They’re Still Red Hot

The Chili Peppers keep their reinvention going with a tour in support of their 11th studio album.



For more than 30 years, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been a band of contrasts. They love snickering locker room sex talk in their songs, but they’re also capable of heartfelt honesty when they open up about lost love and drug abuse.

They’re rock ’n’ roll innovators who pioneered the ’90s rock-funk sound later emulated by Linkin Park and Kid Rock, but they’re also unrepentant musical packrats who scavenge the detritus of rock history. In fact, the combined genius of Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith, and bass virtuoso Flea lies in knowing how to pluck the best sounds of the past and fuse them into Frankenstein songs that shouldn’t work but somehow do.

RHCP’s eclectic sensibilities are on full display as the band tours to promote its 11th studio album, The Getaway, but there’s a new maturity in this offering: In “Dark Necessities,” Kiedis’ deceptively boppy vocals detail his personal demons. Other tracks dabble in ’80s funk, ’90s alternative, hip-hop beats, syrupy smooth jazz, and, of course, there’s Flea’s famous slap bass.

Consider that Flea is still the slap bass guy even after a long career as an actor, appearing as an ill-fated nihilist in The Big Lebowski and voicing the gibbering feral child Donnie in The Wild Thornberrys cartoon series. Now that’s a famous sound.

March 12, 7:30 p.m., $50-$105, Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland.


Published online on March 7, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

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