Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Draw closer, children, because I am going to say something so thoroughly heretical that you won’t believe your ears. I can assure you that it is true, though. You see, as a live band, Red Hot Chili Peppers simply aren’t much good.

At this point, some of you will think that I am being unduly harsh and that I ought to mention the sound problems which bedevilled this set, and so I should. What happened was that, after an extended jam by Flea, Chad Smith and John Frusciante, Anthony Keidis came onstage, launched into “Don’t Stop”, jumped on a cable and accidentally cut the sound to his own microphone. This caused confusion for the rest of the band, a certain amount of booing from the audience, and the sound to become damped and unbalanced.

For about four songs.

The thing is, for the rest of the two hour set, the sound was exactly as it should have been. Which only served to highlight the two main problems with the Chilis as a live act. The first of these is the one which has bedevilled at least half of their studio albums as well – too much Flea. We all know that you can play bass, mate, but why have you not learned that bass solos, or indeed anything which focuses mainly on you, is incredibly boring for anyone but you?

The second is the bigger problem, though. Whisper it very softly indeed, but Keidis just isn’t that good a singer. There’s no range or depth to his voice at all, let alone projection. That bit in “Dani California” where he roars “Califooooooooooorniaaaaaaaa rest in peace”? Doesn’t happen live. He’s in tune and that’s about the best you can say.

All of which makes for a rather dull couple of hours. So dull, in fact, that a friend sent me a text saying “Yawn”. He was in the mosh pit at the time.


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