A RED Hot Chili Pepper fan generally falls into one of two camps.
There's those who adore their knack for rock melodies and the sheer weight of their hits like Under The Bridge, Can't Stop and Otherside and then there's the more discerning fans who marvel of the funk wizardry of Flea's bass playing or Anthony Kiedis' playful lyricism that blends rock and hip-hop traditions.
Both were well catered for on Saturday night when the Californian rock legends made their Hunter Valley debut at a sold-out Hope Estate.
Tickets for the concert were snapped up in under an hour when they went on sale in November, so anticipation was fever pitch among the crowd of around 20,000.
No amount of inclement weather was about to derail the Pokolbin crowd's desire to sing and dance along to the Rock'n'roll Hall Of Fame inductees.
Melbourne punks Slowly Slowly kicked off the night, well, slowly without much fanfare. That changed when legendary funk collective George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic hit the stage and produced a wall of hypnotic beats and contagious energy.
At times the stage was filled with more than a dozen performers; a eclectic mix of vocalists, guitarists and horns to create a cacophony of sound.
The free-form element wasn't to everyone's taste, but it did create a party atmosphere - despite the rain - and it showcased why Parliament Funkadelic are widely influential in the rock funk genre and particularly to the RHCP.
Clinton actually produced The Chilies second album Freaky Styley in 1985.
Flea, drummer Chad Smith and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer kicked off the RHCP set with the first of numerous jams before Kiedis joined the fray as the opening riff of Can't Stop echoed around Hope Estate.
Dressed in a black jumper, shorts, knee-high socks and a trucker cap, Kiedis was unusually reserved initially. He appeared content to serenade the more flamboyant Flea, before he ditched his shirt four songs in to adopt his more familiar stage attire.
In fact, Kiedis was fairly reserved all evening, allowing Flea to serve as the band's focal point.
It was a role the Australian-born Flea enjoyed; preaching the virtues of forgiveness and telling the audience about how he was transfixed by a bug he watched crawl across the stage as the band played.
"When you see a little bug walk across the stage not giving a f--k, it really puts it all in perspective," Flea said.
Fortune Faded and The Zephyr Song both attracted mass singalongs before RHCP introduced Dark Necessities, the first of four songs performed from their last album, 2016's The Getaway.
While the album version of Dark Necessities lacked the power of their earlier work, live the slap bass-driven track sounded revitalised and was one of the night's strongest moments.
The 18-song set featured tracks from every Chilies' album since 1987's The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, barring their 1995 Dave Navarro record, One Hot Minute.
This would have pleased long-term fans, but it caused the middle section of the set to lag as most punters were unfamiliar with the material.
The momentum returned with a slightly slower rendition of Californication, which gave the song extra swagger, and then Higher Ground, Under The Bridge and By The Way carried the night to its crescendo.
There will be some disappointed with the set omissions. There was no Suck My Kiss, Otherside, Scar Tissue, Aeroplane, Dani California or Breaking The Girl.
But with a career as extensive as the Red Hot Chili Peppers there's never room for all the hits.
What they did prove, however, is they're definitely not in need of giving it away yet. The Chilies remain a potent and red hot live act.
- Intro Jam
- Can't Stop
- Fortune Faded
- The Zephyr Song
- Dark Necessities
- Me & My Friends
- Factory of Faith
- Snow ((Hey Oh))
- Go Robot
- The Getaway
- Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder cover)
- Under the Bridge
- By The Way
- Only Happy When It Rains (Garbage cover)
- Goodbye Angels
- Give It Away
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