The space of forty-eight hours, doubt had settled for the French public on the presence or not of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), on Friday 8 and Saturday July 9. Their concert in Glasgow (Scotland), scheduled for 1er July, had been canceled the day before “due to illness”. The concern proved fleeting, as the Red Hot Chili Peppers resumed their tour of European stadiums two days later.
The two Parisian concerts in the biggest French stadium are a first for Californian rock stars, who are more used to venues the size of the Accor Arena in Bercy.
This sudden rise in popularity is largely due to the return of guitarist John Frusciante in December 2019. This six-string prodigy is forever associated with the quartet’s best albums, Blood Sugar Sex Magic (1991) and Californication (1999). His instability and his recurring drug addiction led him twice to leave the group.
Anderson .Paak as opening act
It must be said that the formation co-founded nearly thirty years ago by bassist Flea and singer Anthony Kiedis has used no less than seven guitarists since its inception, including original member Hillel Slovak, who died in 1988, and Dave Navarro (1994-1997 ), the only rookie to have marked the spirits as much as Frusciante. Because the two albums dated from the Josh Klinghoffer era, I’m With You (2011) and The Getaway (2016), have never really convinced.
Flashy apple green suit, oversized white hat and glittery glasses, Anderson .Paak, who provides the first part, is visible from the most distant bleachers of the arena of Saint-Denis. Accompanied by his supercharged troupe The Free Nationals, the American singer, rapper and drummer provides a very traditional soul funk performance, less formatted than on his modern R’n’B-oriented records.
A gong sounds at 8:45 p.m., bouncing bassist Flea, in a purple tank top and black dress, enters to the ovation of the crowd, followed by drummer, Chad Smith, and John Frusciante. A five-minute instrumental improvisation raises the tension, before exploding on the funky riff of around the world, which marks the appearance of Anthony Kiedis, in a red jacket and matching socks, Bermuda shorts and black cap screwed backwards on his head; the jacket only holds two pieces before Kiedis abandons it, to reveal the astonishing physical condition of a man who will celebrate his 60th birthday in November. His voice, criticized on social networks during his previous performance at Werchter, has regained all its abilities, as on titles with pop sensitivity – the muscular Dani California or the irresistible Snow (Hey oh).
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