Funk Off

Red Hot Chili Peppers / Stone Temple Pilots

New World Music Theater
Tinley Park
Aug. 2, 2000

Scott Weiland
Scott Weiland feels the funk.

Story and Photos by Phil Bonyata

The Red Hot Chili Peppers influence on many of today's branded bands such as Korn, Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit is enormous.
Rap-Punk-Funk is the Peppers' creation.
The Peppers' performed at the New World Music Theater in Tinley Park last night to a nearly sold out arena. Anthony Kiedis, with a fresh black mohawk, looked every bit the part of the rebel rocker. Bassist Flea and guitarist John Fruciante, also with matching mohawks, went head to head to lay the path for the rest of the evening's extreme funk off.
On their last few albums, Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic, One Hot Minute and Californication the Peppers' have started to successfully analyze their hedonistic hometown, Los Angeles , in often satirical and dark interpretations. On "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" Anthony and his band mates were drowned out by the reverent chorus from the audience. Even "Under the Bridge" still played fresh because of the band's childlike electricity and Anthony's apparent sincerity in the delivery.
On "Sir Psycho Sexy", for a brief moment, it almost recaptured some of that wild and mesmerizing stage presence that use to make your jaw drop and get your heart racing faster than Flea's always loaded machine gun bass.
After the the skunked-up "Around the World" the whole band began to weave an intricate web of interlacing, gyrating bodies that resembled a crazy army of ants that just finished off the coffee beans in the cupboard. On the funk anthems "Give it Away" and "Suck My Kiss" the band leaped, lunged and preened in total unison to drummer Chad Smith's every speed beat.
Although it must be noted that the Pepper's performance was brutally honest and in some ways a close reminder of their past blow outs, but age has definitely mellowed these modern funk masters. Their songwriting has matured from the sophomoric days in the ' 80's to the self reflective consciousness of today.
Opening for the Peppers, the Stone Temple Pilots, and all of their baggage, hit the stage with the same bad attitude that propelled them in the first place. Singer Scott Weiland, with closely-cropped mohawk, feather boa and more eye make-up than a cheap hooker on Rush Street, pranced around the stage with a weird combination of feminine masculinity.
Are the Stone Temple Pilots making fun of themselves in some decadent joke?
Their new song "Soul Girl" was performed as a bulked up acoustic number and "Down" had Weiland and company in a nearly unconscious state.
The Stone Temple Pilots future is still in question , what with the questionable status of former heroin addict Scott Weiland.
He spent a year in jail for those abuses.
Weiland has let his band mates down many times in the past and their faith in him is doubtful at best.
Let's hope Weiland can exorcise his personal demons and continue on this new path to artistic salvation.

Anthony Kiedis

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers

Scott Weiland
Scott Weiland

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