Sound: When the news hit that Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony, and Chad Smith were combining forces to form the supergroup Chickenfoot, one could assume that at the very least the quartet wouldn't skimp in terms of astounding musicianship. The self-titled debut album delivered the goods in full, but Chickenfoot is a band that perhaps requires the live stage to truly get their point across. On one hand you're guaranteed the wow factor with a setlist that usually morphs into a full-on jam session, and on the other you're getting to see the members' vibrant personalities shine through a bit more. If you haven't acquired the debut CD, you might as well first get your hands on the Get Your Buzz On Live DVD, which is impressive just as much for its comedic content as the music.
Covering three sold-out shows and filmed in HD, Get Your Buzz On Live captures the lighthearted-but-musically-focused drive behind Chickenfoot. The main concert features 14 tracks, with basically each one including one of Satriani's mind-blowing solos. It's true that this is a band of rock veterans and the energy might not match what you'd witness 20 years ago, but the hour-and-a-half show is still an entertaining one. From the grooving riff of Soap on a Rope to the acoustic jam in Bitten by the Wolf to the guitar lovers' Get It Up (featuring a brief mash-up of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song), Chickenfoot delivers a well-rounded rock show.
The opening track Avenida Revolution is perhaps the most single-oriented of the night, and although not a letdown, pales in comparison to the other 13 tracks. Much like a Grateful Dead concert (an odd comparison, but fitting one), Chickenfoot is in its element when allowed to jam on and on. When you think a song has had its peak, Satriani forces his guitar to scream with a pull of his whammy bar. Hagar's vocals are still relatively strong after all these years, and although his dance moves are at times cringe-worthy, they're also refreshingly down-to-earth. // 9
Content: It was probably a sure-thing that Chickenfoot's stage show would be a solid one, so the added documentary that turns out to be hysterical is a welcome bonus. It's not a documentary in the traditional sense that it gives a full historical background for the band, but that's what makes it work. You'll see a wacky assortment of things including: Smith doing on-the-street interviews with people who have no clue about Chickenfoot, Hagar sharing his perfect Margarita recipe, Adam Carolla interviewing (and busting the chops of) Michael Anthony, and Spinal Tap's own Nigel Tufne (aka Christopher Guest) in a sit-down chat with Satriani. It rarely gets dull, and you actually find out a lot more about the band members' personalities seeing them horse around. // 9
Production Quality: The HD footage is certainly a plus to Get Your Buzz On, which gives a decent amount of camera time to each of the four members (with bonus points awarded to the extreme close-ups that are utilized for Satriani's solos). It's a sleek-looking concert DVD, without the artsy twist that many bands opt for these days. You won't necessarily get tons of different camera/film styles (like you might see in Satriani's most recent solo DVD release), but given their laid-back personalities, the straightforward approach works perfectly. // 9
Overall Impression: Even if you're not a huge Chickenfoot fan going into Get Your Buzz On, you're more than likely to have a healthy respect for the quartet by the end of the DVD. Out of everyone in the group, it's Chad Smith who reels you in with his dry, witty humor. But the entire group comes across as extremely likeable, whether Hagar is chilling at Bob Weir's (Grateful Dead) house or simply teasing a group of kids. And if you're just wanting to focus on the musical aspect? Chickenfoot's live show is a team effort that still allows each member to get his moment in the spotlight.
Chickenfoot: Get Your Buzz On Live is released on DVD & Blu-ray in the USA by EMI America (April 20), and in the UK by Eagle Rock Entertainment (April 26).
Further info: www.chickenfoot.us // 9