Bouncing around stage with the vigor of a 14-year-old with ADD, singer Anthony Kiedis led the band through basically two styles -- the songs were either funked up ("Give It Away," "My Lovely Man," and "I Like Dirt") or laid back ("Scar Tissue," "Under the Bridge," and "Otherside"). While the two styles generally clashed, Kiedis continually made the transitions seamless, delivering bouncy rap one moment and pleasant crooning the next. Significantly, the band played nothing from One Hot Minute, the album that featured substitute guitarist Dave Navarro, and the show wasn't a greatest hits gig. "Behind the Sun," "Higher Ground," "Fire," and "Soul to Squeeze" didn't make the cut. Instead, the Peppers opted for a more diverse concert, featuring six tracks from their latest album, Californication, and other gems ("Subterranean Homesick Blues," "Blood Sugar Sex Magik," and "If You Have to Ask"), which showcased their maturation and evolution. Unless you were a diehard fan, the middle section of the show did drag, but was still entertaining. Your next opportunity to see the Peppers with the Foo Fighters (who canceled this date because singer-guitarist Dave Grohl was sick) comes in July, when the groups come to Blossom. Judging by the Columbus show, there was plenty to warrant seeing the show.
Openers Muse created a lot of energy and havoc onstage with a Radiohead-meets-Nirvana set that succeeded in capturing the attention of the young crowd. Heavy guitar work and over-the-top theatrics make this powerful trio worth keeping an eye on.