Live at Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Nov 21 2012
What you have here is a collective of colourful, individual and creative souls. What you have when they work together on stage, live with a willing audience, is probably as close to genius as you will ever see.
A half naked, bleach blond bass player missing a pant leg; a Will Ferrell clone, dressed as one of the Mario brothers; the new guitarist guy, wearing track pants and a shirt that looks like the last of stock from Value Village and the singer; slightly and a little disturbingly resembling Adolf Hitler, also missing one leg from his pants and starting to show just a little middle age spread.
With such a huge catalogue of music, Red Hot Chili Peppers could play you a different set every night they are on tour. Tonight, they give you a taste, old and newer, Dani California and Under The Bridge, to name just a few, are greeted with a huge response from the audience.
Bassist Flea, or Michael Balzary as he is otherwise known, is the main channel between audience and band. Singer Anthony Keidis is there, so it appears to perform only, not engaging his audience as perhaps a frontman regularly would.
Drummer Chad Smith proves his total worth, not just with the band, but as a world class musician, drumming his ass off in a way that you would probably not expect, if you had grown up with Red Hot Chili Peppers cd’s alone.
New guy, Josh Klinghoffer can play guitar with the best of them. Really there is nothing else that can be said about this younger, but equally as talented, musician. Several times throughout the show Flea and Kling face off. Neither is willing to back down, both prove that they are on the stage because they are masters of their respective craft.
Keidis, despite not having a classic singing voice, proves that without his particular brand of vocal, his voice, to project meaning and feeling, there would be no band. He sings each song just as it should be sung, respectfully, with much feeling and giving so much of himself it is often painful to watch… If you know the history of this man, you will totally get it.
The energy, constant movement and complete giving of themselves is transferred to the audience and the arena is never still throughout the entire show. Flea offers that this continues when the audience return home; “Go home and fuck like animals?” he suggests at an earlier part in the show.
With fantastic lights and graphics throughout, there is plenty, in fact almost a little too much at times, to keep the audience engaged. Each member of the band is allowed the time to showcase their individual talents to say here I am and this is how it’s done.
This is a band of longevity, a band of talent, a band well worth seeing live and Edmonton is sure to welcome them with open arms on the next run, whomever the guitarist may be at that time!
Thank you Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Kudos also, to Rexall Place. On a bitterly cold November evening, entry to parking was smooth and the venue had doors open with a steady flow on entry to the building.
By Karen Graham 25 November 2012