Red Hot Chili Peppers rock Yum!

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By Braden Lammers

Funk, Punk, California rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers landed in Louisville Thursday for only the second time in their 30-year career.

The band has earned a reputation through the years for putting on a high-energy live shows often filled with a slew of antics. I have to admit, I was a skeptic if they could deliver with the majority of the band pushing the half-century mark. While some of the craziness has disappeared with youth, the energy remained and the band showed why they were recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Chili Peppers took the stage and opened with “Monarchy of Roses” the lead track off of their 2011 release “I’m With You.” The newest full-length album was a collaborative effort by original members Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea, along with drummer Chad Smith (who joined the band in 1988) and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. Klinghoffer is the newest member of the Chili Peppers and toured with the band on the “Stadium Arcadium” tour. He held his own when they dipped into the group’s archive of hits, but he didn’t quite match the organic style of John Frusciante –there are a rare few who can.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers played a selection of their hits through the years including “Dani California,” “Otherside,” Stevie Wonder cover “Higher Ground,” “Californication” and “By the Way.”

An unfortunate and minor criticism, though it was no fault of the band, was that during a few tracks there was a metallic, tingy feedback coming from the microphones. It was especially apparent during tracks when Kiedis was singing more than rapping, but thankfully it didn’t ruin his intensely personal ballad “Under the Bridge.” It’s a minor criticism, but it did detract some from the enjoyment of the show.

For the Chili Peppers’ fans, nothing could have put a damper on their night. The crowd was whipped into a frenzy when the band left the stage before their encore. It was one of the loudest and sustained ovations I’ve heard for a band.

And after a jam session between Klinghoffer, Smith and Flea –of which their were several throughout the night– the band bookended a Neil Young cover with two of their hits from “Blood, Sex, Sugar Magik” –“Suck My Kiss” and then closed the show with “Give it Away.”

It was a truly impressive performance from a band that cut their teeth on the road –especially from Flea and Smith. The Chili Peppers brought the energy and the California fun that has been the highlight of their shows for 30 years. They delivered tube socks and all, but thankfully not there.

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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