Chickenfoot - Brixton Academy, London 14th January 2012

The last time we saw Chickenfoot it was their first ever UK gig in 2009 - (reviewed here) - and that night was something pretty special. The band tore through tracks from their debut album and Sammy nearly got killed by Chad throwing his drums around. This time around (still only their 3rd ever UK gig) they have another album to add to the set list and Sammy's minders have bolted down the drum kit.

Last time around the support act was the newly reformed Skin, with Myke Gray on guitar. This time we had new band Red, White and Blues, who just happen to have Myke Gray on guitar, teaming up for the second time with Matti Alfonzetti (they were previously in Jagged Edge together). We already had the new CD "Shine" after hearing various soundbytes from it and after seeing nothing but positive reviews from their recent shows with The Quireboys and Whitesnake we were expecting great things.                              
Over the course of the 35 minute, 7 song set the response from the large crowd grew with every song. They played :
  • Shame Shame
  • Set My Sights On You
  • Rescue Me
  • Counts For Nothing
  • Let It Shine
  • Red White And Blues
  • Stand Up For Rock n'Roll
Up to a 4 piece for live work with Adam Wardle on second guitar and Daren Lamerton on drums the first couple of songs were a bit muddy but luckily by "Rescue Me" the sound had cleared giving us the chance to marvel at Matti's hearty bluesy soulful voice.
The following song "Counts For Nothing" was superb again with Matti's voice to the fore and as the song builds to a crescendo with Myke's melodic solo finishing the song on a high. Finishing with the AC/DC style riffing of "Stand Up For Rock N'Roll" with Myke again melodic soloing at the fore, they left the crowd wanting more. It will be interesting to watch this band develop and we suggest everyone heads over to www.theredwhiteandblues.com straight away to buy the CD.
Somehow I suspect that Chickenfoot never do a duff show. As Sammy Hagar said from the stage - they are not in this to be commercial, they make the music that they like to play and listen to. They don't need to do this - they do it because a) it's infectious fun - they have a good time, we have a good time and b) they are bloody good at it.

Every member of Chickenfoot knows how good they are - they could easily come on stage play a few tracks from the new album and then rely on their past glories by playing a collection of Satriani/Montrose/Hagar/Van Halen tracks - but they don't need to. Tonight, they decide to do a track that is not on one of their albums - what do they play? - Satch Boogie?  nope - Why Can't This Be Love? - nope, Bad Motor..oh you get the picture - they play Foxy Lady by Hendrix. Why? because they can.

It's interesting to note that we have just had Van Halen announcing a tour and album - whilst it will be good to see them - the contribution that Michael Anthony makes on vocals cannot be underestimated. It's as much a foundation of the Chickenfoot sound as it was in Van Halen. ..and tonight Mr Anthony is in fine form. How the hell he hits some of those notes, no one knows. Satriani was on fire, unleashed and working his fretboard to sawdust by the end of the night and Sammy Hagar was simply astounding. Surely there's been a mix up with his birth certificate as the man I saw on stage with a voice as good as it was 20 years ago, leaping around and being the consummate rock star was not 64 years old. Although they were missing Chad's unique style of madness,  Kenny Aronoff is the perfect,  probably the only,  possible replacement for Chad, with his hyperactive high arm technique, bashing the crap out of his kit. Thank God it was bolted down.

The new songs from 'Foot III all have a real groove to them with Satch riffing away like crazy and they seemed to be played at 90 mph with "Alright Alright" going past in a flash but then they can turn on a sixpence and slow it down for "Something Going Wrong" with Joe on his twin necked guitar and Michael on his wonderful back up vocals and really letting the bluesy flow of the song develop before Joe's wonderful solo at the end. Superb.

Sammy strapped his guitar on for the end of "Future In The Past" reminding us all that he's no slouch when it comes to guitar playing. Watching Smokin' Joe Satriani watching the Red Rocker solo was brilliant. It makes you wonder what they could do with dueling guitars, although Sammy is adamant that here is only one guitar player in the band.

Interesting to note that tonight Sammy introduced "My Kinda Girl" as his favourite track from Chickenfoot I, it's ours too so why didn't they play it at Shepherds Bush in 2009?
As we came out afterwards we heard people saying how brilliant the gig was, and we remember coming out from the gig 3 years ago saying the same thing with a huge grin on our faces. This time round it was a different kind of "Wow!!" and the grin was still there. As good as their 2009 UK debut, but with a bit more depth. It's interesting to think where they go from here - if this is the road test after only seven dates what could they do next ?

Set List :
  • Lighten Up
  • Alright Alright
  • Bigfoot
  • Sexy Little Thing
  • Soap On A Rope
  • Up Next
  • My Kinda Girl
  • Down The Drain
  • Three and a Half Letters
  • Something Going Wrong
  • Turnin; Left
  • Future's In The Past
Encore:
  • Different Devil
  • Oh Yeah
  • Foxy Lady
(Top photo credit to Jerry Tremaine, all rest credit to Steve Goudie)

NR and ME 

Comments

  1. Spot on!
    Probably the best concert I've ever been to.
    Having heard the new Van Halen track I'm seriously considering switching my allegiance from Roth to Hagar.

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