Chickenfoot – Rocker Expectations
By Sharon Gay
Popular rocker vocalist, Sammy Hagar, has put together a new musical outfit of legendary rock superstars that call themselves Chickenfoot.
A full house of more than 6000 standing room only fans rocked with Chickenfoot on Saturday night celebrating the end of the summer season at Lake Tahoe, at the end of the Summer Concert Series at Harveys Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena.
The hard rocking Chickenfoot musicians Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Chad Smith and Michael Anthony returned to the scene of their hit Northern Nevada debut for a blowout concert on a mild September evening.
Aaron Hagar, Sammy’s son, opened the show with the Watos along with his Godfather David Lauser (drums), Mona (bass and vocals) and Vic Johnson (guitar and vocals). He seems to know how to enjoy himself on stage just like his father. One of the group quipped that they used to babysit Aaron.
Throughout the performance, Hagar expressed his gratitude for having two bands and for the honor and priviledge of playing onstage with Satriani, Smith and Anthony – who seemed to enjoy being on stage with Sammy as well.
Excited fans arrived well before 7pm, ready to celebrate, many filled with lots of expectations from the new band. Chickenfoot succeeded in pleasing – with a high-energy stellar performance that was artistically beyond anyone’s expectations – except perhaps their own – giving their fans plenty of reason to celebrate.
Vocalist Sammy Hagar, sixty-five, must spend a lot of time working out – even at high altitude, he was fit and full of vigor – dancing throughout the performance.
Together, the mature band performed something of an astonishing balancing act, delivering a rock concert that was fun, forceful, and creative.
Vivid setlist songs included Avenida Revolucion, Sexy Little Thing, Soap on a Rope, My Kinda Girl, Down the Drain, Bitten By The Wolf, Oh Yeah, Learning to Fall, Get It Up, Turnin’ Left, Future in the Past – all from their Chickenfoot album. The mind-blowing encore was a moving tribute to the families of 9-11 victims.
Chickenfoot came together almost by accident, as a result of jams held at Hagar’s club, Cabo Wabo Cantina, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
“We were just having fun,” recalls Michael Anthony. “After Sammy and I left Van Halen, we’d get together with musicians, and certain people seemed to really gel. Chad came down and we got on well with him. Gradually, we started talking about doing something more serious, but we needed a guitarist. Somebody smokin’ – somebody who could take us to the Promised Land.”
Along came Satch, who said, “I felt an immediate connection – unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. After just a few songs, it became stunningly obvious that we shared an overall musical agenda.”
As individualistic and recognizable as their talents are, they unify, blend, and transform in a strange and beautiful upward spiral onstage.
About a year ago the group partnered with Andy Johns at George Lucas’ Skywalker Studios and knocked out their debut album, Chickenfoot, a terrific album that sets a new standard for rock music in the new millennium.
“These are the kinds of songs I could never do on my own,” says Satriani, “I needed a band like this to make those songs come alive.”
“I write what comes to mind,” says Hagar. “I’m not bound by anything subject-wise. I’m inspired by the music. When I heard the music Joe was going for, it made me reach, it made me stretch. I think it made me sing in a way that I normally wouldn’t have done. We seem to have that kind of effect on each other.”
Chickenfoot’s self-titled debut album was released in June 2009 and debuted at #4 on the Billboard Music Chart. In September 2009. The RIAA certified the Chickenfoot debut as Gol, having sold 500,000 copies. In October 2009, Chad Smith reconvened with the Red Hot Chili Peppers to begin work on their tenth studio album, causing Chickenfoot to enter a temporary hiatus.
Chad Smith finishes his committment to Red Hot Chili Peppers this winter – and Chickenfoot will be cutting a new album early in 2011 when Smith is free:, said Hagar.
With that comment, Chad hid behind his drums – only to break them apart at the end of the show.
Sammy’s Cabo Wabo Cantina at Harveys is a great place to go for appetizers, drinks and eats before the show. Enjoy authentic housemade appetizers and delectable entrees before the show. Favorites include fish tacos, chile relleno lobster burritos, chicken tamales and fajitas.
While at the Red Rocker’s cantina, sample one of the many signature drinks made with Sammy Hagar’s signature Cabo Wabo tequila. I stopped off at the Cantina for a drink after the show – which seemed what everyone else in the audience decided to do as well. There was a line-up to get in – unless you are a VIP, had a special package admit, or are a high-roller at Harvey’s. Many fans were still dancing to a live band and enjoying themselves when I left around midnight.
Sam Roy “Sammy” Hagar was born October 13, 1947 in Salinas California, Sammy, often called “The Red Rocker”, is a rock singer, guitarist, composer, solo artist and successful restauranteur. Hagar was the second of three singers for Van Halen, as well as the original singer of the early 1970s rock band Montrose. On March 12, 2007, Hagar was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen. He has worked with several famous guitarists including Eddie Van Halen, Ronnie Montrose, Neal Schon of Journey, and Joe Satriani. He currently resides in Mill Valley, Marin County, California as well as Cabo San Lucas, He is married for the second time, and has four children.