Way over 100 shows in 2012- a personal record!
So it’s late Saturday afternoon and I am seriously questioning my ability to get to the Staples Center in time to park and acquire any sort of ticket to see Kool and The Gang and Van Halen. As I looked at the time and then at the 101 traffic heading in that direction, I decided against it. Instead, I decided to take the beautiful drive up to Santa Barbara and see if I could pull off seeing Chickenfoot on a moment’s notice. I saw them perform live at a taping of the Jimmy Kimmel show and thought they were kind of boring. Still, I figured I’d give them another listen in a real concert setting and figured they’d play a few VH tunes and maybe some other cool songs other than Chickenfoot.
The drive up there was awesome, I managed to avoid paying $10 to park by finding street parking and I waltzed up to the box office and bought a cheap seat in the back. I then made the climb up to the top of the Bowl and had a seat. The opener hadn’t even gone on yet. Once they did, I didn’t really find myself paying attention. They were pretty rowdy and used a lot of foul language.
They definitely were no Kool and The Gang. However, it was a pretty afternoon and I could see the ocean and the stage from where I sat.
I ran down and got a piece of pizza between bands. That was the best money I spent all night.
The venue was about half empty and it didn’t fill up much over the course of the evening. There were several empty sections. The ushers were allowing people to move down closer, but I kept up top.
In my boredom, I managed to dig up the generic Chickenfoot set list on my phone to see what songs they were going to play. I don’t own and haven’t heard Chickenfoot 1 or 3, so I was unfamiliar with every song except the closer- “Rock Candy”- a great tune by Montrose. I was really excited about that.
It was still light when the band took the stage. The Chickenfoot songs didn’t really need titles- they all sounded the same to me. Basically, they were just mid-tempo rockers that really didn’t work on any level. In this band, you have the excellent Kenny Aronoff on drums (I much prefer him over Chad Smith), the normally incredible Joe Satriani on guitar and the two former members of Van Halen (Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony). This is supposed to be a super group. I’m a huge fan of most of Satriani’s instrumental guitar music and I found that he couldn’t stretch out enough with these generic rock tunes. Had I not known that Rock Candy was the last song, I probably would have left about 15 minutes into the show. I hung in there and when it got dark, there were some pretty awesome visuals and lasers in the background- that was cool. Maybe I should have pounded a few beers before the show. The worst part of the show for me? NO SIGN OF MIKE KENEALLY!!! I was devastated. I guess when I saw him playing with the band on the Tonight Show, that was just a one-off gig for him in the band. That was part of the reason I sort of blindly attended this show. Honestly, I don’t know what the fascination with Chickenfoot is and I really regret not trying to go see Kool and The Gang………and Van Halen, too. I really blew it.
Despite the beauty of the Santa Barbara Bowl, here’s Sammy and Michael probably wishing their gig was at the Staples Center on this evening playing Van Halen (or even Kool and the Gang) songs instead. The whole “drinking onstage” bit got very old over the course of the evening….
Santa Barbara Bowl and Nederlander Concerts Present:
Black Stone Cherry
Doors Open – 5:00pm
Black Stone Cherry – 7:00pm
Chickenfoot – 8:00pm
Tonight’s Camera Policy
Instamatics with non-detachable lenses are ok.