Thirsty Merc Singer Joins Joe Satriani & Sammy Hagar In International Supergroup

20 November 2023 | 2:35 pm | Ellie Robinson

A 28-date tour will roll across the US next July… Could a run of Australian dates follow?

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Thirsty Merc vocalist Rai Thistlethwayte has confirmed his involvement in Sammy Hagar’s upcoming North American tour, joining a stacked supergroup of international artists.

Thistlethwayte confirmed the news on social media last Thursday (November 16), writing in a Facebook post that he is “beyond excited” to be joining the band. He’ll perform keyboards and backing vocals, sharing the stage with Hagar behind the mic, Joe Satriani on lead guitar, Michael Anthony (aka Mad Anthony Bassman, formerly of Van Halen and currently Chickenfoot and The Circle) on bass, and Jason Bonham (son of late Led Zeppelin legend John Bonham, and also a member of The Circle) on drums.

The tour will span 28 dates across North America, running from the middle of July to the end of August next year. It’s dubbed the Best Of All Worlds tour – a sequel-of-sorts to Hagar’s 2004 Best Of Both Worlds tour with Anthony – with a setlists said to be drawn from the entirety of Hagar and co’s musical catalogues. In addition to his 20 solo albums, this includes material by Van Halen, Chickenfoot, The Circle, G3 and more.

In a press release, Hagar said of the tour’s significance: “It’s crazy to think that it’ll be 20 years since Mikey and I played these songs with Van Halen on the 04’ Best Of Both Worlds Tour. With Joe on board, we can take a deeper dive into those years. We’re going to touch on some hits from my entire career but seeing fans old and new really embrace the new collection set off something in Mikey and I.

“We were at my Birthday Bash in Cabo for my 76th and looked at each other and high fived, like ‘Let’s do it.’ We pulled out a couple of them and it was an instant lovefest with the fans from our first riffs. The music we created is going to outlive us all. They deserve to be heard so it’s time we go out and serve the fans that music, while we still can.”

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More info on the tour itself can be found here.

Meanwhile, Thirsty Merc released their fifth studio album – a collection of covers titled Celebration – independently last June. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Thistlethwayte has also been quietly performing as a touring member of American electronica group KNOWER, and would perform on their since-released debut album KNOWER FOREVER. He also tours as a keyboardist for Satriani’s solo project.