Coming out, you might feel, with alarming haste after the band’s debut album, Chickenfoot’s DVD arrives surrounded by almost more hype than the album. However, while the album was a roaring ride through hard-rock inflected blues, anyone who caught the special edition will testify that the band’s live performance kicked the album itself into a relatively coked hat thanks to the raw spontaneity of the band’s powerful live sound and while the snapshots on the special edition were a welcome bonus, the live performance here is the real deal, powerfully performed, beautifully recorded and presented in astounding quality.
Reproducing the album almost in its entirety, although ‘Runnin’ out’ is missing while bonus track ‘Bitten by the wolf’ makes an appearance along with the covers ‘Bad motor scooter’ (courtesy of Sammy Hagar’s first band Montrose) and the Who’s evergreen ‘My Generation’ rendered in suitably rocking style.
Stepping away from a worrying trend enveloping modern music DVDs, Chickenfoot have clearly hired a sensible director who uses a seemingly endless selection of cameras to place the viewer right at the heart of the action but who never feels the need to resort to special effects to add ‘excitement’ to the event. This respectful approach is greatly appreciated as there’s nothing more annoying than watching a great rock and roll band (and Chickenfoot can legitimately be called such) giving it their all only for some berk to add lens flare, sepia overtones and God knows what else to the final print. Instead we get close ups of Satriani’s masterful solos, Chad Smith pounding his long-suffering drum kit through the floor and Sammy and Michael doing their best to blow the roof off with their powerful vocals.
The visual feast aside, the DVD has fantastic audio which clearly depicts the separate elements of the band and the band themselves deliver a performance which simply bristles with the energy and enthusiasm that you’d expect from a band new to the game rather than the seasoned professionals that they are.
Highlights? Well, there’s the monumental ‘soap on a rope’ which really comes alive on stage, the welcome vocal harmonies of ‘My kinda girl’, Sammy Hagar’s heartfelt speech prior to the awesome ballad ‘future in the past’ and the inspired choice of covers in the encore which sees the concert side of things out on a high.
Of course, being a DVD, you also get extras and here you get a documentary featuring all sorts of oddities (witness Chad Smith interviewing unsuspecting members of the public and getting nowhere), interviews and guest appearances from various stars including Christopher Guest as well as snippets of live performances elsewhere along the tour. It’s worthwhile footage but it’s questionable how many times you’ll want to watch it as opposed to the concert which you’ll want to come back to time and time again even though the band all come across as down-to-earth and genuinely likeable guys despite their legendary stature.
So, all in all, what you have here is a mighty tasty package from a genuinely exciting rock band who are rapidly becoming an unstoppable force. Long may Chickenfoot continue because we need rock music with drive and passion and when you see artists like this having such a genuinely good time on stage you can’t help but be swept along. Great stuff.
Chickenfoot: Get Your Buzz On “Live” is released on DVD & Blu-ray in the USA by EMI America (April 20), and in the UK by Eagle Rock Entertainment (April 26). Further info: http://www.chickenfoot.us/