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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chickenfoot - Get Your Buzz On DVD review

Chickenfoot – Get Your Buzz On Live DVD
Released through DC3 / Rockpit.

OK my thoughts on Chickenfoot, what a potentially great act!
Why do I say potentially many of you may say who are already loving, ‘The ‘Foot’ as they are affectionately known between both band members and the fan base already established.

Why potentially? A combination of guitar maestro Joe ‘Satch’ Satriani, drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), over the top bassist / vocalist Michael Anthony (Van Halen, The Other Half) and of course legendary Sammy ‘Red Rocker’ Hagar (Montrose, Van Halen) on lead vocals / guitar, what’s wrong with that great line up?

Well, here’s the thing with this band, it really is or seems to be a case of you either get Chickenfoot or you really don’t and if you guessing that I think the latter, I have to admit you’d be quite right.
I had really wanted to love this band, as I love pretty much all the work the various members have behind them, with the exception of Chad Smith’s ‘Chili Peppers .. Likewise, I don’t get that band at all …

I read reviews of the ‘CF’ album before hearing it and the Led Zeppelin comparisons weren’t encouraging.
Then I heard the album and it has never really clicked with me, but I thought well maybe it’s a live thing.
Cue the live DVD ….

Interestingly enough before the band go onstage Sammy gets all the band and crew together in a huddle and says a prayer before they run out onto the stage.

Opening the live set as the album does with ‘Avenida Revolution’ the crowd is ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

As the song rips in its Satch who is the showpoint, with his riffing away as the song starts and Sammy gives a strong vocal and the band is clearly rocking the house. Trouble is the track for me, really goes nowhere … Is it just me?

Next we get ‘Sexy Little Thing’ with it’s repetitive riff and the chorus should grab me but it really doesn’t, still the band look like they’re having fun and there’s some great interplay between Satch and Mike Anthony.

Probably the only real song of theirs that has got my attention is up next, as we get ‘Soap On A Rope’ and I tend to think the crowd feels the same way with their response. That said, so far the crowd really isn’t singing along with everything … The song is though I have to say, perhaps the closest thing we get to Van Halen and maybe that’s it?! Hmmm …

Before they kick into the next track, Chad – Doesn’t this guy have that crazed Will Ferrell look about him?! - and Sammy play off each about why they recorded this DVD in Phoenix, Arizona with Chad saying, ‘There’s a lot of very attractive people out there tonight,’ and Sammy replies, ‘Isn’t that what Arizona is known for, their beautiful women. Doh! Maybe that’s why we wanted to record this here!’
Time for ‘My Kinda Girl’ which almost wants to be Van Halen song and isn’t too bad at all, but again the songs they’ve established together for me just lack a little something. That ‘X factor.’

‘Down the Drain’ next and Sammy says, ‘You know this song started as a jam session and then we turned it into a song. Well how about tonight we turn it back into a jam session?!’

I hate to say it but I really think that sums up my thoughts on Chickenfoot. They really do just sound like a jam band, sure it’s of the highest quality but put simply the songs really aren’t singalong songs.
There’s no ‘Can’t Drive 55,’ no ‘Red,’ no ‘Only One Way To Rock,’ no ‘Dreams,’ no ‘Top of the World,’ or anything along those tracks, so you get the picture.

Other tracks off the album come in the form of ‘Bitten By The Wolf,’ – A bonus track on certain versions of the album. – then ‘Oh Yeah,’ which seems to get the crowd interested in joining in vocally.
You also get, ‘Learnin’ To Fall,’ ‘Get it Up,’ ‘Turnin’ Left’ and ‘Future in the Past.’

Highlight for me in the set was the inclusion of the old Montrose number ‘Bad Motor Scooter’ where Sammy finally grabs a …, well it ain’t a guitar, but it’s a custom ‘jobby’ which he takes to the front of the stage to play as a steel guitar would be played, on his lap as he plays the simulated engine revving intro.  
The band really jams this song to back Sammy up and then Sammy introduces, ‘Chad Smith on the drums’ as Satch just kicks out some powerchords and then … Sammy grabs his guitar and kicks some serious butt! Now this is a mega jam I can appreciate! Sweet!

They then move into a rip roaring rendition of The Who’s ‘My Generation’ and fittingly Chad Smith trashes his kit at the end and Satch closes the set with the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’
Then they are done. I don’t think I’ll be checking out Chickenfoot live, but if you liked the album, then you’re sure to enjoy this.

Extra features are a very good documentary including the opening scene where Chad poses as a reporter with microphone and goes out into the streets of the city asking people on the street if they’ve ever heard of Chickenfoot and shows a band photo to see if anyone can recognize any of the members. Perhaps the funniest moment is where two young lads are asked and one says, ’Is that Jimmy Page?’ and Chad says, ‘Yeah, sure, that’s Jimmy Page, alright!’ Too funny.

There’s other great stuff in the documentary too like Joe Satriani interviewed by Nigel Tuffnal (Spinal Tap) and Sammy interviewing / meeting Bob Weir for an entertaining ‘chat’ and there a lot more too.
Don’t get me wrong, the live show’s alright, the bands songs just don’t grab me, so as an overall package it’s OK.

Rating: 3 out of 5 for me

The bands website is:

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