Kerrang! February 2000

 Rider Details:

BAND RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

RIDER:

2 tubs of Heineken beer, water, fruit juice, green tea

Fruit: coconut, mango, berries, bananas, oranges and figs

Cashew nuts

Sweet biscuits, rice cakes, dry biscuits, goat cheese

Milk

Spinach dip. Humus. Bread rolls. Garlic cloves. Honey

Text from final scan page (Rest of text not about the Red Hot Chili Peppers):

…Reznor (NIN) brings the songs to an end by launching his guitar into the air. ‘Closer’ follows, Danny Lohner following his boss’ lead by hurling his keyboard into the stage before leaping into the audience. A spectacular ’Hurt’ closes proceedings making way for the Chili Peppers 8.45pm set on the adjacent stage.

The view across the Showgrounds is breathtaking. The sky is a light faint blue, and small wisps of grey cloud lead a path to the darkened horizon. The arena is packed to bursting point, while the lights from the nearby funfair rides flash in the early evening haze.

As four figures appear on the sandy race track and make their way to the stage, a deafening chant goes up. The roar as they arrive eclipses everything that has gone before it, and ‘Around the World’ transforms the previously calm field into one pogoing mess.

Despite all of the best efforts of NIN and the Foos, the night belongs to the Chilis. Their stage set is simple but startling: green vines with white flowers dangle from the lighting trusses, while illuminated boxes bearing images of an eye, the skeleton of a tortoise and the word ’SKY’ hang above the stage. At the back of the stage hangs a movie screen on which beautiful colours and images are projected lines, while the bare torsoed trio of Messrs Kiedis, Flea and Frusciante gyrate, leap and groove along in front of it.

The Chilis are in amazing form tonight. Feeding hungrily off each other and the audience while ploughing through a set drawing predominantly from ‘Bloodsugarsexmagik’ and ‘Californication’. The crowd responds in kind, singing every word to every song, most memorably during a beautiful ‘Under The Bridge’. The arena is illuminated by flickering lighters, the sky by sparkling stars.

 

Only minutes after encoring with ‘Soul To Squeeze’ and ‘The Power of Equality’, an impossibly healthy looking Kiedis is posing for photos in the hospitality area with Dave Grohl. There’s not a bead of sweat on his body, but the Chili’s frontman still apologizes for his apparently sweaty aroma.

“That’s OK,” shoots Grohl. “I smell bad in other places.”

Photo session over, the two begin to discuss the benefits of giving up smoking. Grohl admits that he stopped just two weeks ago; Kiedis, on the other hand, reveals that he had his last cigarette nine months ago, after hearing a voice in his head during a meditation session telling him to quit. Talk soon turns to Dave’s impromptu jam with the unfeasibly names Testical Candy on a small side stage an hour earlier.

“It was a weird John Zorn-like noise freakout,” grins Grohl. “People came out dressed in jesters outfits and started throwing flour and curry sauce everywhere. Within two minutes they were all f**king naked. Me and this other drummer were just going off until a mike stand and a watermelon hit me in the head. F**king awesome!”

“I love playing every night at the Big Day Out,” says Kiedis shortly after Grohl leaves the room. “Playing outdoors on a bill like this is somehow more exhilarating than playing arenas indoor every night. This feels a lot freer, you get to look at the sky every night, it’s just a different thing.”

What stands out about this tour for you so far?

“Aahhh, man,” he sighs. “Every night feels great, every night I get it up for the Big Day Out. Being under the sky with all these people. Australians are very appreciative; it feels good to play for them. Every night John’s (Frusciante, guitarist) solos are a standout moment for me.”

For Kiedis, catching up with old friends is also an added bonus of playing the Big Day Out.

“We’ve all kind of known Joe Strummer for over 10 years, so seeing him around is such a great feeling,” stated Kiedis. “Such a beautiful man and such a musical inspiration for everybody in my band.”

KIEDIS DISAPPEARS back inside the Chili’s black-draped, incense scented dressing room, where his bandmates are discussing the show and picking at food laid out on a long table.

Only hours ago, the hallways running through the backstage pavilion were crawling with stars, but now they’re virtually empty. Dressing rooms are littered with white towels and the remnants of unconsumed riders, while cleaners empty the bins that line the neon lit hallways. Outside, the stadium is deserted, save for a few thousand ravers soaking up the last few minutes of The Chemical Brothers’ set in the dance tent while a team of workers collect rubbish.

Behind the backstage pavilion The Hellacopters wait for a ride back to their hotel. The streets surrounding the Showgrounds are swarming with thousands of exhausted festival-goers slowly making their way home. It’s midnight, and BDO Y2K is over. Roll on 2001….

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