ATLANTIC CITY, NJ—This new collection of musicians includes Sammy Hagar (Van Halen, Montrose and a very successful solo career), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Michael Anthony (Van Halen), and Joe Satriani, guitar vituoso. They should not be tagged a “supergroup” just yet because their first album isn’t a smash hit and their first tour isn’t packing big venues.
The House Of Blues in Atlantic City is a modest-sized venue and there was plenty of room to walk around. The new band is trying to make a name for themselves off the sweat of their debut album entitled Chickenfoot. What this means is they didn’t play big name songs from the past.
The band opened up with “Avenida Revolution” and Satriani was on fire during that song. His solo was memorable and he used his teeth, giving the fans what they wanted. Anthony’s bass solo was the same as his mates, short and sweet. Smith kept the drumsticks flying intermittingly for the first two songs and the crowd really liked what they saw.
The band musically has a lot of promise but it took a few songs until they stopped looking like four musicians playing a gig. At some point Sammy proclaimed that the venue was “awesome” and then he added, “this room is out of sight man.” The very talented frontman dated himself a bit with those remarks.
After playing “My Kinda Girl” the band had hit a high point in the show and they were able to ride that wave for the remainder. “Down The Drain” was the next song and that had a great blues jam. The bass lines were heavy, the guitar was constant, and the stick lights positioned by the band were pulsating up and down with the music—it was a great moment.
At one point Sammy said, “As you people can tell I’m not in charge of this f’n band.” It made total sense because the band members are all stars so there was no leader and that suits them.
The crowd seemed to be mixed about the song “Turnin’ Left.” Let’s face it, A.C. isn’t Nascar country and honestly, how many times can you hear the chorus of “Turnin’ Left”? It was a bit too repetitive.
Right after that song Hagar still had his guitar on and he was posing for pictures backstage. It was funny and it showed off the singer’s playful side. An old Montrose song, “Bad Motor Scooter,” followed and then Sammy had a very memorable dual solo with Satriani. Hagar really showed off his guitar skills.
The night ended with a cover of the Who’s mega it “My Generation” and the band was mimicking the famous British band. It was fabulous. Satriani was doing windmill lines on his guitar and Smith, very unexpectedly, beat up his drum set, tossing it around like Keith Moon did back in the day. Even after the song ended Hagar continued to beat the drum and the crowd loved that, it was the only drum standing!
Check out this band. They are fun, the music is great, and they could be on the verge of hitting it big—they are in their infancy.