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      Chickenfoot with Black Stone Cherry in Seattle

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      June 6, 2012

       

      California Avenue Southwest and Alaska Street Southwest
      Seattle, Washington

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      Chickenfoot with Black Stone Cherry

      Having established themselves in record time as one of the earths premier rock bands with their Gold-certified 2009 self-titled debut, Chickenfoot the illustrious, virtuosic supergroup formed by singing legend Sammy Hagar, guitar god Joe Satriani, and the renowned rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Chad Smith approached the initial stages of recording their new album, Chickenfoot III, with supreme confidence and a firm sense of intention.They, of course, had good reasons to feel cocky: There were the high-octane, hook-o-rama singles, Oh Yeah, Sexy Little Thing and My Kinda Girl. Then there were the riveting live shows, starting with a sold-out-within-seconds Road Test run of clubs and ending a year later with a sold-out-within-seconds world tour of large halls. The not-so-little engine that could definitely didtime after time.Beyond the obvious, however, something more important happened during Chickenfoots rise to the top of the rock: They became a band. A real band. We went from being a weekend fun-time thing to making a record and touring the world, says Sammy Hagar. Our learning curve was fast even for us. But we went out every night to kick ass and prove that we werent resting on our laurels. We earned everything we got, and along the way, we established a trust in one another that happens very rarely in bands. To me, its magical.It was that very trust factor that allowed Joe Satriani to approach Hagar during the demoing stage of the new album and express this wish: I want to hear you sing differently, he told the vocalist. You have light and shades to your voice that have never been on record. I want to hear you do new things. Hagar accepted Satrianis words as a challenge, and then he threw down the gauntlet: Fine. But youve got to bring it too, Joe. I want to hear you play guitar like you never have. We shook hands on that.And so it was that Chickenfoot set about making the heart-pounding and high-minded Chickenfoot III. And they did it at the perfect time, too. In an era when the relevance of the album as an art form is under close scrutiny, Chickenfoot III is a superlative, rip-roaring rock n roll disc that simply must be experienced from start to finish. Tough yet full of intricate textures, played by musicians at the top of their game, this is the kind of record that bands both young and old dream of making.Its the best record Ive ever been a part of, Hagar says unashamedly. Songwriting-wise, playing-wise, we reached a level Ive hoped was possible. Theres nothing this band cant do. Im convinced of it.The origins of Chickenfoot III began to take shape in early 2010 as Satriani and Hagar exchanged song ideas while the group was still on tour. Throughout that year, Satriani sent the band demos in various forms of completion. Then, in February of this year, Chickenfoot convened in Hagars warehouse studio (affectionately dubbed the Foot Locker) to hash out the material. On board was veteran, award-winning engineer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica), who was also serving as co-producer with the group. According to Michael Anthony, We thought we might still be demoing at this point, but the sounds Mike Fraser got were extraordinary. Plus, the spontaneity in the room was incredible. The musical chemistry was undeniable. Suddenly, it was like, Might as well roll tape. Were making a record!The batches of music dynamic, stadium-shaking riffs that would morph into ginormous earth-movers such as Alright Alright, Last Temptation, Big Foot and Lighten Up were shaping up just fine, faster than anyone expected. To come up with huge, monstrous riffs that become big-time rock anthems, thats what every guitar player dreams of, says Satriani. But you have to have a band that can help craft them and render them with authority, and thats something Mike and Chad do better than anybody.Sammy Hagar, however, was having a tough time wrapping his thoughts around the songs or anything else, for that matter. Right as the band was entering the studio, he got the news that his longtime manager, and Chickenfoots co-manager, for that matter, John Carter (or simply Carter, as he preferred to be called) was stricken with cancer, and the prognosis wasnt good. Suddenly, the heretofore carefree, laid-back, cant-drive-55 Red Rocker was shaken to the core.I was in a mental place Id never been in before, Hagar says. I had my book tour going on, my manager was very sickeverything was taking my mind up. I was blocked.Rallying against his failing body, Carter served Hagar his marching orders: Make the greatest record youve ever made. Make songs that matter. Write words that mean something to people. Hagar took his friend and managers words to heart, and when Carter did succumb to his illness in the late spring, Hagar miraculously found many of the lyrical themes he was looking for. It was heartbreaking what happened, says Satriani softly. We all loved Carter, and Sammy, of course, had a very long history with him. But its almost as though the minute Carter passed away, Sammy was unlocked. In a strange way, I think Carter would have been very pleased.As a tribute to his late manager, Sammy penned the words to Up Next, just one of the albums crushers. Against a massive sonic assault that packs the force of Godzilla after too many Red Bulls, (the song also features a mind-altering, tour de force guitar solo by Satriani) Hagar tackles mortality in a slightly skewed manner all his own. I started to think, Wow, your number could be up at any moment, says the singer. Picture waiting at the pearly gates as if you were in line at a fast-food joint and somebody goes, Up next! Right theres the chorus.Spirituality gives way to biting social commentary in the form of the pile-driving, relentless Three and a Half Letters, or the I need a job! song as its referred to in Chickenfoot circles in fact, thats the chorus. Hagar doesnt so much sing as he does talk/rap its a soul-tugging performance piece as he reads desperate cries for help from actual letters hes received. Its the one song where we didnt go for melody, says Satriani. The band just unloaded everything we had. It was raw, unchecked emotion.Melodies abound, however, throughout the balance of Chickenfoot III, especially on the aching rock ballad Come Closer, which represents a dramatic turn for the band in that Hagar wrote the completed lyrics first for which Satriani then composed the music on piano. By the time the full band had its way with the number, Satriani abandoned the piano and strapped on his guitar his solo, a glorious cloudburst of notes, enlarges the scope and deepens the songs meaning.And everybody had a big hand in the infectious, Nashville pop-tinged Different Devil, an absorbing tale of tangled relationships, which features Michael Anthonys strongest singing yet the ever-dependable background vocalist is practically dueting with Hagar. Satriani penned the music to this sure-fire radio winner, but he wasnt certain the arrangement was clicking, that is, until Chad Smith took a whack at some chords and came up with a new chorus. Suddenly the song felt smooth and we just blazed through cutting it, says Satriani.The need for a personal connection is further examined on the bold and brash classic-rock homage Dubai Blues tradition meets innovation, a Foot specialty in which Hagar presents himself as a self-satisfied man who has everything the world can offer, all but that special someone.Finishing this stunning set is the Delta-flavored Something Going Wrong, which sees the Foot serving up spicy, authentic blues. Chad and I had a lot of fun wearing different musical hats on this one, says Anthony. And Joe was astounding. The guy played Dobro, banjo Hes not just this shred king that everybody assumes he is. Hes got deep roots.From free-wheelin lifestyle rockers (Big Foot, a car enthusiasts wet dream, is the first single) to the myriad nuances of the human heart to unvarnished portraits of the world today, Chickenfoot tackle them all with matchless assurance on Chickenfoot III. The messages are pure and direct, the playing is the best Ive ever heard, its all right there, enthuses Hagar.Of course, only a band that would call themselves Chickenfoot could title their second album Chickenfoot III and get away with it. Nobody in the group is entirely sure how the name took hold, but Satriani remembers it as a joke that Chad and Carter started, only they were calling it Chickenfoot IV. My attitude was, Hey, as long as the music is great, we can call it anything.Hagar feels the title is entirely apropos. Sure, its funny, and we did back it off a notch from IV to III, but I think Chickenfoot III fits. I feel like it is our third record. The maturity, the depth, the power of these songs, the musicianship weve already jumped over having to make a second record. Its like we did it already. Our next record could be our fifth!Better mark that down: Chickenfoot VUp next!

      Cost: 45.00 to 55.00

      Categories: Concerts & Tour Dates

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