Now I must start this review with a bit of a confession early doors RHCP were one of my favourite bands, I’m talking freaky style, Mothers Milk, even into Blood sugar sex magic, where cracks started to appear, the latter-day LP’s, to be honest, I could take or leave.
Looking back the last time I saw the RHCP was around 20 years ago with James Brown as support, it was in that period when John Frushanti had just re-joined (he’s left and re-joined again since then) truth be told (again) the LP they were touring at that point Stadium Arcadium was probably the worse LP they would record, but live in Hyde park at that gig, when they turned up the heat all the funk, power and intensity was still there.
So again, this time I really did not know how they were going to come across, and what didn’t lighten the mood was this gig was right in the middle of the train strikes (I have no problem with the strikes and stand fully behind what the Union are trying to do). However, the actual infra-structure around the stadium was pretty piss poor as was the cashless systems and the Queues for everything owing to the terminals taking forever and a day to connect.
But hey-Ho, let’s get on to the music I missed Thundercat (stood in a queue) so your guess is as good as mine, and the gig took off for me with Anderson Paak and the free nationals, and what a feast of funk to start things off!! Hinting at Sly Stone but pushing Primetime Prince and the revolution to the max, they were great and apparently the crowd knew a lot more than me about them with the response and sing-a-longs to some tracks, even including a blinding version led by the two female backing singers of Nasty girl (If you’re a funk fan, you’ll know it) a great start to the day. Now my daughter with me today has grown up with the Chilli Peppers she was 5 when we attended the Hyde park gig and has followed the RHCP religiously, the band hold a lot of joint-memories for both of us.
Kicking off with a jammed intro the sound has moved up, as usual, a whole gear, before they kick in with Can’t Stop, then into Dani California and you couldn’t help but smile and get dragged in to the event, the first of the ballads Scar tissue prompted the mass singalong that could be expected, and the track that took my breath away in the early part of the set Snow from that afore-mentioned worse LP (oops), Then for me the highlight of the set, back to the old school RHCP, with Nobody Weird like me from Mothers milk and in fairness from that point the band were bang in the groove hitting hard with Californication, Black summer and from Blood Sugar sex magic Give it away, Then we move straight into the encore to the rarely played nowadays Under the Bridge and By the Way.
Are the Chilli Peppers still the band I fell in love with in their early days? Absolutely not, can they still kick Ass? Absolutely!!! Let’s hope that there’s an anniversary for ‘Mothers Milk’ due and they play the LP in its entirety (I can only dream)
Author: Nev Brooks