Usually I stroll past Melbourne Park and think "ho hum", but the venue had special meaning for me on the 6th of May, 1996. A change for the better was about to occur in my life.
A first time Chili Peppers live audience member, I expected a great time and I definitely was not disappointed! The Red Hot Chili Peppers hit the stage a little after 9 pm with great enthusiasm (thanks to Regurgitator for their excellent prelude). Being a permanent wheelie, I thanked the bass office silently for their great seats, in terms of "disabled" seating that is (second level up with views of mid stage)!
As soon as Anthony, Flea, Dave and Chad graced the stage, there was an immediate energy charge. The guys must have had jumping beans for dinner, because they bounced and jumped around non-stop during the show! "The Power Of Equality" was the opener and the mosh pit went into serious action with a few people being courageous enough to crowd surf. The packed audience dished out as much noise as the band themselves produced.
Before I get carried away I should mention that the set looked very "Unplugged-ish" with cute little lights hanging from the ceiling, all upstaged by a fantastic Gothic style chandelier. There seemed to be only a few speakers around, but they sure pumped out great sound! Exclude the cardboard cutout of Shaquille OíNeal (25 Sep '96 - oops...thanks to a great friend for casually pointing out that it was in fact, the one, the only, Magic Johnson *BLUSH* Darn binoculars!!) standing at stage left and the red rooster mounted on one of the speakers and you had a conventional stage setup. A very cool video screen projecting in the background used an Indian chief and some dolphins to add atmosphere during a few numbers. Simple effects worked well which proves you donít need super high tech help to be one of the best bands out there. Songs played ranged from early years like "Higher Ground" and "Backwoods" to greatest hits such as "Under The Bridge", "Give It Away" and "Suck My Kiss". Included in this batch of gems were hits from their recent "One Hot Minute" CD, like "Aeroplane", "My Friends", "Warped" and "Coffee Shop".
I adore them and so too do a lot of their friends in America. Rain Phoenix helped out with backup vocals on a few of the tame tracks, she has a gorgeous voice and she can rock out just as hard as the Chilis can. The concert rocked out for a good two hours. Pure fun! A personal highlight for me was one of the shortest events of the show, Fleaís rendition of the poignant "Pea". Congratulations mate! Another highlight (however superficial) was Anthonyís beautiful, long, flowing hair. I wonder what hair care he uses? *grin*
Thanks guys for an unforgettable time, you rock!
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