OAKLAND ARENA, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA
AUGUST 24, 2006
“WHAT’S UP, OAKTOWN?”, shouts Anthony Kiedis, greeting an arena full of screaming girls, shirtless boys and the parents who drove them there. If the singer dates himself with this bit of ’80s rap slang, buddy Flea is right there with him. “Remember that group, Oaktown’s 357?” he says, his bass at parade rest, mind on the MC Hammer years. “It was three girls?’ He scratches his chin. `I used to like that group.” Whooooooo!
When you’ve just dropped a career-peaking double CD, scored the nation’s Number One album and brought a sold-out arena to simultaneous eruption, you can take some time to reminisce—even after song two. It’s not that these seasoned rockers are pacing themselves: They went from a crowd-stoking opening jam into the explosive `Can’t Stop’ into their recent hit Dani California.” It’s just that, after two decades, a band doesn’t prematurely californicate.
In fact, this is the most hit-light, jam-oriented Chili Peppers set in years. After “Scar Tissue,” they play a string of new funk workouts—the tweakys ‘Charlie,”
the moshy “Readymade”—opening up the verses to groove and letting guitarist John Frusciante’s police-siren solos soar overhead. The return to sweaty, tattooed love funk may surprise casual listeners who followed the group’s recent evolution into stalwart, vice-scarred troubadours. But on the new Stadium Arcadium, the Chili Peppers reached deep into their sock drawer to find a surprising amount of funk still there. Reunited with produc-
er Rick Rubin, they amassed their buffest, head-nodding-est collection of tracks since 1991′ s Blood Sugar Sex Magik, also helmed by Rubin, and tonight, on their tenth U.S. tour date, they’re riding the wave.
“In Europe, our shows didn’t have seats, so it was much wilder,” Flea tells Blender. `But I like the challenge of seating. Like, if they’re just gonna sit it. there, it’s up to us to really entertain….