Concert Reports



Black Stone Cherry

06/09/2012, Santa Barbara Bowl

“I have played everywhere in the world but here!” Sammy Hagar’s statement shortly into his band Chickenfoot’s set at the Santa Barbara Bowl seemed hard to believe to say the least. The Red Rocker added that he must have driven by the historic venue hundreds of times “But Tonight is a Whole Different Story!”  




All Photos: Ray Soto/Central Coast Rocks


Special Thanks: Jesse Lee Weis

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Sammy40.jpgAs far as Super groups go, Chickenfoot’s story is different in that they established themselves in record time as one of the earth’s premier rock bands with their Gold-certified 2009 self-titled debut, “Chickenfoot.” The band was formed by singing legend Hagar, guitar god Joe Satriani, and the renowned rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Chad Smith – who later relinquished touring duties to Kenny Aronoff. The group scored big early on with hit ‘Oh Yeah,”, “Sexy Little Thing,” and “My Kinda Girl.”  



When Chickenfoot set about making the heart-pounding and high-minded Chickenfoot III, (actually the band’s Sophomore release) which includes the single “Different Devil,” they did it at the perfect time, too. In an era when the relevance of the album as an art form is under close scrutiny, Chickenfoot III is a superlative, rip-roaring rock ‘n’ roll disc that simply must be experienced from start to finish. Tough yet full of intricate textures, played by musicians at the top of their game, this is the kind of record that bands both young and old dream of making.  



“It’s the best record I’ve ever been a part of,” Hagar says unashamedly. “Songwriting-wise, playing-wise, we reached a level I’ve hoped was possible. There’s nothing this band can’t do. I’m convinced of it.” Visit the group’s Website at for all the latest news.  


Kentucky natives Black Stone Cherry who are opening the tour gave the rock veterans a run for their money when they ran on stage after their intro music “East Bound and Down”, the all too familiar theme from “Smokey and The Bandit” blared through the speakers. “We look at it like this, the economy is in such a shitty place right now that we have people that are coming out to concerts and their spending maybe the only money that they have free for that week,” Black Stone Cherry singer Chris Robertson told us before the show. “We intend for them to have the best possible show they can for spending their hard earned money. They could have went out and done anything but they decided to go to a concert so they deserve the best of the best”  


The Singer/Guitarist held true to his words as his band tore through their set like seasoned veterans highlighted by songs from their current CD “Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea,” which includes the hit “In My Blood,” and newest single “Like I Roll.”


Interview with Chris Robertson & Jon Lawhon of Black Stone Cherry : Welcome to Santa Barbara, you guys are a few shows into the Chickenfoot Tour. How are the shows going and how did you hook up with the tour?


BSC100.jpgChris Robertson: Man, I have no idea, that all goes through our Booking Agency (Laughs), but we’re glad to out here man, this is a cool venue. We were down in catering earlier and I saw the picture of when Bob Marley played here in 1976 and it just made my day. I’ve literally got his lyrics tattooed on the top of my hand. : You guys are still on the younger side but have a lot of touring under your belt. Do any 1 or 2 shows stand out for you personally throughout the years?


Chris Robertson: That’s a tough one because theres different things about different cities that come and go, that you love, and there’s cities that you always look forward to playing. All the shows have been cool on this tour, Tucson was awesome, Randy Johnson came out and he was taking pictures with everybody and signed my hat for me “2001 World Series MVP.” We just love to tour and love playing music.


Jon Lawhon: Playing the Download Festival every time always sticks out. It’s always the same cause there’s 60, 70 thousand people in front of us. There’s like those little niche gigs here in the states that are always great like Pierre’s in Fort Wayne, Indiana, The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. Rockford, Illinois, anything we do up there.

Chris Robertson: Overseas sticks out every night, we’ve been a band for a little over 11 years and we’ve played over there probably 15 times, and we can go over there and play to 4 or 5,000 people headlining by ourselves, you know? Playing over there is obviously a much larger market and everybody knows all the songs but there’s something about the challenge of getting people to like your band when you’re out on tour in the states that I like. I know that’s probably fucking crazy but I like the challenge of having to try and go out and win over somebody else’s fans every night.



Jon Lawhon: This tour’s definitely been an example of that. You have to win the fans every night because you look at the guys in Chickenfoot, you don’t even have to name em, they were playing in arenas when we were born. : How much inspiration and knowledge do you gain from watching them every night?


BSCBass20.jpgJon Lawhon: A lot. Our first night on the tour, we did our set and we all thought we did a good job and then went out and watched their set, and we were like “OK boys, back to the drawing boards,” we needed to start doing a little something to start winning this particular crowd over so we really paid attention to their set and what they do and we learned a lot from them being on this tour. : Your latest CD “Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea”


Jon Lawhon: We wrote for that record for a year.


Chris Robertson: A couple of the songs we wrote on the road which is rare for us, because we normally like to just go down to our practice house and write and hang out. A few of the songs that made it were written out here in California. It was a nice change of pace, it felt like this in January, you know what I mean? 75 degrees in Southern Calif., it was Beautiful. My favorite song is probably “In My Blood”, we literally wrote that song in like 15 minutes sitting at (Producer) Howard Benson’s house. That’s my favorite song, that one and probably “All I’m Dreamin’ Of,” just because we got to really experiment with the instrumentation and stuff like that.


Jon Lawhon: For me, the more we play “Like I Roll,” which is our new single, the more I love it. I’ve always liked that song when we first wrote it, we wrote it with Dave Bassett in L.A. The more we play it live it just keeps going over better and better. The more we tour, the more it really makes sense. “Killing Floor” is a great track on the record, we wrote that with John 5. It’s a cool different twist. We wrote it basically about a kid who gets bullied at school and might not have the best home life, but at the end of the day trying to keep a positive outlook and fighting through it, still become something.

BSCcd.jpg : Describe you live show for someone who hasn’t seen it.


Chris Robertson: It’s good. (Everyone Laughs) Damn Good. That’s what’s kept us going for the last 11 years. People like to watch us live. We look at it like this, the economy is in such a shitty place right now that we have people that are coming out to concerts and their spending maybe the only money that they have free for that week, or even the month for that matter. We intend for them to have the best possible show they can for spending their hard earned money. They could have went out and done anything but they decided to go to a concert so they deserve the best of the best.

BSC131.jpg : Plans for the rest of the year?  

Chris Robertson: We play tomorrow in L.A. at The Greek which is gonna be awesome. This place (Santa Barbara Bowl) is kinda like Red Rocks, just with seats, instead of the rock seating. We play L.A., then we go home for a week then we go to Europe for a month. Then we come home for some more shows and we’re gonna start writing for a new record man, so we’re ready for it. : Final words for your fans?

Jon Lawhon: Thank you guys for supporting us, buying the records, calling the radio stations and requesting. If you haven’t been doing as much of that as you think you should, please do so!


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Very Special Thanks: Julie Lichtenstein  


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