Chickenfoot fans got a pleasant surprise Wednesday night when regular drummer Chad Smith stepped in to re-join the band for an encore at Boston’s Orpheum Theater.

Smith’s appearance was his first with the group this tour. He’s been unable to play with the band because of touring conflicts with his original group the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Kenny Aronoff, who has played for John Fogerty, John Mellencamp and Bob Seger, among others, has filled Smith’s seat in the meantime.

“If Chad was here, I’d kick his ass,” joked lead singer Sammy Hagar early in the show. As the band emerged from backstage for an encore set, Smith took his place at the drums, much to the audience’s approval. His enthusiasm was contagious as he performed an impromptu drum solo, bantered with Hagar and whipped the crowd into a frenzy from his perch behind the drum kit.

“Oh we’re gonna have some f***ing fun now Boston!” Smith shouted while mercilessly beating drums and cymbals.

“Chad you haven’t had this much fun all year and you know it,” Hagar said to the band’s regular drummer.

The group broke into their single “Oh Yeah” with Smith manning the drums then went on to cover Jimi Hendrix‘s “Foxy Lady” with a slight detour into the song “Manic Depression.” They rounded out the set by playing their new song “Different Devil” and the 1973 classic “Rock Candy” in honor of late guitarist Ronnie Montrose (Sammy Hagar began his career as the lead singer in Montrose).

While Hagar has said the band is not necessarily a “super group,” Chickenfoot is composed of notable former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, solo artist Joe Satriani and Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

– John Milligan / 98.5 WNCX


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