Chris Shiflett, lead guitarist for one of the most successful music acts of our time as a Foo Fighter, crossed The Venice West stage with a humble nod and wave. Grabbing his guitar, he immediately kicked out the country jams with the anthemic, riff-rousing “Liar’s World” from 2019’s Hard Lessons, followed by the slide-centric “Sticks & Stones” from 2017’s West Coast Town. The pair of songs cemented the foundation for the show which highlighted Chris’s solo work and his take on country - a West Coast blend of alt-Americana wrangled together with a punch of punk rock and polished with a smidge of a Nashville sheen.
Shiflett moved forward from there at full throttle. His ability to fuse rock-styled hammer-ons and pull-offs with string-bending country licks was evident in tales about love gone awry (“The Girl’s Already Gone”) and life on the road (“Goodnight Little Rock”). His genuine nature and captivating energy pulled the audience closer toward him while he leaned into his newest single “Damage Control,” a cool combo of dub-style reggae meets two-step country from his forthcoming release, Lost at Sea.
Chris showcased his songwriting skill with relatable real-life experiences and the “three chords and the truth” approach found in country and punk alike with the powerful “Fool’s Gold.” A consummate touring pro with past punkers No Use for a Name and present-day Foos, Chris seized a moment in the set to tune his guitar and acknowledge the fans as well as some long-time friends in attendance. Tuning complete, the shredder reflected, “I auditioned for a band, hit the highway, and never looked back,” before belting out the rhythm-driven honky-tonk of “Dead and Gone” (2023’s Lost at Sea) and the beautiful country ballad “Long, Long Year.”
Chris circled back into his alt-Americana set, pulling up sky-high songs with wailing guitar solos in “This Ol’ World” and “Marfa on My Mind” before he leapt into the tender “Welcome to Your First Heartache.” Shiflett ended with “West Coast Town,” a nostalgic nod to where his love for punk, rock, and country all began.
Check out Chris’s new album, Lost at Sea, out Oct. 20th on Blue Élan Records. Look for Chris on tour with Foo Fighters through the end of 2023 and into 2024.
Sticks and Stones
The Girl's Already Gone
Thought You’d Never Leave
Blow Out the Candles
Goodnight Little Rock
Dead and Gone
Long, Long Year
Black Top White Lines
This Ol’ World
Marfa on My Mind
Welcome to Your First Heartache
I’m Still Drunk
Honky-Tonk Nighttime Man (Merle Haggard)
West Coast Town