One of the most iconic alternative rock bands of the past half-century is in the heat of their year-long worldwide tour, and lucky for me they took a pit stop in Beantown. The massive tour is intended as a follow-up to their surprisingly successful 2016 album The Getaway, which many may remember featured the notable hit track “Dark Necessities”.
Normally bands that have subjectively passed their prime and subsequently promoted a new album are seen as more of a nuisance than refreshingly revolutionary, but RHCP are the nonstandard rarity. They’ve deserved every bit of the massive breadth incorporated in this tour, as their set was built upon commendable longevity rather than a handful of timeless hits. After all, RHCP have released hit singles and platinum/gold albums every few years for each of the past 4 decades. Say what you want regarding their subjective peak in the mid 90’s, but Red Hot Chili Peppers are a band that have forcibly proven themselves to be much more than a legacy band.
To that accord, RHCP complemented their opening international hook “Around the World” and closing timeless rap-rock anthem “Give It Away” with a sandwich of present-day title tracks, old-school B-sides and a few random cover songs. Some crowd members may have walked away questioning why they only played a fourth of their hit songs at most, but the band’s storied supporters reveled in the rebellious “We never play the same set” attitude that got RHCP to where they are today. Out of the entire set, RHCP’s cover song game was the most surprising and impressive, as they touched upon “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder, “They’re Red Hot” by Robert Johnson, and “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” by Mission of Burma. Honestly considering how irregular those songs are, if you can hum two out of those three songs without actually looking them up, you can officially call yourself a music connoisseur. Even the opening act Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue played into the punk-rock Boston crowd with an interesting brass cover of “Brain Stew” by Green Day followed up by “Bulls On Parade” by Rage Against the Machine. When all was said and done, every member of the crowd was walking onto Causeway Street with a beaming look of pure satisfaction.
Regardless of last night’s setlist, I still feel it important to release this playlist of my 15 favorite songs ever released by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Although it may not be the specific set that the band played (which can be found on setlist.com), I instead want to promote a playlist that serves as a testament to the amazing array of recognizable songs that these Californian kings have to offer, especially considering they commendably chose not to play most of them. Again, keep in mind the band’s progressions from grungy roots in early songs like “Fight Like A Brave” to full-bodied and carefully structured modern rock productions like “Dark Necessities”.