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Chickenfoot - Get Your Buzz On Live

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Sammy Hagar, front man for the "super group" Chickenfoot, has always been the sort of rocker that represents everyman. The fuzzy-headed singer has had a rollercoaster of a career: early band Montrose was a critical success but a commercial flop, solo records have bombed or scooped up precious metal, an on-again, off-again slot with Van Halen. Through it all, other than a few pointed comments during the Van Hagar days, Sammy has never been pretentious or acted like an ass. The man just wants to rock and have a good time and that's what Chickenfoot is all about. Most of the band's only album, last year's Chickenfoot, is performed here with relish and professionalism and without excess flash. When you have Joe Satriani as your lead guitarist, the flash factor could easily get out of hand but Joe functions here as a band member instead of a guitar hero from space. That's not to say that Satch isn't Satch and he romps a little on the album's radio favorites, playing his axe with his teeth on "Down the Drain," leading the band in a few chords of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" to finish "Get it Up" and simply smoking on his brief solo on "Soap on a Rope." While nothing in the Chickenfoot songbook quite strikes the chord of Hagar hits like "I Can't Drive 55" or "One Way to Rock" songs like "Sexy Little Thing" and "My Kinda Girl" tap into the same good-time party vibe and they're big crowd-pleasers here. Drummer Chad Smith steps out from behind his big kit to play tambourine and Satriani riffs on an acoustic guitar during the New Orleans-funky "Bitten by the Wolf," a song not on the Chickenfoot CD. Otherwise everything is electric and, from this band of seasoned pros, played without any miscues. After the Chickenfoot songs are exhausted the band encores with an extended version of the Montrose song "Bad Motor Scooter" where Smith takes a solo, bassist Michael Anthony sings a couple verses and Hagar plays guitar for the first time in the show. The performance of the old favorite is so hot that it overshadows the closing number, a take on the Who's "My Generation." Hagar makes a couple of comments during the show acknowledging that he's nearing the end of his career but Get Your Buzz On Live demonstrates that there'll be an audience for his blue collar rock for as long as he wants to take the stage.

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