Red Hot Chili Peppers Dazzle at Bonnaroo (and Nashville)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers blew some minds during their Saturday night headlining slot at Bonnaroo.

All day and night, kids walked around the groovy festival and saw soulful singers like Brittany Howard, hard rocking punkers like Idles, and talented virtuosos like Jon Batiste.

Artistry, musicianship, showmanship, youth and style for days.

And then the kids witnessed the 60 year-olds of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Because it's a festival, there's a good chance many of those in attendance had never seen the LA band play live before. Or if they had, thanks to Covid, they might not have seen the quartet in a while.

But there they were, rocking just as hard, if not harder, than everyone else they'd seen that night or the previous ones, plus even their deep cuts from 20+ year old LPs sound like hits.

Just a few years from officially being senior citizens, the first thing Flea does as he walks over to his bass is do a cartwheel.

They are the opposite of low energy.

They are the antithesis of aging.

Anthony Kiedis takes his shirt off 50 minutes into the hour-and-a-half set.

But besides staying in great shape, perfect tune, and high spirits, this band has for the most part stayed together.

There haven't been solo albums. Sure they've done some changes with guitar players but they all made sense, and their best option is back and has been back for several years.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers can play anywhere they want at any time and even release two double albums in the same year if they feel like it.

Their set at Bonnaroo began with a warm-up jam that lead into the funky "Can't Stop."

The rhythm is infectious and the kids are holding their phones up in just as much awe as proof to their parents that they now understand why these men are headlining.

Even "The Heavy Wing" from the '22 Frusciante comeback album Unlimited Love is a vibe live.

The handwritten setlist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers for Bonnaroo '24

How? How is any of it possible?

This is not a band that avoided any of the stereotypical rock excesses that usually lead to disaster, yet they have not just survived, but thrived.

Maybe one reason is because, like the song says, they can't stop.

The night before their headlining gig, was drummer Chad Smith meditating or doing yoga or Netflix and chillin?

No he was on the main drag in Nashville playing at 100% while covering AC/DC, Rage Against the Machine, and Rascal Flatts... at two different bars.

A Chili Pepper in motion stays in motion, apparently.

The Chilis have a month-and-a-half left on their North American Tour.

They'll be traveling around the South through the end of June with four dates with fellow Angeleno, Ice Cube.

They wrap up the 2022-2024 Global Stadium Tour in July in the midwest with a few shows with another group who are a ball of energy: the all-female Japanese punk rockers, Otoboke Beaver.

Get your tickets on the Red Hot Chili Peppers website.

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Last updated: 23 Jul 2024, 02:38 Etc/UTC