Rocklahoma brings Hagar-Satriani supergroup Chickenfoot to Pryor
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Thursday, May 24, 2012
5/24/12 at 8:03 AM
Official Rocklahoma website
Official Chickenfoot website
Guitarist Joe Satriani comes by his Chickenfoot gig honestly. The supergroup's frontman, Sammy Hagar, said if he was going to put together anything even remotely worth that moniker, that there was one man he had to ask.
Satriani is "the best guitarist in the world," Hagar's quoted as saying back in 2007.
Lucky for Hagar, the guy said yes.
The band includes Hagar on lead vocals, Michael Anthony (Van Halen) on bass, Satriani on guitar and (for this tour) Kenny Aronoff (Jon Bon Jovi, The Smashing Pumpkins, Lynyrd Skynyrd) on drums.
Normally, Chad Smith sits at the kit, but he's out pounding with the Red Hot Chili Peppers this year, Satriani said.
"Kenny has is our officially anointed fifth member," he said, then laughed. "It was sanctioned by Chad himself."
So that's good.
This is one band that rarely flies by the seat of its pants.
"Some of these venue dates were booked two years in advance," Satriani said.
"So, if the band didn't play them, one of us would have to," he said, then laughed.
With so much going on - Hagar's Cabo Wabo franchise and tours, Satriani's G3 festival tour and solo albums, Smith's work with RHCP - well, "we knew about a year and a half ago that we'd be touring right now as Chickenfoot."
Chickenfoot is looking forward to promoting its second studio effort, "Chickenfoot III." Yes, three. One thing about the individuals in this rock supergroup: They have a sense of humor. "It's just a silly joke," Satriani said, though he does admit he hopes a real album No. 3 will be recorded sooner rather than later.
"We have great chemistry in this band, probably some of the best of any band I've played with. We can't wait to get out and perform together," he said.
In fact, "This is our longest tour yet," he said of the band's six-week stint. Satriani embarks on this following the theater release of his 3-D movie, "Satchurated: Live in Montreal," and in between his own guitar god-filled G3 festival tours and solo tours. There's also that Marshall amp project and that Ibanez Joe Satriani guitar he helped develop.
"I throw my hat into the ring for Chickenfoot at each and every opportunity I have. I like to think I spend every spare minute with these guys. Or, I will be soon enough."
The band may have only two official albums, but the set lists will change throughout the tour, he said. "There are a lot of variables - how much time we have on stage, what fits together, what feels good for the venue. Is it day or night? We need the right music at the right time of day. ... We move a lot of stuff around."
One thing's for sure, he said. "We play a lot looser and crazier at outdoor venues because we're not as cooped up."
Plus, this time the band has more music, a broader fanbase and a live DVD under its belt, "so people are more familiar with us and our sound."
Just don't expect them to do Van Halen or Satriani solo or Red Hot Chili Peppers stuff - at least not much of it. "We may do some early Montrose song or something," he said, mentioning the band Hagar performed with through the '70s and sporadically thereafter.
This tour is as eclectic as the members that created it - there will be nights in clubs with 400 fans, then festivals in Holland and Belgium that cram in 35,000-50,000 people, Satriani said.
That's not too bad, considering that, as a teen, Satriani earned extra dough from teaching guitar on the side.
Some of his first students included young Kirk Hammett (Metallica) and pre-teen Steve Vai.
"I just needed the money to buy guitar strings so I could play gigs," Satriani said. "Three weeks after my last lesson with Hammett, I was on the road launching 'Surfing with the Alien' (1988) and playing with Mick Jagger. Amazing times ...
"Look where those days have taken all of us."
Fans bring vibe to unique festival
Rocklahoma organizers expect another record-breaking attendance year for its music and camping blowout, which runs Friday through Sunday in Pryor.
"Our event ticket pre-sale numbers are already ahead of last year's, so we're very pleased," said Joe Litvag, AEG Live senior vice president of the Midwest region.
An estimated 20,000 people a day will likely partake in headliners including Rob Zombie, Creed, Megadeth, Chickenfoot, Slash and QueensrÃ¿che, he said.
"With daily festivals like this we'll get a whole lot of sales at the end, just before the festival and after it starts," he added. So if you haven't bought your tickets yet, do it now - or get there early. Prices range from $60 to nearly $550 each, depending on what kind of experience fans are looking for.
Pricing may seem confusing to some, but it's AEG Live's way to offer "something for everyone," Litvag said.
"Some people will pay any amount of money for the full VIP, all-access festival experience. Others want the music but might have a tighter budget. Still others want a day or a night of music. We've found that we actually do better in sales when we have more pricing options."
So much better, in fact, that last year's attendance record of 35,000 nearly doubled from 2010's Rocklahoma.
"This year we hope to get 20,000 people a day," he said. "We just might triple those 2010 numbers."
AEG Live joined festival creator Fever Fest several years ago.
"Fever Fest created Rocklahoma. They own the land. This is their show, but we're partners and co-promoters," Litvag said. "We make our decisions together."
AEG Live brought experience and all-star rosters into the scene and updated the event's music lineup from '80s "hair metal" to a blend of hard, classic and modern rock. Yes, each year still sees favorites including Jackyl and a roster of regional acts.
This year, organizers have expanded the genre count with heavy metal rocker Megadeth and post-grunge band Creed, along with rock supergroup Chickenfoot and alternative metal musician Rob Zombie, among dozens of others.
Rocklahoma is different from other music festivals in one major way, Litvag said.
"These fans are spending long weekends with us - they're living with each other and bonding in ways you can't at other places. People don't just leave after a few hours and go home. Rocklahoma is four days and nights to form lifelong bonds and memories."
Indeed, people return year after year, and often Rocklahoma may be the one time a year some people see each other.
"The camping experience grows every year," Litvag said. "Thankfully, the festival owners own all the property, so we can expand campgrounds any time we need to."
He estimates that up to 90 percent of attendees camp at least one night at the festival.
"It gets a little bit crazier every year, and that's part of the fun of it all," he said, then laughed.
Rocklahoma on TV
On Sunday, check out live Rocklahoma coverage on HDNet for seven hours, starting 4 p.m. Channels are 770 on Charter, 306 on DirecTV, 362 on Dish and 771 on Suddenlink.
The live feed will include bands Rains, Blackstone Cherry, Charm City Devils, Puddle of Mudd, Aranda, Jackyl, Art of Dying, Queensryche, HELLYEAH and Chickenfoot as they perform in Pryor.
For more information and a chance to win prizes, including an Ibanez guitar signed by Joe Satriani, visit tulsaworld.com/hdnetconcerts
Please note, lineup subject to change
without notice. Visit tulsaworld.com/feverfestfor full event details
4:25 p.m.: Adelitas Way
5:35 p.m.: Cavo
6:55 p.m.: Chevelle
8:30 p.m.: Slash
10:20 p.m.: Creed
and many more on other stages
4:35 p.m.: Pop Evil
5:45 p.m.: 10 Years
7:05 p.m.: Theory of a Deadman
8:40 p.m.: Megadeth
10:30 p.m.: Rob Zombie
and many more on other stages
4:35 p.m.: Black Stone Cherry
5:45 p.m.: Puddle Of Mudd
7:10 p.m.: Jackyl
8:40 p.m.: Queensrÿche
10:30 p.m.: Chickenfoot
and many more on other stages
Chickenfoot performs Sunday night
When: Rocklahoma runs Friday-Sunday. Campgrounds are open through Tuesday. General admission box office hours start 10:30 a.m. Friday-Sunday. Gates open for general admission to festival at 3 p.m. each day.
Where: Catch the Fever festival grounds, Pryor Creek Apartments Drive, just north of Pryor.
Tickets: All ages. Three-day general admission starts at $150, plus fees. Single-day tickets start at $60, plus fees. Weekend general admission camping starts at $60. VIP packages are also available. Get tickets at tulsaworld.com/feverfest, tulsaworld.com/ticketmaster and by calling 866-310-2288.
Note: A Thursday pre-party is set for fans who hold both festival and camping tickets. Call 866-310-2288, visit tulsaworld.com/feverfest or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Original Print Headline: Coming together to rock
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346 Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Tulsa World File
Chickenfoot - Kenny Aronoff (left), Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar and Joe Satriani - performs Sunday at Rocklahoma in Pryor. Courtesy
Tulsan Tony Rodermund walks around the Rocklahoma grounds in Pryor in 2007. Tulsa World File
2008 was marked with heavy rains and mud — lots of mud. It didn't bother Curtis Broadbent (left) and Stephanie Broadbent, who reveled in it. Tulsa World File
Justin Pavy of Joplin screams while listening to The Nigel Dupree Band in 2010. Tulsa World file