Chili Peppers: Still Red Hot

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Some say the Red Hot Chili Peppers' last three albums have been weak retreads of the 1991 classic Bloodsugarsexmagic. And an elite, well-informed few maintain that its follow-up, 1995's One Hot Minute, is an underrated classic, a true nugget from Dave Navarro's career before he traded musical cred for full-time celebrity. But love 'em or no, the Peppers remain one of the few bands from the (pre-)alternative era that can still pack an arena. And our man on the scene says that, if you like what they're selling, they've still got it, and they're still giving it away. Here's his report from Tuesday's show at the Q: While October 31 was the time for kids to dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating, rock and roll fans got a treat of their own: The Red Hot Chili Peppers at Quicken Loans Arena. The wildly overrated punk-prog critical darlings the Mars Volta played what sounded like a continuous 45-minute song in the opening slot, but the Peppers rocked the house. They even celebrated Halloween in their own way: In the opening song, "Can't Stop," bassist Flea flew over the stage dressed as a witch, and lead singer Anthony Kiedis came out dressed as a Mexican wrestler. Talladega Nights must have been a favorite for drummer Chad Smith, who donned the uniform of one the characters from the movie. All-time favorite hits and songs off their new Stadium Arcadium album were trotted out, including "Throw Away Your Television," "Californication," and the one song that they "haven't played in almost 10 years," Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." When the band left the stage after 90 minutes, the crowd roared for an encore. They got it in the form of Chad Smith doing a little shake-n-bake dance behind his pulsating drums, then the band ended it all with "Give It Away." -- Jeff "J-Z" Zaleski

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