Chickenfoot takes the super out of supergroup

Don't get me wrong: unlike most music critics, I've got nothing against Sammy Hagar. He used to seriously rock my teenaged world with Montrose in the '70s, then I thoroughly enjoyed his early solo albums (before he decided he couldn't drive 55), and I even liked a couple of tracks from his mid-'80s stint with Van Halen ("Finish What Ya Started", "Dreams".). I always thought he had a great rock 'n' roll voice.

But enough is enough. Judging by last night's concert at the Commodore with his new "supergroup", Chickenfoot, it's definitely time for Hagar to grab himself a bottle of that premium tequila he so proudly promotes and head off into the Cabo sunset.

The quartet—which includes guitar hero Joe Satriani, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith—showcased all the songs from its upcoming self-titled CD, and there didn't seem to be a strong one in the bunch. They sounded forced, formulaic, and extremely safe; most of them came off as substandard rejects from Van Halen's OU812 sessions. Hagar tried hard to make it seem like he was having the time of his life trotting out these tedious odes to the endless party, but come on, pal. you're 61. Isn't it time you branched out from songs about your "Sexy Little Thing"? Your new tunes make Nickelback seem edgy.

And Satriani is just wasted in this group. The guy's a real artist on guitar, as he's proven via a dozen instrumental albums, so to see him up there grinding through vapid, contrived arrangements is just sad. I predict he's going to get fed up with this misstep of a "supergroup" very soon and go back to being an adventurous axeman of the highest order, the type who'd much rather trade licks with a virtuosic bassist like Stu Hamm than the lowly Michael Anthony.

I got much more of a buzz from the night's opening act, Vancouver's Rich Hope and His Evil Doers. Hope only has one evil doer, actually, ace drummer Adrian "Mad" Mack, but between the two of them they churn out the type of raw, honest, gutbucket rock 'n' roll that Sammy Hagar now seems truly incapable of.




May 16, 2009 at 7:29pm

If You don't have anything nice to say....DON'T.I was there,am not a hard rocker,am 55 and loved they say........being a music crotic doesn't give you the right to call someone LOWLY......F***

Steve Newton

May 16, 2009 at 7:46pm

But being a music critic does give me the right to be honest, so I was.

Russ Resister

May 16, 2009 at 8:55pm



May 16, 2009 at 11:07pm

you sound jealous champ, wasnt the position of music critic created for those who couldnt get a gig as a bass player?
Ah, yes, the ramblings of a frustrated musician. Your comments about anthony demonstrates your clear lack of knowledge about music, what youd probably slam cliff williams too huh, if you know who he was.
People like you piss me and many others off, as you are in a position where you get to see many greta artists and gigs, that you never pay for, or have to line up for, and overtime you lose your sense of perspective and edge, and take for granted good music. as mentioned earlier your comments about hagar, anthony and joe show that you cant really grasp the 'band ' concept of this group and why they have formed, which as a music critic, which in itself is a load of shit title, is really really sad.
what your buddy plays in the opening act? nice mention anyway.

Steve Newton

May 17, 2009 at 12:00am

Cliff Williams is the bassist in AC/DC. And no, I wouldn't slam him. That band was made for a bassist who plays mostly one note.


May 17, 2009 at 1:52am

Idiot indeed. You actually got a "buzz" from the buddy Holly wannabe? Good lord, you DO need help. If you didn't enjoy the show, fine - but I think you will find you are vastly out numbered. Certainly no accounting for taste.

irwin sirotta

May 17, 2009 at 7:00am

They will be loved by boomers and their kids alike and will be HUGE, regardless of your tasteless digs.

93 springer

May 17, 2009 at 8:08am

I thought the show was fantastic couldn't stop shaking my fist an rockin my head to almost every song.It was pure undaulterated fuckn horsepower from start o finish I had no voice at end of show.What show where you at certainly wasn't the one I saw you must of been on very lousy drugs shoud of hooked up with me I was the one with primo bud BC bud that is


May 17, 2009 at 11:38am

Your review is spot on. I too was a Hagar fan and was looking forward to something new and fresh. Especially when Hagar made the bold statement that this band was going to rival the mighty Led Zeppelin. Not quite.


May 17, 2009 at 11:49am

Meanwhile, back at the plantation, I'm eagerly awaiting the love/adulation saturated review that Mike Unsinger will invariably write about his idol...Scott Weiland. If it's anything like the puff piece that Mike wrote the last time Scott was slumming in Vancouver I think those two should get a room.