Chickenfoot/Manchester Academy 12th January 2012

Well what can I say, I’ve never seen the Academy as full nor as rocking in a long time, Chickenfoot played the Manchester Academy 1to a full house, and what a blinder it was too.
Mr cool himself, Joe Satriani opened the show by just standing under one spotlight, chugging out the opening riff to “Lighten up”, the rest of the band joined one by one, before a blinding burst of white light lit up the stage, the crowd went wild, and the show kicked off.
The crowd has barely time to take it all in before the epic sing-a-long track “Alright Alright” quickly followed, you just knew it was going to be a special night, the whole band looked relaxed, Sammy, ever the joker in the pack sharing jokes with Joe and Michael, even asking the crowd which British beer he should drink on stage, John Smiths or Old Speckled Hen, the roar from the crowd told him which one they would prefer, Sammy drank them both and agreed with the crowd, Old Speckled Hen it was then, Fuck Yeah.
Sammy’s vocals sounded even better tonight than they do on the records, if that’s possible, backed by the monster bass player that is Michael Anthony, his backing vocals were as tight as ever. And the pounding by the touring drummer, Kenny Aronoff ?
Well that was so loud it made your bones rattle.
There was no let up for the next 90 minutes, powering through Chickenfoot 1 & 3 as if there lives’ depended on it.
“Down The Drain” is easily the best track on Chickenfoot’s debut record, i think the crowd must have felt the same way, as it got a thunderous reception, Joe’s opening dirty guitar riff had the whole room rocking.
The surprise of the show for me, was just how powerful the song “Three and a Half Letters” was performed live, The song was played with a commitment and passion rarely seen, no jokes this time from Sammy, no preaching either, unlike Bono, he didn’t ask for your last penny, he just let the lyrics and the music do the talking.

The song is about helping people, and during my interview with Sammy pre-show we talked about this song, and the work he is doing to help local communities around the world, you can read that interview, online, on Planetmosh next week.

The massive “Future In The Past” closed the set, as the chorus says “saving the best for last” but that wasn’t the end, not by a long shot.
“Different Devil” and the crowd pleasing “Oh Yeah” came thick and fast, with Joe positively burning his guitar with a stunning note bending solo, which effortlessly went into the Hendrix classic “Foxy lady”, that’s how you end a show.
Who knows when they will be back in Manchester, soon Sammy said, in the meantime, I believe there are a limited number of tickets left for the London gig on Saturday. I suggest you go.

Lighten Up
Alright Alright
Big Foot
Sexy Little Thing
Soap on a Rope
Up Next
My Kinda Girl
Down the Drain
Three and a Half Letters
Something Going Wrong
Turnin’ Left
Future in the Past
Different Devil
Oh Yeah
Foxy Lady

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About David Farrell

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at Manager of The Goddanm Electric, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.