Chickenfoot helps Vancouver forget all about Van Halen

At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Tuesday, June 5.

Poll

Chickenfoot or Van Halen?

Van Halen 36%
28 votes
Chickenfoot 64%
49 votes

Chickenfoot vs. Van Halen: now there's a rivalry for ya. There's never been much love lost between those bands' respective singers, Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth. Then there's the fact that Chickenfoot's bassist, Michael Anthony, lost his cherished spot in Van Halen when VH shots-caller Eddie Van Halen brought in his own teenage son, Wolfgang, to unceremoniously replace him. And as far as six-string match-ups go, Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani is one of the few axemen who could give the venerable Van Halen a run for his money in the guitar-hero game.

Throw in the anti-Eddie trash talk that Hagar dished out in his 2011 autobiography, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, and--with both groups out on tour at the same time--the stage was set for a good old-fashioned rock-off. Vancouverites got to see what Van Halen had goin' on last month at Rogers Arena, and last night at the Queen E. they witnessed Chickenfoot's best shot. Performance-wise, the latter act easily emerged as champ.

Unlike Roth--who stunk up Rogers Arena with lame-ass vocals--Hagar can still sing. He's not in Montrose-era shape, vocally, but at 64 he can still muster up an impressive howl. It also helped that he seemed to be having a ball up there, truly enjoying the company of his mates. There didn't appear to be any such connection between Roth and the Van Halen clan.

"It smells pretty good in here!," declared Hagar after blasting through "Last Temptation", one of the top tracks from Chickenfoot's second album, the strangely titled Chickenfoot III. "Is dope legal in Vancouver?," he wondered aloud, before commenting on the apparently pissed-up state of his bass player. "You're fucking ripped!," he chided Anthony, who countered with: "I do some of my best work when I'm ripped!"

If any of the Chickenfoot members were indeed pounded, it didn't seem to be affecting their performances. Particularly impressive was drummer Kenny Aronoff, who's best known for his work with John Mellencamp and John Fogerty. Aronoff handles the kit when C-Footer Chad Smith is on tour with his full-time band the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which--as everyone knows--is a much better band than Chickenfoot.

Although the iffy sound quality in the Queen E. didn't help, Chickenfoot came off much better last night than it did during its Vancouver debut at the Commodore three years back. That was just before the release of its self-titled debut, which was rife with substandard tracks like "Soap on a Rope" and "Oh Yeah". The followup--which was coproduced by Vancouver's Mike Fraser--boasts much stronger material. Not that it would make my Top 10 or anything.

My general disregard for Chickenfoot's music aside, I must say that the foursome put on a pretty decent show last night. The crowd was on its feet the whole time, lapping up Hagar's nonstop party vibe. And it definitely didn't hurt that the band ended the night with the rifftastic stomper from his Montrose days, "Rock Candy". If anyone has the drum chops to nail Denny Carmassi's original slamming on that timeless track, it'd be Aronoff.

You can follow Steve Newton on Twitter at twitter.com/earofnewt.

Comments (18) Add New Comment
Ktron
Party vibe. lol
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Rating: +1
AZ
Everyone knows Roth can"t sing, where have u been the last thirty five years. Its all about Mr. van Halen.
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Dippy
Yeah the 500 people in the crowd loved Hagars cat by the balls vocals.
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Jamie Cosco
Pease, Its all about hits. VanHalen played all their hits throughout the Roth era. Chickenfoot? no hits :) Unfamiliar with all the songs..... Sorry VH wins! again :)
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Cockrock Ricky
While it's hard to take a band named Chickenfoot seriously this band was all business last night. Hagar and Anthony had more than enough chops to keep it from becoming a "Joe Show " and the drummers timing was perfect. Where they get this guy from?? Satriani contained himself but still burned up the fretboard. Super loud and just a great rock show. Was impressed by the vocal work and the lighting wasn"t too shabby either. A disappointing small but enthusiastic crowd. Don't miss this band next time. Van Halen just got schooled big time.
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MichelleW
Chilli`s better than the Foot...I don`t think so!! I saw VH and Chickenfoot this year. Both were great shows. Sammy`s vocals were far better than Dave`s (always was and always will be). For VH it was all about Eddie and Alex and they killed it. Joe Satriani is one of the best guitar players in the world and he was amazing.
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Mike D
Hahahah, surely you jest. Chickenchoke does not compare to the mighty VH.
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Ken M
I love both VH and Chickenfoot. I passed on the VH show at Rogers since it was Roth singing which was never actually singing just talk. Hagar gives the people what they want! A party atmoshere! I still love VH and always will. But I just want to rock with people enjoying life and they want to include you! Head to Cabo in October and join the birthday bash to see and feel what I'm talking about!
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julie roth
van halen is an epic fail it will not last much longer there is trouble in the van halen force
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A musician
THe concert last nite was EXCELLENT! those guys can play and they did that last nite for sure. joe satriani in my mind is by far a better guitar player as he isn't limited to just one style . as for the drummer, bang on and powerful. he's good! Anthony on bass was the driving force that gives the band there "you just want to dance" sound. Hagar well for his age he did very very well. all in all a must see band for me if they return
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Cockrock Ricky
Lets put the Pro Van Halen debate to rest shall we.......Van Halen has canceled the current tour with no apparent explanation. Rumour has it they are fighting with eachother, tickets are too overpriced, or after half of the set thousands of fans are running for the door like I did. Who cares about "The Hits" if your singer and bassist perform like the "Sh$%s." EXACTLY what I call a choke job. NO ONE is putting down Eddies status as a guitar god or his library of great songs. It"s just his band is a shell of its former self. Chickenfoot is 100% PRO. One band is in it for the money and the other is in it for the fun of entertaining its fans. Cumon ED and Alex, when are you two gonna get some REAL musicians to play with? Wolfie is a boy in a mans band and DLR is washed up. Senior Citizen Sammy would even beat Dave in an arm wrestle.
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Simone Raquel
I just wanted to dance all night with my buzz on! Sammy's singing rocked! Joe's guitar was hot! Michael's bass was thumping!, Kenny's drumming was killer! A girl couldn't ask for anything more!
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scotty dog
No comparison. VH sucked, Chickenfoot ROCKED!.
DLR is a clown, Sammy is a pro.
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out at night
What do you mean "iffy sound quality of the Queen E"? That place has world class acoustics Mr. Newton, and if you don't experience the sound quality you like or expect, blame the sound technicians, not the venue.
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Rating: -1
Vonholland
The ten chickenfoot fans posted. Just sayin, y'all don't have to be haters like ur leader hagar!
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Rating: -3
mojomaher
Yeah okay bud, why don';t you smoke another fatty & get some q-tips while you are at it ? Chickenfoot blows & Spammy Hagar is the Michael Boltan of Rock, that is the truth Newton, ya freakin clown ! To all who grew up with the original, real VH, they know what i am talking about, guaranteed ! Van Hagar, R.I.P. thank god is over & was just one big long nightmare that's in the past, hopefully for ever ! ADKOT kicks ass all over the Chickenshit records & the recent VH concert in Van was awesome, are you sure you we're there ? Don't know what show you we're at, but the thousands & thousands of people all had a blast except apparently you ??? I don't care how good Hagar still sings, the man has no swagger, no attitude, no sleaze, no charisma, & is a weak ass frontman ! Not to mention their music just plain sucks, both albums, not one memorable song or hit , please name one that even slightly compared to the countless DLR era VH classics ? Although io will of couse admit that Mike, Joe & Kenny are all world class musicians for sure, too bad they are in such a shitty band ! And by the way, although Wolfgang isn't obviously as good a singer as Mike is, he does the job just fine. And he plays circles around Anthony as far as bass playing goes, that is a fact , he isn't missed by most ! And if it wasn't for Wolfie, their would be no Van Halen today, for that the CVH fans are grateful. Van Halen are selling out arenas all over, how many people did CF just play too in Vancouver ? And by the way Steve, let's see you try to do what DLR does at 57 & entertain thousands like he does effortlessly, now that would be hysterical ! Show the man some freakin respect, of course he can't do what he once could when he was 25, age gets the best of everyone, can you do what you could today that you could 20 years ago ? But the man still knows how to rock a crowd & is one of the all time greatest Rock & Roll frontmen , that can never be taken away from him ! By the way genius, in case you didn't know, Dave was never about being a pitch perfect singer live, even in his prime, it was about the showmanship & giving people a good time ! Spammy pretends to know how to throw a party, Diamond Dave is the party, suck on that fool !!!
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Rating: -1
djbizzi
I like both bands why just like one? I liked vh with sammy too and I've always liked dlr with vh. Joe satriani and eddie are my two favorite guitarists of all time. I'm just glad that they all are still making music. Wish chickenfoot would open for vh now that would be a show.

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Cockrock Ricky
Boo Hoo Hoo! Sounds like someone needs a box of tissue and some nytol. You missed the most glaring TRUTH Mojomaher...Van Halen has canceled the current tour. What more evidence do you need? Weak ticket sales? Burned out? Not getting along? Or could it be hundreds of fans are walking out (I was not the only one) and the reviews are terrible? If the show is good nobody leaves un-happy, right? Reviews don"t lie and the evidence is pouring in not just Vancouver. Mr. Newton is pretty bang on here. Sammy 64, Roger Waters 68, Billy Idol 56, Steven Tyler 64, Neil Young 66, Bryan Adams 52, John Fogarty 67, Prince 54, BB KING 86, Buddy Guy 75, Jeff Beck 67 to name a few are ALL currently touring and you don"t hear any of these pros cancelling their tour for burning out!! In fact, arguably, they are BETTER with age than they were when they were 25. ENOUGH EXCUSES ALREADY! Rogers arena was HALF EMPTY. VH had little going for them stage show wise and the singing was retarded. Wolfgang does NOT play as good as ANTHONY or you need to get some music lessons or grow some better ears. I was at BOTH concerts.I have been to over 100 shows and can sing, play bass, drums,keyboards,and guitar. Seen Van Halen 2 times before (awesome) and the last show (3rd time) was real bad. One of the THE WORST SHOWS I EVER SAW. Whereby the Chickenfoot show, Sammy sang his heart out, was in key, and had way better swagger and stage presence than Zirconian Dave stuck on his 6X6 wood floor with his sweaty scarf. I love Mean Street and Atomic Punk Etc Etc, but ADKOT was an album of songs mostly NOTHING ORIGINAL from the 70"s. Already heard some bootlegs years ago. Where have you been?? Also, most of DLR solo albums were songs PURCHASED from publishers. Sammy has a large catologue of original material written by himself. Stick to your UKELELE or bongos mojo. Whatever musical abilities you are lacking, try actually LISTENING to the player instead of going by image, past hits and the memories of VHs glory days like a die hard ABBA fan. If you can"t even respect Chickenfoot as a current and viable rock band its likely you have a musical IQ of a MONKEE and probably still like bands like Kiss and Poison too. A different kind of truth is VAN HALEN is no longer one of the worlds best rock bands. BTW, I hear way more Chickenfoot being played on the radio than "TATTOO" wich is played like, NEVER! I also hear way more Sammy Hagar solo stuff and VAN HAGAR than any DLR (ZERO) material and almost as much as Van Halen gets radio play. I dont know what is worse. The new Van Halen record or the die hard VH fan getting suckered by sub par bass playing and limited lead vocal capabilities with crummy sound and a bogus stage, (LIGHTING, VISUALS, BIG SCREEN) show and getting ripped off ($125) in the process. NOT WHAT I EXPECT FROM A VAN HALEN SHOW! Next few years Chickenfoot will be coming to Vancouver again with new material and Van Halen will still be looking for a new band. Did you know Zirconian Dave can only sing in DROP D Tuning or E FLAT? Sammy can sing in STANDARD tuning and all of the above. Now you know why Sammy Hagar is a better singer and Chickenfoot is CURRENTLY a better band with NEW ORIGINALS. Do you think Jo Satriani and Chad Smith would play with a couple chumps??? If you want RE-HASHED CRAP GO SEE VAN HALEN AGAIN IF THEY EVEN MAKE IT HERE AGAIN. You can take that to the bank. (BTW Tal Wilkenfeld BLOWS away WOLFIE and she"s around the same age) Look her up, check it out.
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