Friday, April 28

Review: The Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Staples Center


(Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin senior staff)

(Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin senior staff)


Red Hot Chili Peppers Staples Center Tuesday

The Red Hot Chili Peppers know how to pull off a flaming-hot performance.

With stunning light effects and powerful instrumentals, the Chili Peppers delivered an energetic live performance at the Staples Center on Tuesday. The concert was part of a tour specifically for the band’s newest album “The Getaway,” which was released in 2016.

Throughout the concert, the Chili Peppers struck an impeccable balance of new and old favorites, performing all of its cherished favorites like “Californication” and some newer tracks like “Dark Necessities” with energy and technological flair.

[Related: Gallery: Red Hot Chili Peppers at Staples Center]

The tour’s opening act sets the scene for a high-intensity show. Although unknown to most audience members prior to the performance, jazz-rock instrumentalist Trombone Shorty and his accompanying band electrified the crowds with a bass-thumping fusion of saxophone, trombone, drums and guitar. The New Orleans-based performer played up his jazzy tunes while maintaining a rock ‘n’ roll-style beat, setting an aptly energetic transition for the Red Hot Chili Peppers-set to come.

The Bayou-inspired music segued nicely into the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ introduction – a moderately soft, melodic jazz introduction that gave no indication of the electrifying performance that was ahead. The slower start sent a false indication that this would be a more down-tempo concert.

As the jazz simmered down, the drums began to crescendo into the beat of “Can’t Stop,” to which the audience reacted with booming applause. For the first few numbers, the band stuck to epochal classics such as “Dani California” and “Scar Tissue” with such showmanship that the assumption of a toned-down concert could not be further from the truth.

Although the band members mostly remained loyal to the original rhythm and composition for the songs, they played up the drums and added a few guitar solos to spice up the live performance. The band added a beautiful guitar introduction to “Californication,” which both showcased the band’s talent and built up suspense for each of the subsequent pieces they played.

To add to the energy of the live performance, the ceiling above the floor seats had colorful lanterns that flew up and down to the beat of the thumping bass. The moving lights complemented the psychedelic imagery on the big screens. The vibrant patterns, best seen during the hyped performance of “Give It Away,” matched the tempo of each of the songs, creating one unified rhythm among all the elements onstage.

Even during slower parts of songs, such as the introduction to “Under the Bridge,” a heavy guitar background amped up the melody.

Before moving onto the fourth song “Dark Necessities” from the band’s latest album, the members went off to list their favorite parts of Los Angeles, naming off smaller and lesser-known districts like Glendora and Monrovia to flaunt their knowledge of the city. The band thanked the people of LA for hosting them in their city of origin. Bass guitarist Flea’s continued praising of his hometown came off as genuine admiration for his city of origin and not mere showmanship.

“God, I love Los Angeles,” Flea said.

The outpouring of love for the band’s hometown was a theme apparent throughout the night. Before performing what is arguably the band’s most renowned song “Californication,” the big screen zoomed into Flea’s Lakers cap and guitar. As the cheers of fellow Angelenos boomed, lead guitarist Josh Klinghoffer began strumming an intricate solo to wind down the audience.

Lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis uttered the beginning lyrics of “Californication” to thunderous cheers of local Californians.

[Related: Anthony Kiedis performs at UCLA’s Spring Sing 2015]

The most delightful part of the live show was the performers’ constantly high energy. They ran around the stage and shook their heads emphatically throughout the whole concert.

Even within the rock genre, the Chili Peppers included the necessary diversity of song styles. If one set was heavy on vocals and called for heavy screaming like “Suck My Kiss,” the band would follow with a piece that conveyed energy through guitar or drums like “By the Way.”

The band conveyed its fervent excitement through exaggerated head nods, minute-long drum solos or expletive-ridden declarations of love. The Red Hot Chili Peppers channeled its banging 1990s rock-band persona to deliver a high-intensity performance.

 

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