Epic tour alert! That’s right, Red Hot Chili Peppers have tacked on a 25-stop North American tour at the beginning of 2017 to be added to their current European excursion. A speedy sellout is virtually inevitable, as just about anyone who’s dipped their toes in the musical water of the 90’s can attest to RHCP’s legendary alternative rock status. The tour is intended to support the release of their recent LP “The Gateway”, although distinguished albums like “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”, “Californication” , and “Stadium Arcadium” will undoubtedly feature as the hallmark sing-along festival jams that most of the crowd has long awaited to hear in it’s raw live form..
The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ storied brand, just like many famed bands before and after them, is based on a particular set of recognizable tunes that have changed listeners’ lives over multiple generations. Whether you know them by name or not, it’s a near certainty that songs like “Under the Bridge”, “Can’t Stop”, and “Dani California” (among many others) will spark inherent happiness and excitement derived from the basic human instinct to bask in comforting and sentimental collections of sound. At the same time however, I strongly encourage listeners to go further. In a time where we can choose particular songs without having to rummage through a full vinyl record or laser disc CD in search of which songs hit and which songs miss, we lose the sense of discovery which comes along with a deep album dive. We miss the B-sides, the early unrecognized work, and just about every song that wasn’t promoted by the radio or Spotify’s finite suggestion bar. These songs may not be what culminate to define a band in the end, but they represent an overwhelming chunk of that band’s creative insight.
“Fight like a Brave” is a great example of a song that can delineate the root structure that a band initially based themselves on. The song comes from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1987 album “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan”, an ode to the band’s early punk rock days where glorious rebellion wasn’t just a topical young theme, it was a way of life. It may not be the nearly flawless alternative rock choral that many people have come to recognize with RHCP, but their unrefined inventiveness reveals a lot about where the band stems from and the foundation that built the temple they stand on today.