What a way to wrap the Adelaide 500 than with a monster head line up act by way of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is hard to believe six years have passed since they were last here with the Big Day Out back in 2013. With the after concerts moved to a new location to accommodate more people it was still jam packed with fans frantically seeking out the best vantage point possible.
The main support was George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic who were personally invited to open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their Australian tour. Having never seen them play before it is a tough challenge to describe their sound which doesn’t fit neatly in a box. The words shambolic and chaotic come to mind in a good way. It was like one big party with fifteen or so players making plenty of the right noises. The energy was right up there with one song rolling in to the next with the likes of Super Stupid, Flashlight, Dirty Queen going down a treat as did Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker) and Atomic Dog. The crowd were a lot more receptive than I thought they would be George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic which was pleasing.
As the sunset, the temperature dropping the wait was over for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Hyping the crowd up with an intro jam it wasn’t long after until Anthony Kiedis hit the stage kicking things up a notch with Can’t Stop. The sound was top shelf, lighting and effects were great and the crowd was excitable. Flea recited a impromptu ode to Adelaide before launching in to Otherside followed by hit singles Dani California and Dark Necessities. Flea said “oh my Adelaide, you want to make me want to write poetry”.
The Stooges cover I Wanna Be Your Dog was great and there was a bit of a lull at points where the Chili Peppers played more of the lesser known songs from their armoury. Arguable they could have and should played more of the hits to appease the fans but nonetheless by the time Californication was played the crowd were up and about again. There was some covers with Funkadelic’s What Is Soul? and Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground getting the crowd going. With the time slipping away the main set finished with Soul To Squeeze and the super popular By The Way.
Right now you could easily count the amount of hits that were left out including the likes of Under The Bridge, Scar Tissue, Suck My Kiss, My Friends, Aeroplane, Breaking The Girl, The Zephyr Song for starters and there’s a whole heap that can be mentioned highlighting the strength of their back catalogue and the dilemma of pleasing everyone.
Returning for an encore saw guitarist Josh Klinghoffer go it solo on a Parliament cover Oh Lord, Why Lord/ Prayer.which isn’t a song I would have picked for an encore and similarly Dreams of a Samurai lost me. It wasn’t until George Clinton and company return to the stage for Freaky Styley and a funked up version of Give It Away really picked and got this 60,000 plus crowd excitable one last time. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were great but a few more hits would have topped it off just nicely.
Live Review By Rob Lyon