Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 

Saturday, July 8, at Blossom.

Though their fans no doubt disagree, over the course of the 16 years they've been making records, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have really only connected with their singles. The four-minute format suits the quartet (now back to its early '90s incarnation, which includes singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist John Frusciante) in ways full-length albums don't. Something about both the fake frat funk of its pre-superstardom work and the juvenile nature of its latter-day stunts can't sustain interest for long periods (maybe it's Kiedis's thin, nasal voice, or maybe it's the derivative nature of the music itself). But there has been some good stuff. "Under the Bridge," the 1991 tale of a down-and-out druggie roaming L.A.'s urban jungle, was a well-deserved breakthrough hit for the Peppers, and last year's "Scar Tissue" (from Californication) picks up that now-reformed junkie's story with glossy-eyed optimism. On the whole, Californication is graciously surrounded by an adult perspective for this kooky clan of guys once given to taking the stage naked, sporting only socks over their privates or wearing giant light-bulb heads. Currently doing the summer amphitheater tour thing with the Foo Fighters (and later, Stone Temple Pilots), the Peppers have become a bit rigid live, and their sets have shortened over the years (getting older does this, you know). But word is the boys are donning their socks for some of their encores and are occasionally dipping into their bag of oldies. We prefer staying home and listening to "Under the Bridge" and "Scar Tissue" a couple of times and calling it a night.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Michael Gallucci

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation