Review: Chickenfoot brings impeccable combination of sounds to stage |

Review: Chickenfoot brings impeccable combination of sounds to stage

Ryan Johnson
Photo by Alex JohnsonSammy Hagar, "the Red Rocker," switches it up for Cinco De Mayo.

Some bands just don’t need to rehearse. The phrase “you either have it or you don’t” comes to mind, and these guys have it in droves.

Sammy Hagar summed it up onstage: “We rehearsed hard but we didn’t. These guys can

f—ing play!”

On May 5, Chickenfoot played Harrah’s South Shore room, an audience of screaming fans crowding the stage as Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Kenny Aronoff served up some savage rock.

The four legendary musicians’ decades of combined stage experience was obvious.

The connection within the band was incredible. From every guitar lick and drum beat to bass line and lyric, the combination was perfect.

The band had a laid-back appearance, with Hagar wearing a colorful “Mexico” T-shirt and everyone but Anthony sporting shades. They didn’t just look like rock stars, however. They definitely played the part.

From the second Joe Satriani took the stage, he was shredding unbelievable guitar riffs. The virtuoso cranked out mind-numbing solos all night long, at one point lifting his Ibanez to pick the strings with his teeth. He brought out his multi-neck guitar for a few songs, adding yet another component to the staggering fret work.

Hagar gave an inspired performance. Like the lyrics to their song “Big Foot,” he “kept his hands on the wheel” and took the crowd along with him for the whole ride. The frontman paced back and forth across the stage, high-fiving fans in the surging audience left and right.

The performances were so intensely captivating that the shared stage seemed to evolve into a battle between Hagar’s powerful stage presence and Satriani’s wicked guitar skills.

Anthony and Aronoff were also key ingredients to the show. Anthony’s thumping bass lines and backup vocals brought vital depth and harmony. Aronoff didn’t miss a beat, filling in on drums for Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, on leave at the moment to record with that band.

Adding an extra visual element for the new tour, Chickenfoot introduced an elaborate light show that pulsated with every beat. They also included a series of videos that ranged from old school car races to a man running around in a chicken suit.

Chickenfoot played all their hit numbers during the show, which included “Sexy Little Thing,” “Lighten Up,” “Something Going Wrong,” and “Different Devil,” a mandatory performance, according to Hagar.

“We weren’t going to play that song, but then all our wives jumped on us,” he said onstage.

With such talented members, every song was a hit for the audience. If you know the histories of these incredible musicians, the exhilarating performance they put on was no surprise. If not, you should check them out.

For all you hard rock fans out there, this was one for the ages.

– Action writer Josh Sweigert contributed to this review.

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