Red Hot Chili Peppers at Reading

Watching Red Hot Chili Peppers on the Main Stage reminds us of catching Arctic Monkeys last year second on the bill in Leeds. The whole area is as jam packed as then, with drunken punters stretching right up to the food stalls at the side of the arena.

The Chili Peppers are on for two hours, which in the great scale of festival headline slots is a blooming long time. To fill that time Razorlight would have to pull out all their b-sides and ropey tracks they chucked out years ago.

When they play their hits it's fantastic, songs like 'Scar Tissue' uniting the whole field in funk-pop rapture. With over two decades to draw from they of course have a host of hits to play, including 'Dani California', 'By The Way' and 'Give It Away'.

John Frusciante's guitar work is exemplary, and when he flexes out on the solos on recent material from 'Stadium Arcadium', he proves himself one of the most fluid and soulful guitarists around.

The only problems come when they extend their songs to interminable funk jams, Flea's obvious talent on the bass becoming a hindrance as he slap-basses to oblivion.

Overlooking that, however, Red Hot Chili Peppers prove themselves a more than capable headliner, and almost everyone either loves it or is at least pleasantly surprised.

Words: Tom Pinnock
Pic credit: Guy Eppel


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