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Chickenfoot at Rockweekend in Kilafors 2009-07-10

2009-07-11

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Last night my wife Irma and I attended Rockweekend in the village of Kilafors in Sweden. I will write about the actual festival experience in a separate post. But now I’m going to write about our one and only reason for being there: Chickenfoot!

Irma and I have been huge Sammy Hagar fans ever since we saw Sammy and The Waboritas in New York City in 2002, but we haven’t had a chance to see him again since we moved to Sweden. So when we heard that Sammy was coming to Sweden with his new band Chickenfoot, we immediately bought tickets.

Rockweekend uses two alternating stages, so while one band is playing on one stage, the other stage is being set up for the next band. This worked out great for us, since people moved between the two stages. So as soon as people cleared out from in front of the stage Chickenfoot would appear at, we ran up to the fence and got front row center! It was great standing there and seeing the crew put Chickenfoot’s set together. Sammy had the Chickenfoot logo on his Red Voodoo amps, and there was a huge backdrop with the logo on as well.

At 23.40 the Foot took the stage as everyone cheered. First song was Avenida Revolucion, the opening track of their album. It sounded great! Joe Satriani is very talented. This was their first gig in a week, since they had to cancel a show in Germany, and one in Denmark because drummer Chad Smith injured his arm during a show in Paris on June 29th. I saw that Sammy asked Chad if he was ok during the first song, and he nodded and smiled, so I knew we were in for a great show. Sammy’s first comment to the crowd was “Man, we’re in the country now! It’s beautiful here”. I would assume that Kilafors is about the polar opposite from Sammy’s beloved Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Next up was Soap on a Rope which is one of my favorite’s from the album. I really like long songs with room for jamming. The sound was great, even standing up front. Sammy apparently liked it as well, saying “The sound is really good up here. This stage sounds great”. Third song was Sexy Little Thing during which Chad pointed at Irma during the chorus – how cool is that! The band did notice us alot, and I think it had quite a bit to do with us doing the three-fingered Chickenfoot sign at the band instead of the usual heavy metal horns. I love it that they’re a brand new band, but already have a gimmick like this. The first single from the album, Oh Yeah, was tons of fun. It also contains hand-gestures to go with the chorus (see the video for Oh Yeah).

Now here comes the reason why this may possibly be the coolest concert we’ve ever been to. Chad kept throwing out drumsticks during almost every song, and there’d be quite a scuffle in the crowd over these keepsakes. Well, during Get it Up, we’re watching a struggle over a drumstick to our right as Irma tells me something hit her in the forehead. We thought it was a beer bottle, but we couldn’t see any bottles lying on the ground in front of us. Then as the song continues Chad keeps looking at Irma, and pointing towards his head, mouthing “Are you ok?”. I was just thinking how nice of Chad to notice that someone threw something at Irma. But then, as the song ends, Chad goes up to Sammy’s microphone, and says “Are you alright honey?” to Irma, followed by “I threw a drumstick in her head!”. So, that’s what happened! Then he says “Are you bleeding?”, to which Irma answered “No”. He then asked “Did you get a bump?”, which she did, followed by “Do you want me to come down and kiss it?”, to which Irma answered with a resounding “Yes!”. So here comes Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, one of our top five favorite bands, to say hi to my wife! The security staff had to help him down the very tall festival stage. Chad comes up to Irma and kisses the bump on her forehead and asks again if she’s ok. He also hands her a drumstick too keep as a souvenir. Irma asked Chad “How’s your arm?” and he said “It’s alright” and proceeded to talk about the errant drum stick, saying “I just chucked it, and then I saw it hit you”. Then Chad climbed back up on stage. We couldn’t believe it! It was so cool!!! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to take any pictures, cause the camera was stuck on video and it was just too crowded. But a woman from a local newspaper did capture it on film, so we’re anxiously awaiting for a picture to appear.

After this little interruption the show continued with a slow blues version of the Rolling Stones classic It’s All Over Now. Then just as they were about to start the next song Chad started drumming and singing Nature’s Way by the band Spirit. Sammy thought this was very funny and was standing to the side laughing as the rest of the band joined in with Chad. Someone had thrown a viking hat in leather with goggles attached to it up on stage, and Joe put it on and wore it for a few songs.

Then it was back to the show with Turnin’ Left, a song that I hadn’t really paid much attention to before. But after hearing it live I really love it! On Sammy’s command, we were all doing these gestures like we were turning a steering wheel to the left during the chorus – so much fun! Sammy is the perfect entertainer, and it’s great to see how much he and the other Chickenfooter’s enjoy being on stage playing together.

Next up was Learing to Fall, a very Van Halen-esque ballad (during which Mr. Smith enjoyed a smoke). Sammy’s and Michael Anthony’s harmonies complement each other so well. Mikey is a very cool guy who we actually got an autograph from at that NYC show in 2002. It’s so great that he and Sammy keep playing together in the same band after all these years. Mikey actually played a song or two on his trademark Jack Daniel’s bass – very nice indeed! Then it was time to pick up the pace again, with Down the Drain.

The last song before the encore was album closer Future in the Past. Sammy talked about how their producer said they needed one more song for the album, and that they had written and recorded it in a day. It’s one of those perfect album closers, both laid back and up-tempo with that eerie feeling that all is said and done. After the song they all came up front, and Mikey pointed to me and Irma as we gave him the Chickenfoot sign. Before the encore Chad was up at the microphone saying something, I can’t remember what. Anyway, when he left, Sammy ran up to him and put a black towel on his back, like a cape, just like they would do with James Brown. Chad got the joke and shrugged off the cape and ran back to the mike. Good stuff!

For the encore they played a cover, Deep Purple’s Highway Star. Sammy said that this is one of their favorite songs. Now, I guess that Irma was jumping up and down quite a bit during this song, since Sammy pointed to her and did a bouncing boobs kind of gesture! Hysterical! I gave him a thumbs up, which Sammy responded to with an ok sign. I made the ok sign back to him, and Sammy made a naughty-naughty sign. I gave Sammy a thumbs up again and he responded with the hang-loose gesture. Man, how’s that for Rock Sign Language 101? That was so much fun and again proves what a nice guy Sammy is. You can actually see Sammy’s gesture’s in this video at 5:46.

After they were done Sammy thanked the crowd for coming and for buying the Chickenfoot album, and for giving them this life style. Joe brought out a video camera to film the crowd. Then they all waved goodbye and the best 90 minutes of 2009 were over. The only thing missing was the vinyl-only track Bitten by the Wolf. I really thought they would play it since I saw one of the crew members put Sammy’s bullet mike in his beer bucket before the show. I had also been hoping they would do Sammy’s old Montrose hit Rock Candy as an encore, but hey, you can’t have everything right? Thank you Chickenfoot for an unforgettable night, and please come back soon!

Be sure to read all about the drumstick incident in Irma’s own words on her blog illoluv.com

Lastly, if anyone who reads this has pictures or video of Irma talking to Chad Smith, please email me at: daniel(AT)rock-revival.com

Setlist:

Start: 23:40

Avenida Revolucion
Soap on a Rope
Sexy Little Thing
Oh Yeah
Get it Up
It’s All Over Now
Nature’s Way (sung by Chad)
Turnin’ Left
Down the Drain
Learning to Fall
Future in the Past

Encore:
Highway Star

End: 01:10

Pictures (Click on an image to enlarge it)
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Videos

It’s actually towards the end of this video that Irma gets hit by the drumstick:


Highway Star

Future in the Past

Chad Smith Singing Nature’s Way

It’s All Over Now, Nature’s Way & Turnin’ Left

Avenida Revolucion & Soap on a Rope

4 Responses to “Chickenfoot at Rockweekend in Kilafors 2009-07-10”

  1. [...] about the music because I’m going to leave that to Daniel. He’s posted all about it RIGHT HERE! He has the rock blog and he can really express the music better than I can. He also has the [...]

  2. Irma says:

    In that second video, the reason why it eventually faces the ground is because that’s when i got hit by the drumstick!

  3. [...] Kilafors in Sweden to attend Rockweekend. We were there for the sole purpose of seeing Chickenfoot (see my review). But I figured I should share my thoughts on the festival experience in general as [...]

  4. Mika says:

    Thanks for your review, Dan!

    The debut was one of the albums of the year.
    http://volyymi.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/1208/

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