On Sunday evening, in the first of two dates at the Movistar Arena – the second will take place tomorrow -, the Red Hot Chili Peppers offered the most captivating show in their irregular history with Santiago, which dates back to 1999 at the Estación Mapocho; a diary of weak shows, without spark and disconnected from the public.
Red Hot Chili Peppers is a band that has edited its past by deleting chapters. For example, they separate from certain periods of their discography. They criticize nothing from their first four albums, mostly irregular except the explosive one Breastmilk (1989) which catapulted his international success, nor do they stop at any capacity in which they have not participated John Frusciante the guitarist who was fed up twice only to return in 2019.
They released a few albums in 2022 –Unlimited love And The return of the canteen of dreams-, demonstrative of a creative fraternity capable of evolving over the years with sincerity and realism. It is no longer a question of a shirtless band showing off muscles and tattoos with spasmodic movements, erotic insinuations and morisentas – a way of mocking the rock obsession with the pose which has become school – but of legendary artists taking new tunes. They have ridden all the waves of success and the reel of fatal consequences, including the death by overdose of their founding guitarist Hillel Slovak in 1988, and the serious addictions of all their members. They are now veterans in an absolutely personalized orbit where, sometimes, they occupy the stage like a rehearsal room.
On Sunday evening, in the first of two dates at the Movistar Arena – the second will take place tomorrow – the Red Hot Chili Peppers offered the most convincing show in their irregular history with Santiago, which dates back to 1999. at Mapocho station; a diary of weak shows, without spark and disconnected from the public.
The Californian band has shed most of its early influences – funk, metal, punk and rap – in favor of a pure classic rock format, the only deviation from which is the pulsating jazz sometimes emitted by Chad Smith’s energetic drums. , to channel Flea’s verbose lines into the bass, and Frusciante’s incendiary guitar, on fire thanks to numerous effects and a wall of Marshall amplifiers, a postcard from the 20th century.
Improvisation persists as a living, pulsing tool that RHCP ended up imposing on the audience without regard for the effect of interruption on the dynamic of the show. The guitarist and bassist usually gather around Smith’s drum kit topped with a gong, resolving with looks and gestures the chords to follow or testing phrases, a method of improvisation that always perplexed Dave Navarro when he replaced Frusciante in the mid-1990s. RHCP doesn’t seem interested in orthodox riffs and structures, but rather in instrumental dialogue that allows for solo presentations and highlights.
Such is their confidence in the method that they opened with a jam that lasted nearly five minutes, until Anthony Kiedis appeared at Around the world. Before the half-hour mark, Chad Smith performed a solo that included brief passages hitting the drums with his hands, in the manner of traditional big band drummers, whose showmanship he also rescued by spinning and throwing drumsticks.
In this South American phase of the tour, the constant of the setlist is the modification between cities. In Porto Alegre on Thursday they played Havana Affair of the Ramones, while last night the nod to punk rock was with the entry of London Calling by The Clash, as a prologue to Just in time.
Although the quartet has enough material to put on a greatest hits show, this third time with John Frusciante is all about balancing out the classics with new material. They scheduled four cuts California (1999), as well as four other cuts from last year’s two albums. The rhythm of Suck my kiss was slowed down, because at times it seemed that the guitarist felt much more comfortable with the new material, calmer and more intuitive, than those compositions from 30 years ago when RHCP dominated the alternative nation, orchestrated by corporate labels.
At the same time, Anthony Kiedis has also made some changes – not used to showing his chest – but if he is in the mood like last night, he imposes the phrasing, the melody and the charisma.
More than once, the system of signs and looks revealed small disturbances, especially from Smith who, imbued with the jazz spirit, made some flourishes on several occasions by shifting the measures.
The public, in slight renewal compared to the first fans – a generation now in its fifties – will cherish an event in which their heroes finally coincide in energies and interests. These Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 do not have the malice of yesteryear, but rather the one that returns with a few scars.
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