Red Hot Chili Peppers
OAKA, Athens, Greece

It was just after 21.30 when Red Hot Chilli Peppers appeared on stage and my doubts about their presence dissolved somewhere. Many people didn’t appreciate the fact that the guys are jamming endlessly. Jamming both sacrificing time that would allow them to play three to four songs yet. But they like to do this and it shows. And I do not mind the small changes they made in the implementation of the tracks. Within one hour and fifty minutes they found room in playing almost all their big hits (I said almost, not all) and I think they gave a good lesson to all those (including myself) who thought before the concert that the Peppers have become part of the music system, and are is no longer a rock band, but a pop spectacle.

It’s finally something in between. A big pop spectacle cannot forget for a moment that remains a rock band. The enormous bassist Flea is the attraction of the band, Anthony Kiedis still remains one of the most distinctive voices that are not losing a note for a moment and Chad Smith is a much better drummer than has made us think. As for the new member that had the difficult task to fill the shoes of Frusciante, Josh Klinghoffer played sitting in a chair (because of the broken leg), but never stopped banging a minute. He will never replace in the eyes of most of the fans his predecessor, but what does it matter? Sometimes you have to settle for the facts and proceed below.

If something characterised Red Hot Chili Peppers at their first live in Athens, it was that they proved 100% professional. They played a setlist that tend to play throughout the tour, said the cliché sayings about how fantastic are Greeks as people and did all these great things that are always doing onstage. In front of the packed Olympic Stadium, Anthony Kiedis never stopped dancing, Flea is playing bass like few in the world, Chad Smith was pounding the drums like playing in a metal band, and Josh Klinghoffer despite the broken leg, was banging endlessly over in his chair. But for some reason it was not enough. The sound was great, but a click lower than it should, and several songs were spineless compared to the studio run (best example of this was ”Parallel Universe”). Fortunately there were the jammings of Flea and Klinghoffer who came every so often to save the sitiation.The best time I realized that I am in a huge rock band concert was at ”Higher Ground”, where Flea was playing so hard and fast that it felt like the plates on the floor shake but also made Kiedis sing with more passion, more intense and louder. I think it was the best moment of the concert, along with that of ”Californication”.

Marios Arkoulis.