Red Hot Chili Peppers act anything but their age in Vancouver

At Rogers Arena on Saturday, November 17

The years have been kind to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Despite the fact that the band’s three longest-running members are now in their 50s, they appear to be as athletic and youthful as ever, spending practically every moment of their two-hour Saturday set at Rogers Arena jumping, headbanging, and dancing like maniacs.

It was astounding that they didn’t injure themselves, and that they managed to do all this without missing a note was nothing less than a miracle of nature. Not bad for a bunch of middle-aged dads with (in the case of singer Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea) well-documented histories of drug abuse.

The energy was explosive from the get-go, as the Peppers began with a hard-hitting instrumental jam that segued into “Monarchy of Roses.” Mustachioed frontman Kiedis and Flea were curiously dressed in matching black pants with one leg cut off at the knee, and they bounced around the stage as if performing an improvised aerobic routine.

This opening number proved to be one of only a few cuts from last year’s underperforming I’m With You, and the group soon dipped into its back catalogue for “Around the World,” the bass intro of which inspired Flea to quite literally hump his amp stack. Behind the musicians, a massive wall of screens displayed an array of animations, natural images, and live footage.

The Chili Peppers were joined on-stage by auxiliary percussionist Mauro Refosco and keyboardist Chris Warren, although neither guest did much to improve the songs—the former because his contributions were too intrusive, and the latter because he was largely inaudible. Still, Refosco added a little extra muscle to the night’s many improvised jams, which filled the between-song breaks in lieu of any memorable banter.

The rambling instrumental passages proved the players’ virtuosic talent, but the true highlights were the sun-soaked choruses of the Peppers’ best-known radio hits. The enthusiastic audience remained standing throughout the night, and they sang along dutifully to “Snow ((Hey Oh))”, waved their lighters during the mega-ballad “Under the Bridge”, and completely lost their shit for the funky guitar licks of “Can’t Stop”.

A particular standout was the recent single “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” which held up admirably against past classics. On the other hand, even a trumpet cameo by a member of the opening act Rebirth Brass Band couldn’t give I’m With You’s “Did I Let You Know” much of a distinctive character.

This was the outfit’s first Vancouver appearance since the departure of long-time guitarist John Frusciante, and even though replacement Josh Klinghoffer lacks his predecessor’s stage presence and vocal chops, the newbie impressed with a series of scorching solos during “Scar Tissue”. He was peculiarly garbed in a plaid shirt and a gaudily mismatched pair of track pants, and this oddball outfit made him look right at home next to his bandmates, despite his being almost two decades younger.

During the encore, Klinghoffer showed off his talent behind the kit, as he and Refosco played a percussive jam while drummer Chad Smith, dressed entirely in red, swung wildly from a low-hanging bank of lights above his riser. Soon after that, it was Flea’s turn to impress, as he walked the length of the stage on his hands.

Following the sexed-up “Suck My Kiss” and the contemplative “Soul to Squeeze,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers wrapped up the night with “Give It Away,” which prompted Flea to climb on top of his amps before descending and leaping repeatedly in union with Kiedis. During this final song, the vocalist rapped, “Dancing down on life with agility.” More than 20 years since he wrote those words, they could scarcely be more appropriate.

Comments (12) Add New Comment
Jan Ethan Shripdickintimplekin.
wow..no comments..that tells you just how relevant they are.
oh stupid me..i just made a comment...
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Rating: -25
Maegen
Chilli peppers was awesome! Very surprised to see a very young crowd considering they were bigger in the 90's. They are pros and were great to see. :)
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Rating: +10
Anonymous
Best concert ever, they killed it
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Rating: -5
Elker
great show! Great music and supporting a band that has been in your tape deck, record, walkman, cd player, and ipod deserves respect.
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Rating: -8
suck it
Jan Ethan Shripdickintimplekin. = Blair Dobson


wow I can see no current news about you....Must mean no one gives two shits about you anymore.
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Rating: +5
funkmunk
I thought the show was down right amazing but reading this artice i have too disagree on a few points such as Mauro and Chris do an excellent job and though there job is subtle it is still quiet important you dont realize how much there harmonies add to the music and also I thought the trumpet solo was the shits all and all the best concert ever!
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Rating: -18
Chilihead
Was there an opening band? what time di dthe RHCP start at and when did they finish?
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Rating: -11
foggyheaded
Can anyone repeat / re-iterate what AK said at the end about Vancouver fans? He expressed appreciation..... Or, I'm pretty sure he did....
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Rating: -4
Gerald
First time I've seen them and they certainly didn't disappoint. First rate production from start to finish, light show and all. I may be pushing 60 (58) and it was great to see the many age groups...lots of younger fans who were having a lot of fun...who wasn't? : )

These guys can play and have fun doing it, but a special shout out for Flea: I've been learning how to play bass, so catching Flea on such a great night was a real treat....don't think I'll be doing any walking on my hands though, I'll leave that to the pros. LOL

Top drawer stuff all around!

Thoroughly enjoyed the Rebirth Brass Band as well.

foggyheaded: AK threw out his love and thanked the crowd for the 30 years of support. Flea said the same and went farther and encouraged everyone to listen and enjoy music no matter what the genre/style, even kids singing "Mary had a little lamb" it's all great. A good honest shout out to end a great show.
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Rating: -16
jeff i love the chili peppers
loved the show... but the fact i got floor seats from ticketmaster with no prior knowledge that it was assigned was rather disapointing.. especially since it was in the back row. would have rathered been in a seated spot on the side off the floor.. Never should a rock band have assigned floor seating.. quit being such pussies whomever you are!!
Rating: +361
rick p
It is impressive that they can still bounce around, especially since all my millenial cohort decided they were old when we hit 25
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Rating: -1
Adrian
For all of the "over the hill 50 year olds, and middle age dads...your more than welcome to swing by Steve Nash on Cambie and work out with me, maybe then, you wont be so surprised by numbers, and consider it a gift from me to you :) Alex...other than that, thanks for the write up.

"Despite the fact that the band’s three longest-running members are now in their 50s, they appear to be as athletic and youthful as ever, spending practically every moment of their two-hour Saturday set at Rogers Arena jumping, headbanging, and dancing like maniacs.

It was astounding that they didn’t injure themselves, and that they managed to do all this without missing a note was nothing less than a miracle of nature. Not bad for a bunch of middle-aged dads with (in the case of singer Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea) well-documented histories of drug abuse."
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Rating: +3
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