BY JEREMY HAAS
The Bank Atlantic Center was bustling with anxious people on April 2nd. The hallways were packed with fans of all sorts; old folks reliving their youth, teenage rockers, naive children with their excited parents, and a vast majority of twenty-somethings who grew up listening to the group everyone came to see, The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are considered an iconic band in rock and roll history. They set themselves apart with their blend of funk and punk that is simply inimitable. The band has had their share of misfortunes and lineup changes since their debut in 1984, but until recently, they had a consistent lineup and an established sound. This all changed in 2009, when guitarist John Frusciante officially quit the band and was replaced by Josh Klinghoffer. After the change, RHCP recorded a new album, I’m With You, which had a different sound due to a new guitarist; this pleased some and disappointed others. The Chili Peppers embarked on a tour to support this new album, but with the new guitarist, doubt rose about just how well they could sound live without Frusciante.
Minds were put at ease, however, when the Red Hot Chili Peppers took the stage and started playing. The opening song of the show, while off the iffy new album, was a great kick-off for the concert. The band kept up the same energy they are famous for, despite being middle-aged men. What really got the crowd prepared for the rock and roll they were about to witness, was the Chili Peppers’ second song, “Can’t Stop” off of their 2002 album By The Way, which was a masterpiece of punk, funk, and musical ecstasy. It showed that no matter how well they could play their new material, nothing would compare to what made them famous in the first place.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers were definitely crowd pleasers at this performance. Josh Klinghoffer proved to be an excellent replacement for Frusciante, as he played the old songs with ease while putting his own, noisily wonderful spin on the guitar work RHCP fans know and love.
The band is known for their stage presence, and even with age, they portrayed exuded non-stop energy for the audience while still keeping their music as on-point as ever. Flea had as much chemistry with Klinghoffer as he did with Frusciante, and the new guitar spin on the Chili Pepper’s music was welcomed by wailing fans.
The whole show was great, yes, but there were a few songs performed that rose above the others. “Parallel Universe” was angry and passionate, showing a side of Anthony Kiedis’ voice that he doesn’t always use, but pulls off perfectly live. “Dani California,” though released in 2006, has become a fan favorite through an extremely upbeat baseline, and heavy, rock and roll chorus. Once again, the track was pulled off gracefully live, with Klinghoffer adding distortion and noisiness that gave the song a well-received punky tinge. “Californication” was a nice way for the band to slow down and give a mellow performance of what may possibly be their most beautiful song. “By the Way” was a great choice to finish their set, a dynamic song that ended in a stunning climax, before the band came back out to play a lengthy, jam session of an encore.
This concert was an amazing experience, which showed that despite age, sobriety, and drastic line-up changes, the Red Hot Chili Peppers can still put on one amazing show.