Attack of the 'supergroups'



I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound too critical here. But the term “Supergroup” has resurfaced and it’s left me shaking my head. It was announced this week that Chickenfoot is scheduled to perform at the Uptown Amphitheatre in the nearly-complete N.C. Music Factory. Chickenfoot? Yes, Chickenfoot.

Only a group comprised of current and future rock 'n' roll Hall of Famers could get away – strike that – narrowly escape with such an obnoxious band name. Maybe it was drummer Chad Smith’s idea. After all, the name Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smith’s primary gig, probably sounded a bit silly before Flea thumped his first bass line or violated his first tube sock.

Regardless, former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, guitar legend Joe Satriani and Smith take the Uptown stage on August 27, united as one. One Chickenfoot, that is. Wait until you see the logo.

Moving on to Tinted Windows.

It was former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha who, in my opinion, crystallized Siamese Dream, one of the best rock albums over the past 20 years and the band’s finest effort, by far. Songs like “Today,” “Hummer” and “Soma.” Man, so good.

Following his departure from Corgan & Co., Iha tooled around a few projects and recently settled – my word, not his – on none other than Taylor Hanson, the MMMBoppin’ boy toy from the ‘90s family band, Hanson.

We’re in a recession, sure, but I didn’t realize guys needed work this bad. The power pop quartet is rounded out with Fountains of Wayne guitarist Adam Schlesinger and Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos. Technically, tinted windows are legal in the state of North Carolina, so there’s still a chance of an unsuspecting tour stop for now. In fact, rumor has it they'll perform a free show at the Epicentre this summer.

To be fair, it’s really all about the music. I know this. It’s not uncommon to criticize a concept before being blown away by the end result. Audioslave put together some pretty strong songs after serious question marks about a Chris Cornell/Rage hook-up. Velvet Revolver was okay. Tinted Windows? Gauge for yourself, but I’m not feeling it.

Typically, these kinds of efforts are short-lived, and the grand total is rarely more than the sum of the parts. Think New York Yankees. Or, in NFL terms, does anyone even watch the Pro Bowl?

I’d like to check out Chickenfoot’s show here in Charlotte. The music I’ve heard is not bad, and they’re selling the hell out of their club dates, from what I’ve read. Plus, it’s another excuse to visit the N.C. Music Factory – the most exciting news out of the Q.C. this summer! And at the end of the day, it’s Sammy effing Hagar!

But I’d have to temper my expectations. Hagar’s not belting out “Dreams.” Eddie Van Halen is not walking through that door (and for you TW fans, neither are Zac and Isaac Hanson, thank God). These random collections of all-stars, when they hit the stage, are only as good as the new music they create. Grammy’s are checked at the door.

I just think most of them should’ve stayed home for the night.

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