Concert Review

Red Hot Chili Peppers Get The Funk Out of Pittsburgh

For some, it is hard to be a champion of The Red Hot Chili Peppers these days.  Long gone are the under-dog years when their biggest fan was George Clinton.  Long gone are a slew of guitar players.  And probably, most importantly, long gone is John Frusciante. Frusciante, although in and out of the band twice, was some sort of lifeblood for the Chili’s.  Although it really is Keidis’ and Flea’s band, it was John who brought them into stardom through vehicles such as Blood Sugar Sex magic, Californication, and Stadium Arcadium.

So how does a Pepper fan move on?  Well, the “new kid” Josh Klinghoffer is one hell of a guitar player.  He fits much better than Dave Navarro ever did but has not proven himself as of yet to the fan base.  In other words, it’s a tough gig.  But RHCP is still relevant and still entertaining.  They put on one hell of a show and rock with the best of them.  But, like all things in us older folk, it’s just not what it was.

Jump back to 1991 at Duquesne U. when the lineup was a barely known Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, and RHCP on the Blood Sugar Sex magic Tour.  Just by the sound of it, that show was hard to top, and by all means, it will remain as such.   This writer has seen RHCP at least seven times and can tear apart the good and bad of each show, except that one.  So, the question remains, do you compare?  Well, no, not if you are looking for a good time.  RHCP has evolved for better or worse.  Anthony actually has a better voice, Flea is still one of the best bass players around, period. Chad Smith is an awesome drummer. And Klinghoffer is a great funk guitar player.  They may be a bit more rough around the edges, but they deserve respect and command it live, they are incredibly tight.

Highlights of the show included a “Let’s go Pens chant” joined in by Smith, “Snow”, “Californication”, and “Otherside”.  But for this multi Chili viewer, the most fun was when the band played The Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” as an intro to “Right On Time” and introducing the 70’s hit “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) as a ‘Joy Division tune’, but we like the ‘Motorhead version better’.  Obviously, someone went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and we were all better off for it.

All photos ©2017 AWeldingphoto