The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
May 21st, 2012
Concert Review: Chickenfoot at The Beacon Theatre
As rock fans, we grow anxious when one of our heroes teams up with fellow like-minded masters of shredding guitar, pounding drums, and pulsating bass to form the ‘supergroup.’ On the heels of their sophomore album release last September, Hagar re-joined forces with guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani and former Van Halen bandmate and bass player Michael Anthony, for the group’s return trip to New York City. And on Monday night, the group known as Chickenfoot would grace the Beacon Theatre proving once again that power of pure rock music does in fact still exist. LocalBozo.com was fortunate to grab one of last remaining tickets to a jam packed show to witness Chickenfoot rock the stage in Manhattan for one night only.
At 9pm the house lights faded to a purple fog, allowing the four members of Chickenfoot to take the stage covered by darkness. As soon as the lights lit up however, this show became nothing but a booty shaking, blues-rock driven party. Lead singer Sammy Hagar attacked the stage with the fervor of a man half his age, exuding a passion that you wish could be bottled. His killer pipes and energetic stage presence naturally makes any project he works on worth checking out, but especially so here. The master guitarist, Satriani manned stage right as he proceeded to ‘surf with an alien,’ ripping through the opening licks to “Lighten Up” and “Alright Alright.” The man is a walking, talking museum of axe grinding brilliance and is an ideal fit in this band of rock royalty and these tracks got the sold out Beacon crowd on their feet, never to sit again throughout the night.
Between songs, Hagar addressed the crowd providing us with his trademark, ‘pep talks.’ And by pep talk I am referring to his instance that everyone in the house was partying with just the right amount of buzz on. The long time rocker and well-known tequila mogul embodies the rock n’ roll lifestyle in its most positive and pure form. Hagar and the boys treated the audience like this was an intimate show at a local bar, and not a huge theater, rewarding fans with a killer rendition of “Sexy Little Thing” from the band’s self-titled debut. The raucous track played like a party anthem to the crowd, reminiscent to Hagar’s 1980′s solo work and his ’5150′ work with former band Van Halen. Speaking of which, watching Hagar and Anthony parade around on stage together during ‘The Last Temptation’ anyone looking at the stage could see, the two friends exchanging both lyrics and laughs. Anthony’s performance showed precisely why he continues to be considered one of the best bass playersin both style and passion on stage. Unlike other bassists who tend to stand stiffly while plucking away, Anthony shreds his axe like he’s playing lead guitar.
Unfortunately, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers currently on the road, drummer Chad Smith had to step off this tour and although he was missed, seasoned drummer Kenny Aronoff took his place with ease. Aronoff has toured with the likes of Elton John, John Fogerty, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Meat Loaf his track record precedes him. Throughout the night he slammed the skins like a rock demon, taking little time to breathe before each cymbal crash. During the set, Hagar joked about Smith’s absence while praising both talented drummers.
The Beacon Theatre show proved to be an all out rock fest featuring some of the most iconic musicians to grace a stage over the past two decades. Fans itching for that last glimpse of Hagar’s signature smirk and Satriani’s methodically maddening fingers absolutely left the theater satisfied. Despite a dearth of new rock music that can captivate and inspire like the previous bands each of these musicians helped to create, sometimes it’s imperative to look to the past to help shape the future. This is the future, this is Chickenfoot.
- Jay Rubin