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November 06, 2006 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com A RT S Monday, November 6, 2006 - 9A

, Peppers bring it hard at the Palace

By ANDREW SARGUS KLEIN
ManagingArts Editor
To some, the fact that the Red
Hot Chili Peppers aren't putting out
albums akin to
1989'sMother's Red Hot Chili
Milk and 1991's e
Blood Sugar
Sex Magik is At the Palace of
evidence of Auburn Hills
their waning. Friday
The good-time
boys and their dirty sex funk days
are over. But there's the fact that
their last three studio releases, Cali-
fornication, By the Way and Stadium
Arcadium, have earned roughly 30
million in sales between them. The
band seems to have traversed an
extremely difficult threshold: con-
tinuing to create material as indi-
vidual as their earlier efforts in the
face of a changing popular aesthetic
and audience.
On Friday night at the Palace,
the Peppers came out of the gate
with newer material, and damn,
they came out hard. Guitarist John
Frusciante's Marshall stack was
about to crack in two, and when
the opening jam abruptly jumped
into By the Way's "Can't Stop," the
funky-as-shit riff rang like the Pep-
pers of old.
Though not a dominating front-
man - on albums he shines mostly
on tactful solo breaks - Frusciante
never played the same riff twice.
His style is an overt evolution from
Jimi Hendrix, but tailored to his
own idiom of modern funk and
melodic rock. Though Stadium
Arcadium was criticized in part for
Frusciante's constant shuffling of
pedals and effects, his sound on Fri-
day was straightforward, overdriv-
en blues-rock. In no way were his

select effects a stylistic crutch - the
man has his own legit chops.
"Californication" and "Dani Cali-
fornia" were supported by precise
musicianship and garnered positive
crowd responses, but it was almost
impossible not to feel melancholy.
The Stevie Wonder-penned-turned-
RHCP-classic "Higher Ground"
was introduced as the audience's
"Detroit song." The response was
pleasant, though no more enthusias-
Peppers' stand-out
show proof they
still can rock.
tic than the show's other highlights.
Frusciante and Flea kept up a
wonderful dynamic throughout the
show, and it could be said Kiedis
appeared the most complacent of
the four. But his voice has evolved
much in the same fashion as Mick
Jagger: into awell-honed maturity.
Flea is still the envy of modern
funk bassists. The man simply lays it
down with unadulterated authority.
The set ended with "By the Way"
the best evidence of the Peppers's
two worlds: a pop-melodic chorus
and a gravel-filled funk verse.
"Under the Bridge" segued into
"Give it Away" for the encore, two
seminal tracks off of their high-
est selling album, Blood Sugar Sex
Magik. The crowd was euphoric, as
the band ripped out both without an
ounce of boredom or complacency.
They proved that they can still kick
it old school when they feelthe need.
Their hardline, no-school-like-the-
old-school fans will just have to take
what comes.

Pilot's license not required.

By Professor Robert J.Miller of Lewis & Clark Law School
and Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals for
the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Monday, November 6, 2007 Hutchins Hall 625 S. State Street, Room 2

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November 1 8th!
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