Sound: Excellent sound. This isn't just some other band, it's Chickenfoot, so obviously they only hire the best sound technicians out there. Satch had a variety of guitars, ranging from the Ibanez that he's used since the 80s (with Chickenfoot's logo painted on the body), to a Gibson LP, to a beautiful sounding Acoustic that I wasn't able to identify. He was using Marshall amps for the most part.
Mickey had several basses. I'm not completely sure about brands, but I believe one of them was a Yamaha also with the band's logo on the body. I'm not entirely sure since I couldn't see that well but I think he was using Peavey amps. He had another funny looking bass with a body shaped like a bottle of Jack Daniel's, Van Halen fans know what I'm talking about.
I couldn't get much of a close-up on Smith's drum kit or sticks, all I could pick up on was the Remo bass drum. Hagar sounded great that day, he sung better and with more energy than on the album. Overall the sound was top-notch and professional. Of course, that's what you would expect from a super-group. Everything was mic'd up perfectly, you could feel the punch of the bass drum ripping right through you. My only complaint was Satch not being loud enough, I could hear him no problem during a solo but his rhythm guitar was a little buried under the drums and vocals. I'll have to give this one a 9 seeing as how Satch is the virtuoso guitarist and missing out on some of his playing was a little disappointing. // 9
Perfomance: The actual performance was one of the best I have ever seen. Satch is a virtuoso, Smith is a solid drummer, Mickey's bass work keeps up well with the high energy nature of The Music and Hagar's vocals will fill the entire room and make you want to sing with them. Since they've only released one album to that day, that was pretty much their entire set-list. They started out with the first few tracks in order and then started to mix it up a little. They also played one song, Bitten by the Wolf that was only released on the digital album so that was a new one for me. For their first Encore they did a jam of different covers, the first song starts out with Hagar playing some blues on a lap slide guitar, then they broke out into a couple of Hendrix songs, the intro to Foxy Lady and the solo from Manic Depression and of course, Satch does an amazing job adding in his own signature sound with with the whammy and whatnot. Afterwards Hager picked up a Gibson Explorer and he and Satch started doing trade-off solos. At this point my mind had exploded, because I had no idea Hagar had such phenomenal lead guitar skills. Normally you'd expect a vocalist to be able to play some rhythm guitar, but nothing like the solos that Hagar did. For a second Encore they played Highway Star which got everyone on their toes and singing. Satriani played two guitar solos, as opposed to the keyboard and guitar solo in the original song and it was a perfect closer. Overall talent was incredible and every song was well executed with professional musicianship and humor in between.
The visual effects were good too, not the absolute best I've ever seen but still excellent. Accurately timed strobe lights, spotlights in constant motion and a giant Chickenfoot logo made out of flashing neon lights we're the highlights of the visual effects, and then of course the standard fog machines. The effects we're all professionally done and added greatly to the show.
As for stage humor, Smith told more jokes in between songs than the front man. Even Hagar commented, That's what happens when you give the youngest band member a microphone, even the Chili Peppers didn't give him one! Smith pointed out that his mother had been in the audience, to which he asked her to plug her ears as he yelled out, Yeah, motherf***ers! This is the best f***ing crowd ever! Whether his mother actually was in the audience, I'm not entirely sure, but he did grow up in a Detroit suburb so it was possible.
Performance was nothing short of amazing, in both musically and stage presence. // 10
Overall Impression: The show was at The Detroit Fillmore in Detroit, MI, U.S.A. on August 8th of 2009. My favorite parts of the show was Chad's stage humor and how he loves to steal attention away from Hagar. I also managed to catch one of Mickey's picks so that was something I will cherish forever, it's white and has the Chickenfoot logo in black. What bothered me was the opening band's set that went on for an hour. The band was Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam. They're a blues rock band from Ireland and they're touring with Chickenfoot. Don't get me wrong, they're a great band with great music but after an hour I just start to get a little restless, I came to see Chickenfoot after all. Chickenfoot's set only went on for an hour and a half which could have easily been lengthened with more covers. The ticket was $40 plus an additional $11 ticket fee which might have been pushing it a little considering the main act didn't have that much more stage time than the opener. My ticket was for the main floor of the venue so I had to stand in line for 3 hours before the doors opened to get a good spot but it was worth it. At some point I saw a giant SUV escorted by a cop car, I was pretty sure that was the band and was correct when I saw Chad Smith throwing horns and sticking his tongue out the window. I thought it was an absolutely great show worth the money. My only real complaint was the set lengths of the bands, but it's all great music anyway. I would absolutely go to their next show if they ever came by the area again, and hopefully with more songs. // 9