Rickey Wright, Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Rockitz was too hot and too packed for anything too serious to be played on stage last night. Fortunately the throng had shown up for Los Angeles' punky funk ensemble the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so the loose-natured performance which ensued met with no surprise or resistance.
The Chili Peppers took the club's garage-y ambiance to heart and played an hourlong set which came off like an inspired rehearsal. Inane locker-room doggerel (mostly from singer Anthony Kiedis) and snatches of everything from the Ohio Players' "Skin Tight" to AC/DC's "Back in Black" filled the sometimes lengthy spaces between bits of "serious" business.
The latter took the form of pumping jams from the band's three albums. Despite personnel changes between the making of each record, the quartet has remained a notably tight ensemble on the sometimes sloppy semi-underground circuit. The group was at its best laying into charged workouts such as "True Men Don't Kill Coyotes" and the Meters' "Hollywood (Africa)."
Whatever the Peppers lack in conceptual depth -- quite a lot, actually, especially when put up against inspirations such as George Clinton and the Gang of Four -- they make up for with sheer momentum. The clamoring, triple- jointed dexterity of Flea's bass playing was both anchor and engine for what Kiedis accurately pegged as his band's "whip-cracking" sound. Even when messing around between numbers, Flea was impressive enough to inspire thanksgiving that he uses his powers for good and not evil, such as launching a career as the next Stanley Clarke.