Not So Hot Tonight, Boys
The headliner most people have been looking forward to all weekend is without doubt The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their feel good, highly catchy anthems have created smiles for such a diverse mixture of people over the years and so unsurprisingly the main stage was rammed with people looking forward to a good old singalong and dance.
And whilst most of the major Chili's classics were performed, there was something sadly lacking from the set. A two hour set may be a daunting prospect for many bands, but with the Chili's back catalogue you'd think that they'd have no trouble pleasing the crowd and filling the time, yet the band have to resort to long-winded jams to make it through the set.
Now, whilst the Chili's are a fantastic band and ordinarily jams make up an exciting part of seeing a well established band live, it felt somewhat like the band were crying wolf far too often with their between-song jamming. The first time there was a reaction from the crowd, but the further into the set the more restless the crowd became and each time the band meandered off into their own little world, reactions grew less and less notable as an ever-increasing amount of people took little notice or even decided to call it a night and head back to the campsite.
However, between such public displays of self-importance, crowd pleasers such as 'Can't Stop' and 'Californication' are greated with roars of enthusiasm from the crowd, as are newer tracks 'Dani California' and 'Snow (Hey Oh)'. It's not that they're a bad band- far from it – but they seem to have forgotten that festivals are about appealing to an audience far broader than your average concert. It's the hits that are needed to keep the crowd happy and sadly no amount of creativity on stage will satisfy unless it's in the form of altered versions of your classic tracks.
After 18 months on the road, it's understandable that the band may well be feeling the pressure and just want to get their last show over and done with. But that's no excuse for the mistake made during 'By The Way', where Anthony Kiedis slips out of sync with the rest of the band and is forced to hastily leap back in time with the rest of the band. We've all sung the wrong line to a song accidentally whilst watching a band live, yet this is the kind of mistake you do not expect a headline act- especially one so huge as the Chili's – to make on one of their most popular songs. Even more surprising than the mistake itself is the fact that no one in the crowd seems to notice!
Other highlights of the set include 'Emit Remus' and 'Other Side' from the Californication album that nestled between a host of Stadium Arcadium tracks. Ending on 'Get On Top' is a wise choice, but the set lacks other fantastic tracks from over the years- there's not a sniff of 'Under The Bridge' or 'Zephyr Song' to be heard.
The Red Hot Chili Pepper's came to deliver one of the greatest feel-good festival sets in recent years, but somewhere between the stretched out intro for 'Can't Stop' and the masses leaving during the encore, they lost what credibility they had as the kings of crowd pleasing songs. Tonights set was a true case of a fantastic set marred by a whole load of self-obsessed funk jams that achieved so little.