Venue: Webster Hall (New York, NY)
Label: E1 Entertainment
I’m sure that you all know a little bit about Chickenfoot by now because the band has been active for a couple of years and its super group roster of members are Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith. The guys had just released their second album, which was actually entitled “Chickenfoot III” and while drummer Chad Smith was on the recording, he would be unable to tour due to commitments with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and in his place is longtime session and live drumming powerhouse Kenny Aronoff. Tonight the guys would be breaking it down at the Webster Hall for a sold out show and since this was my first time ever seeing them in action I was rather excited. I really enjoyed the first album and was still getting used to the latest output and while friends had raved about this band in concert to me on occasion, I like to be the judge of this myself from time to time before I nod in agreement. Of course it’s hard to not have a solid band with Satch on guitar and Sammy on vocals. Having grown up on old school Van Halen I knew full well what to expect from Anthony and that left Aronoff as the only denominator I had yet to see in a live situation. Opening the show would be Ponderosa and I arrived on the late side to what they were doing and felt that while they sounded good were not really my thing. It happens.
The guys hit the stage all in smiles and to a rousing reception from the mostly male audience. It was also more of an older crowd than some of the bands that I have seen recently but I am not complaining about it since I seem to fall into that demographic myself. Their opening tune would be “Lighten Up” and they would follow with “Alright Alright” and the tune that I heard most of late “Big Foot”…..wow. Three songs from the latest album right up front but that was to be expected since they do only have two releases out to pick from. The sound was tight in terms of guitar and vocal melody and the rhythm section thumping like a powerful heartbeat. I was enjoying myself but as I watched the band it seemed as though they were as well. Hagar was the bands spokesman for the evening and the other guys would just acknowledge his words with guitar licks, drum hits or just plain smiles as needed. Two from the band’s debut came up next and this seemed to be the pattern, a couple from one and then from the other and so forth. I was so caught up in absorbing the show that I began to lose track which came from which. It’s alright I had a photograph of it to dissect later on.
Hagar joked about being fired from the band over song selection and maintained that it was Satch who ruled the roost in this one. He mused aloud at how every band he is in fires him at least four times. This went over rather well in terms of the humor. The bands “Three and a Half Letters” is probably as socio-political as the band wants to get and speaks to those who are in need of work. I like the tune and give them credit for doing something like this because it rings true to so many people nowadays. There was also some interaction with the group of women who had lined up on the barricades and held up signs that showed where they were all from. I have a photograph of them on the blog posting for this same review. It was pretty cool to see this happening and I am sure that it made all of these women’s night. Apparently they all have some king of communal band fan club or something. There was no Van Halen, or solo Satch or Hagar material to be found this evening and while I felt this allowed for the Chickenfoot material to hold greater sway, I did think that it would have blown some of their fans away had they picked out a mutual gem. As I watched the whole thing happening I was further convinced that Joe Satriani is one of the best guitar players in music today. Wow what an impressive delivery he has with that axe. He also had a boat load of signature guitar picks on his microphone stand but I didn’t see him throw many out to the crowd. If he did I didn’t see it because I was in position to try and get one for my own collection if at all possible. Love those things but I am sure a lot of you fans do as well. Maybe next time. In examining what the set list composition would end up like, it was seven tunes from the first album with the remaining nine coming from the second along with a cover.
As a closer the guys would return to the stage to deliver a solid version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady”. Now I know that it makes sense to do a tune like this since Satriani is involved with the “Experience Hendrix” performances, but I think that I might have preferred that they do another older tune or something that has not yet been recorded for their fans sake. As I said just a few lines above I really didn’t expect any Van Halen that is for sure, but there could have been something else done besides this particular tune. They rocked it of course but after the tune had ended that was it. It was time to head home and I really didn’t think that their audience wanted to do that and would have stayed another half hour if they could have. I enjoyed the presentation and was glad that I had finally gotten to see the band.
1. Lighten Up
2. Alright Alright
3. Big Foot
4. Sexy Little Thing
5. Soap on a Rope
6. Last Temptation
7. Up Next
8. My Kinda Girl
9. Down the Drain
10. Come Closer
11. Three and a Half Letters
12. Something Going Wrong
13. Turnin’ Left
14. Future in the Past
15. Oh Yeah
16. Foxy Lady
Tonight since the show was up in the main concert hall of Webster there was a chance to get a great marquee shot. Here we see the bands name up on the lights and their opener Ponderosa as well. I would arrive just as Ponderosa was beginning to play but I would decide to not take any photos of them at this time around.
The fans were out in force at this packed Webster Hall and I found these interesting folks all lined up at the barricade. I really didn’t have a sufficient amount of room to get them all at once so I tried to be as creative as possible. The ladies pictured were all fans of the band from various states. They apparently all knew each other as well from other shows I guess. Perhaps even only from the band forum boards like we often see happening with the Y&T crew. Either way, I promised them that I would use these photos so here you are.
Let me try that one again 🙂 Ah much better….
As I said this was a super packed venue tonight. One had to expect that being the case with this many big names in the group.
Sorry that I didn’t capture too many other “side visuals” for this show. It’s not always easy to do that but I do it whenever it is possible since that is what the blog side of our conventional concert reviews is for. If you went to the show, do leave us some comment thoughts for sure.
Official Website: http://www.chickenfoot.us