Chili Peppers are red hot

Blair Adornato

If there’s one thing we learned from the ’90s, it’s that the Red Hot Chili Peppers know what music is. They’ve come a long way from tube socks, but there’s something about their original style that won’t go away. Sure, they’ve grown older, their music has progressed from heroin-inspired funk to laid-back alternative rock, but seeing them on Friday at the Tweeter Center in Camden, N.J., reminded me that no matter how their sound changes, they have an energy that equals nothing but musical chemistry.

Being a fan of their older music, I must admit I was fairly disappointed that their opening song was their poppy tune of 2003’s same-titled album, “By The Way.” But I couldn’t expect anything else, after all it being the By the Way Tour. And I can’t be too selfish, for they pulled through with their older tunes, “I Could Have Lied” and “Under the Bridge” later into the show, sending me into a euphoric state of bliss. Throughout the night John Frusciante’s eerie voice quietly echoed behind Anthony Keidis’ powerful stage presence and Flea’s charisma to give us an amazing insight and depth into the essence of the Chili Peppers’ career.

What drove the show that night was not the order of the songs, but their energy together. This is a band that knows how to perform – that has been through everything and anything together and the audience can tell. They lived up to their legend this past weekend, giving us what we have held up in our expectations for the last two years. Shirtless halfway into the show and sporting a mullet, Anthony Keidis rocked the stage with endless gesticulations, playing off Flea, Chad Smith and Frusciante to make the show a thrill ride. Up there with Radiohead, the Beastie Boys and Paul Simon, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been on my wish list for years, and after Friday night, I can cross them off with satisfaction and relief that I could still be impressed with them.

Although their sound has matured, we can now safely say that they have not lost what made them unique, what set them apart from the rest of the music industry. They will always have the irreplaceable edge, that vivacious energy that excites fans to no end and that thrill of their beginning beats.