That’s what the SoCal rockers brought to Sunday’s set at San Francisco’s Outside Lands. Waking out on the Lands’ End Stage at 7:45 p.m., the Peppers were on point from the start.
Relying on drummer Chad Smith and bassist Flea’s tribal beats, Sunday’s set ran through their extensive catalog of hits, from “Look Around” off 2011’s I’m With You to “Can’t Stop,” which was from 2002’s By the Way.
As the closing festival headliner, the Chili Peppers enjoyed a capacity crowd in Golden Gate Park, and the frontman Anthony Kiedis’ love for the band’s fans was evident. Kiedis, who was rocking a mustache and a long-sleeve shirt, joked that he stole previous performer John Oates’ signature facial hair.
With that, Kiedis launched into the infectious “Otherside,” which allowed for a searing guitar solo from Josh Klinghoffer.
It should be noted that the Red Hot Chili Peppers make it a point to add great visuals on the video screens that sit behind the band and flank them on both sides.
Whether it is a music video-esque treatment or simply a black-and-white view of each musician, the boards are mesmerizing.
RCHP have been doing the funk-rock thing for about 30 years, and there is no sign of stoppage.
Kiedis stalks the stage like a caged animal, while Flea pounds his bass like it’s the last thing he will ever do in his life.
Meanwhile, Klinghoffer expertly filled in the vacant spaces with his shrieking fretwork.
That was most evident once “Snow (Hey Oh)” was brought out. Klinghoffer entered into a trance that is the song’s carrying riff, and Kiedis competed with the hundreds of screaming fans to be heard.
A major highlight was when the RHCP played “Higher Ground,” a Stevie Wonder smash that the Chili Peppers completely killed themselves to nail the funky tempo of the track while adding a little stank on it.
After making it through the finale, there was a max exodus that engulfed many of the roads surrounding Golden Gate Park. At least the Red Hot Chili Peppers gave their fans something to sing along in their heads on the long ride home.