style.”
Watch Michael Anthony Sing ‘Runnin’ With the Devil’
Watch Michael Anthony Sing ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’