By K. Anne Pimento
March 18, 2017
VANCOUVER – Red Hot Chili Peppers used to be like a Scotch bonnet pepper: exciting in small doses, but a little too intense for popular consumption. Nowadays, however, they’ve matured into a fine jalapeño: they’re still spicy, but with a little more nuance and a side of cheese.
For this night’s Chili Pepper buffet, spiciness came in flavours like funk and rock, with tangy set-opener “Can’t Stop” giving bassist Flea a chance to do some sexy gyrating while hot-as-fuck sk8erboi Josh Klinghoffer fried up a sizzling funk guitar riff. Following “Dani California,” the Peppers pumped out some smooth cheese in the form of “Scar Tissue,” and then got help from a couple of backing musicians on the recent single “Dark Necessities.” The newer songs ranked a little lower on the Scoville scale, but the dash of keyboards and singer Anthony Kiedis’ tasty melodies added some rich and delicious elements to the sonic stew. The dazzling light show also helped create an extra dimension of flavour.
The Red Hots preached a message of peace and love, but there was nevertheless a bit of an aggro-bro vibe in Rogers Arena, and the sweetly smokey “Californication” had the crowd hollering like a frat house singalong. When drummer Chad Smith paid tribute to the recently deceased Chuck Berry with a chant of “Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!” it regrettably sounded a bit like “Chug! Chug! Chug!”
The crowd chowed down on everything the musical chefs served up, including late-set entrées like “Under the Bridge” and “Give It Away.” In the end, all of the fans left the spicy feast full, and presumably went home to soothe their scorched tastebuds with some milk and Pepto-Bismol.Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rogers Arena, Vancouver