Robert Moran, El Paisano:
When Hollywood producers decide to present their typically inane view as to how the average "punk rocker/new waver" should look like, they certainly must look to the Red Hot Chili Peppers for guidance.
The "Chili Pepper’s" most recent show at the Palace could only fuel this concept even further. Flea and the gang first appeared on stage in a type of fluorescent, tribal body paint (except for the drummer who was totally yellow). A strobing ultraviolet light gave the Red Hot Chili Peppers the look of new-wave neon skeletons. The stage set-up was equally garish with fluorescent graffiti on the back stage wall with such provocative exclamations as "Violent security guards can eat my ***” Throughout the show the "Chili Peppers" reminded me of all the dopey pseudo-punk bands that came onto the scene in the late 1970’5, wearing everything from baseball uniforms to spacesuits to grab some sort of popular attention. Putting their stage appearance aside was particularly difficult towards the end when the band came out for their encore dressed in nothing except for the cover of their instruments. The lead singer came out in nothing except for an appropriately placed sport sock. But through all the visual clowning, their music (what really counts?) shone throughout the evening with a fiery, "red hot" energy that was particularly evident during their encore cover of the old classic, "Fire".
Although they did mess up a few songs, their adeptness as musicians was quite evident, especially during a guitar solo which pricked the ears of more than just a few in attendance. Their music has an odd perceptive quality about life, but whatever Flea was singing about that night was hardly discernible to the neophyte, so some of the audience had to feel their way through most of the songs. What he did say in between songs was completely understandable, and it was certainly something you wouldn’t tape and send home to Mom. The opening act, Thelonious Monster, was in a way a sort of toned down Chili Peppers without the goony stage set-up. They played a vibrant, very exciting opening show which lasted for nearly 60 minutes. The Peppers lasted a little bit longer. In between the two sets, the Palace DJ kept on the edge of cool with his mix of hits from the 50’s and 60’s, and those fabulous 70’s (curious how 70’s rock was once considered tired and boring by the "new wave" crowd who nowadays clamour to be a part of this new "cult"!) All in all, Peppers and company provided for an at least entertaining evening that probably won't be forgotten for at least nine days.