Since I won the satriani.com free tickets drawing for Seattle's rockin' Chickenfoot debut at the worse-than-a-stinking-hole-in-the-ground El Corazon, I know in my heart I've got to do my part to pay y'all back - so here's my review. Many, many thanks to Joe for making these opportunities available to all us fans. It is so verrrrrrrry cool of you! Here's a LINK to some great photos from the show (not mine).
We showed up at the gig around 6pm and there were lines heading down either end of the block depending on how you got your ticket. As the contest winner I was on the band guest list so we just hung out right in front of the main entry until called. We were the first ones let into the venue and picked an obvious perfect spot in the bar area along a rail overlooking the floor and stage – directly in front of Joe. There was a camera tripod right next to us that turned out to belong to Joe’s crew and, as a result, we were able to say hello in person to Satch's noble Webmaster.
I read elsewhere there were technical glitches. Technical glitches my ass - this was one of those events where it just didn’t pay to be a concert snob; showing up only when you think the main act is going on or already has taken the stage. Give me a break - this was the Freakin' Foot's debut, people, so we got in early, held our ground, and enjoyed an absolutely stunning performance, as did the overwhelming majority of the crowd in the main floor area. In such a small room, those who staggered in late were, admittedly, at a serious disadvantage but we experienced absolutely no problems whatsoever and the show was just unreal from our vantage point.
As we hung out we watched Mike fine tune Joe’s guitars while the security crew got somewhat organized. Opener Amyjo Savannah came out for her sound check and sounded great in the empty room, and we told her so. The doors opened and the place began to fill up and was overpacked by the official 8pm starting time. By 8:45 the crowd was getting restless. Mike generously grabbed Amyjo’s Ovation and started tweaking it too - too bad I didn't have my axe with me too.
Around 9pm Amyjo took the stage and was at a serious disadvantage with this restless crowd and a really tired house sound system. But I’ll be damned if she didn’t hold her ground. If this was Texas they'd have thrown beer bottles just for the hell of it, not because she was bad or anything. That was one tough gig for a solo acoustic opener with a crowd that only wanted to rock, and rock it hard.
Well, they soon got exactly what they came for. This band is good. These songs are good. And these guys play so well together it is just unreal. Look, not many people are up to the task of taking the stage with 12 totally unheard songs and completely annihilating their audience - from beginning to end. Think about it – who on earth?
Yeah, it was that good. Even the suits were smiling backstage by the end of it. I suppose there was a lot riding on this working out but, hey, Chad on the drums was just a pure joy to watch – what he is doing here just fits so well and he is so animated about it. And, plain and simple, Sammy and Michael are pure rockhounds. OMG - Sammy is such a screamer! But topping them all was Joe, as always, just being Joe.
They played it just as it will appear on the CD, with the exception of Bitten by the Wolf, which may appear in the order presented on vinyl. Joe hauled out a double neck Ibenez at the start of Bitten and started into an old Rolling Stones tune that Sammy hadn't quite learned - may have been “It’s All Over Now” - but then broke into Bitten instead. Joe could not have been in better form and he did have a few new tricks up his sleeve. I'm looking forward to hearing it in detail on the record. Totally unreal - and I say this everytime I see him.
The set list was as follows:
1. Avenida Revolution
2. Soap on a Rope
3. Sexy Little Thing
4. Oh Yeah
5. Runnin' Out
6. Get It Up
7. Down The Drain
8. Bitten by the Wolf – (on vinyl LP only)
9. My Kinda Girl
10. Learning To Fall
11. Turnin' Left
12. Future in the Past
13. Bad Motor Scooter
14. Highway Star
The intermission, or so-called technical glitch, was triggered by a disgruntled (drunk/snobby) ticket holder who couldn't get a view so they proudly called the police, who in turn called the fire department, which put the show on hold for about 20 minutes following My Kinda Girl. All is fair in rock and roll, I suppose, and this actually turned out to be the perfect way to kick start the Road Test. The word is now out - absolutely nothing is going to stop these guys.
Things got straightened out fairly quickly and the band fired back up with Learning To Fall followed by Turning Left and the simply stunning played-live Future in the Past. Like I've already said – Joe has never been in better form – constantly pulling off flawless awesome stuff. Hendrix was definitely in the house. The Montrose song “Bad Motor Scooter" (starting with a LOUD lap steel guitar solo from Sammy on the floor) and Deep Purple’s “Highway Star" formed the encore and were presented as extended rockouts. Just perfect. No complaints here. Rock On CHICKENFOOT!!!