AWESOME Meet & Greet VIP Package!!!
As many times as I have met Sammy, whether it has been with VH, The Wabos or on his own elsewhere, very little, if ANYthing could have prepped me for the Chickenfoot show this past Saturday...
As soon as the VIP packages went on sale, I immediately grabbed up two of them knowing that come hell or high water, I was doing this show OVER THE TOP, and it was going to include meeting Sam, Mike, Joe and Kenny...what I DIDN'T know, was who was going to go with me and share the Foot Soldier experience...
As it turns out, my chiropractor and friend, Leigh had recently been becoming a bit of a Chickenfoot fan (thanks to me burning the CDs for her, natch!), and when I asked her to go along with me, she was really eager to go. The eagerness soon turned to real full-tilt-boogie excitement, which THEN turned to "HOLY S**T, THIS IS AWESOME!!!"
We drove from where we live in Westchester County, NY (White Plains) up to Mohegan Sun, and got all registered with Lindsey when we got there. The VIPs were all kind of organized in an area of the arena lobby where we all waited to begin the VIP Backstage Experience, leading up to meeting the band. We got shown through a series of hallways, and wound up in the dressing room area, where we got to peek in and check out Sam's wardrobe case, Mike's old Van Halen road case, and some of Joe's guitars. We also saw the "ready room", where the guys chill out before/after the show, and lemme tell ya'--they know what kinds of food and drink to have on hand for SURE! Has to be some of Sam's new AMAZING Beach Bar Rum, of course, a chilled bottle of Cabo Wabo tequila, and a few other selections that made me realize it was gonna be a GREAT party that night!
After the dressing rooms, we were all escorted into the arena itself, where soundcheck was still going on a little bit, and we saw Mikey and Kenny, said hello, and then we got to go ONSTAGE after they left, to check out all the stuff there. As a drummer, Kenny's kit was awesome to see up close, and his tech even gave me one of Kenny's show-used sticks...VERY f-ing cool! We saw Joe's guitar pedal arrangement, which I know ZERO about except that he he is a WIZARD. Mike's famous Jack Daniels bass was there, as was Sam's vintage slide guitar...it was just so cool to be right up there, looking out into the empty arena, knowing that in just about an hour from then, the place would be packed up, Leigh and I would be LITERALLY, front row, center, and the party would begin...but FIRST--we needed to meet the guys!
Once we all finished with the backstage/onstage part of the tour, we went back towards the dressing rooms, where we again lined up to meet the guys and have our pics taken by Lindsey (which can't get posted SOON ENOUGH!!!). I caught a glimpse of Mikey down the hallway and shot him a thumbs-up which he returned, and then....they they all were! Strolling down towards us like we were all pals...and I bet you, in their minds, we all WERE! That's just how they are with their fans...
I had the honor of being the first one in line to meet them, and I have to admit, it NEVER gets old. The energy coming off these guys is purely INFECTUOUS...smiling, laughing and ready to put their arms around me like an old friend, I first shook hands with Kenny, then Mike, Sam and Joe. I knew I had only a few moments to say hello, and come up with something meaningful to tell them besides the obvious "thanks--so nice to meet you guys again"...so I told Sammy his new rum f-ing rocked, which he really liked to hear, and then we compared Cabo Wabo tattoos. I told the guys how amazing it was to be hanging out for even a few moments with all of them, and they were all really friendly and eager to meet me. Lindsey had us pose for the camera, I shook their hands once more, and then made my way off to the side while I waited for Leigh (who had NEVER been to a concert like this before) to have her time with the band. Her favorite song is COME CLOSER, so I told her to just tell them that, and then to ask Sammy to please do just that--and she DID! The guys all gave her hugs, and Kenny even told her that he really liked her earrings! LOL...it was really cool to see her sandwiched between Sammy and Joe having her picture taken with this HUGE smile on her face. She came over to me and said "I now TOTALLY understand the groupie thing!" I could tell it was going to be just a rockin' time from there...
We finally got back into the arena after I bought a ton of swag (additional to the stuff we got as part of the VIP package...except for the guitar picks we're all still waiting for...), and were about 4 feet from the stage, hanging out at the steel barrier rail. We met a few other cool Foot Soldiers who had come from pretty good distance to be there, and it was an all-around GREAT time! The band rocked EVERY SINGLE SONG THEY PLAYED, and hung out all night long with close to 5,000 of their best friends. Leigh was in the zone all the way through the night...singing, dancing, screaming--the total rock concert experience was right there...I took a bunch of great shots with my new digital camera, and hopefully this website will let me add my link to my Facebook album so anyone can check them out, since I wanna share them with my other fellow Foot Soldiers!!
Favorite songs they played were SEXY LITTLE THING, DIFFERENT DEVIL, SOAP ON A ROPE, TURNIN' LEFT, DOWN THE DRAIN and FUTURE IN THE PAST...but EVERY song was killer in its own right, and they ended with a fitting tribute to the late, great Ronnie Montrose by singing the classic ROCK CANDY...perfect! Sammy even signed my CD case that I tossed up to the stage, and Mikey threw a bunch pf picks, one of which I got, and in true Foot Soldier style, when one of Kenny's drumsticks was tossed towards us, it bounced off my hand, and Leigh DOVE to the ground right after it to make sure I would come away with a proper pair, matching the one the tech gave me earlier. Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!!
It's two nights later, my ears are STILL ringing, and my voice is STILL blown out a little...and all I am thinking about is wishing I could be in NYC RIGHT NOW to see the Beacon Theater show tonight...damn job!!! Well, here's to hoping they put out a concert DVD like they did for "Get Your Buzz On: LIVE"...that would be perfect!!
I want to thank the people at VIP NATION who really took care of me by answering EVERY single repeated question I had in the weeks before the show, and to Lindsey who was so friendly, and let everyone really drink in the experience backstage and during the meet & greet.
Also, to my awesome friend, Leigh for TOTALLY getting it RIGHT AWAY, and ROCKING OUT at 1,000% all night long with me...I hope this first time experience left her as electrified as it did me, and that she will always remember the DIFFERENT DEVIL tour....I'm thinkin' she will ;-)
Of course, a HUGE thank you to SAMMY, MIKE, KENNY & JOE for being so AMAZING and FRIENDLY with their fans when so many other artists don't/can't or won't make the time for us. You guys are TRULY the best, you're rockstars in EVERY sense of the word, and I am forever grateful to be counted among the THOUSANDS of other loyal Foot Soldiers who will always be ready to put their Big Foot on the gas and rock the house with you every single time you come to play.
This was a night to remember, and I can't wait for the next one....and ONE of these days, I swear, Sammy--I WILL make it to Cabo in October...somehow, someway...the Birthday Bash is on my Bucket List BIGTIME!!!
I can't say enough about this event, so I'm hoping my photos will do a bit of the talking for me now as well...please click on or copy and paste the link below, and enjoy!!! CHICKENFOOT AND THE FOOT SOLDIERS IN EFFECT AT MOHEGAN SUN!!! ROCK IT OUT!!!
White Plains, NY
Link to my Facebook photo album for the Chickenfoot show:
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