Roskilde 2016 Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Peppers delivered the standout performance of day one at the Roskilde Festival as they showcased their greatest hits and indomitable skills.

The band absolutely gave it their all. Flea gave a 90-minute masterclass in playing the bass, whilst Anthony Kiedis shrugged off the antics of his bandmate and highlighted just how spectacular his unique voice is. The fact that drummer Chad Smith managed to dazzle throughout indicates that he too is one of the all-time greats.

Despite the set possessing an array of classic Flea and Kiedis moments, at the heart of the band’s success at Roskilde was their seemingly endless list of barnstorming hits. The mid-performance rendition of ‘Californication’ was a particular crowd-pleaser, whilst just one listen to ‘Dani California’ explained how the band successfully crossed over to a mainstream audience.

One of the best aspects of the Chili Peppers’ live performance was their innate edginess. They don’t play songs how they sound on the album. They jam and play ska tunes between classic hits. They don’t sing every note perfectly. And this Los Angeles rough and ready edge is what has made them rock stars. Whilst other musical stars of the 1990s grow up and play it safe, the Red Hot Chili Peppers continue to defy convention.

Bowing out with an almost compulsory encore, the group kept performing at full throttle. The band hit the audience with ‘Under The Bridge’ – much to the delight of their adoring fans. Then, with the audience on the musical ropes, Kiedis delivered the knock out blow with a stellar performance of their most played live song, ‘Give It Away’.

Full of the band’s quirks and filled to the brim with classic hits, the Red Hot Chili Peppers showed Denmark just how good they are. The insatiable Flea gave a tour de force performance, which finished with a beautifully executed handstand. Overall the band continue to exceed already high expectations. And long may it continue.