Thursday, August 1, 2002


The Red Hot Chili Peppers fired up the concert crowd at Blaisdell Center arena last night. The band included, from left, bassist Michael "Flea" Balzary, lead singer Anthony Kiedis, drummer Chad Smith (hidden in the dark in background) and guitarist John Frusciante.

Chili Peppers
heat up Blaisdell

By Shawn "Speedy" Lopes

"There's something about Hawaii air that makes me horny," confessed Red Hot Chili Peppers' lead singer Anthony Kiedis, stripping off his shirt for a crowd of about 8,000 during last night's sold-out show at Blaisdell Center arena.

"There's a kind of humidity here that makes fruits ripen and flowers bloom," chimed bassist Flea, who like Kiedis, doffed his shirt for the occasion.

One can hardly blame the band's senior members for going topless on a muggy Hawaii evening, in which the refrigerated confines of the Blaisdell seemed to mimic the unusually balmy temperature outside.

To their credit, Kiedis and Flea boast the same sinewy physiques at 40 that they proudly paraded on stage during their first Honolulu appearance nearly a decade-and- a-half ago-- though decorated perhaps with a few more tattoos.

As Flea and guitarist John Frusciante astounded the audience -- who by the way, paid $40 each for the privilege of attending the show -- with their technical wizardry, Kiedis and drummer Chad Smith did their part to keep the band's momentum rolling with infectious enthusiasm.

Opening their set with "Can't Stop" off their just-released 11th album, the Peppers wasted little time in unleashing a string of recent hits on the bobbing mass of 20-somethings in attendance. "Scar Tissue," "Other Side" and "Californication" elicited the most hoots, hollers and ear-piercing whistles.

For one hot minute in the wide-open 1980s, unbridled dynamism and frantic stage antics afforded the Southern Californian quartet a reputation as America's Wildest Party Band.

But it becomes obvious as one watches the entire live spectacle that the Peppers' stupefying perseverance and durability in a no-guarantee business are what have earned them a lofty position among alt-rock's greatest icons.

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