Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony apparently don't miss playing in Van Halen. Having toured as The Other Half in 2006, they formed Chickenfoot in 2008 with guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.
Though their new outfit doesn't have the brand recognition of their former one, one should recognize she how critical the pair were to Van Halen's commercial success.
In any case, a night after Van Halen played their second show at Staples Center, Chickenfoot performed at the Greek to a much smaller crowd. But...
...that didn't faze them, not on the final night of their month-long tour. To the chagrin of those unfamiliar with the band's material, the quartet didn't perform any of Hagar's solo songs or any signature tunes from his and Anthony's time in Van Halen. But they delivered a crisp, 100-minute set much that was loud, yet tight. The band was clearly relaxed and comfortable on-stage.
Hagar, who is 64 (!), can still rock out; his vocals somehow sound exactly how they did in 1986. On-stage, the Red Rocker remains charismatic, and Chickenfoot feeds off his spontaneity.
Is their music fine art? No, but it doesn't try to be. As Hagar said himself, they're a good old-fashioned rock band who aren't trying to reinvent the genre. They stick to songs that showcase Hagar's vocal range, Joe Satriani's technically proficient solos and Anthony's bone crunching bass lines.
Hagar's one of rock's good guys: He donates all the profits from his Sammy's Beach Bar & Grill restaurant to local charities. He probably doesn't need the money, having sold 80 percent of his Cabo Wabo tequila brand for $80 million in 2007. So that leads one to believe him when she says that he continues making music because he loves doing it.
"People thought we'd do one record, play a few shows and that would be it," the singer explained to the crowd. "But here we are with a gold record and another album we released and are having as much as we've ever had in our careers." He then hugged Anthony.
Was it a dig at Eddie Van Halen, whose are rumored to be at each others' throats recently? Absolutely. But was it true? Quite likely.
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Critical Bias: Chickenfoot isn't making cutting edge music nor pretending to, but their fans like what they hear and they're having fun doing it.
The Crowd: A small but dedicated group aging babyboomers who love their pot.
Random Notebook Dump: The face value of my ticket was $59.50. It would have been much funnier if it were $51.50