REVIEW: Red Hot Chili Peppers - A Day On The Green (Mt Duneed Estate)

REVIEW: Red Hot Chili Peppers - A Day On The Green (Mt Duneed Estate)

This event sold out in a heartbeat and according to the weather forecast, it is going to be red, hot and sweaty! Headlining the A Day On The Green in Geelong is a band with RED and HOT in their band name....appropriately. Well, they were The Miraculously Majestic Masters Of Mayhem and yeah, that band name will never take off. I am so glad this funky bunch decided to call themselves, Red Hot Chili Peppers instead and become quadruple-platinum record sellers and one of the biggest bands in the world.

It has been a long time since they have toured Australia. The last time I photographed Red Hot Chili Peppers was when they were headlining Big Day Out six long years ago or as I like to say....five Aussie Prime Ministers ago! Since 2013, they have dropped their eleventh studio album, The Getaway. At the Big Day Out, I vividly remember lead singer Anthony Kiedis was wearing an OFF! trucker's cap, as the hardcore punk supergroup were also on the bill. It was no surprise as Kiedis has been friends with the lead singer of OFF!, Keith Morris for over 30 years. Way back when he was in the Circle Jerks and Black Flag. Last week, I couldn't help but notice that some photographs from their Hope Estate concert in the Hunter Valley and Kiedis is still wearing that same OFF! trucker's cap. So I had to ask myself, "Will he be wearing it again tonight?"

The weather forecast had me worried. I was one of the music photographers shooting the Falls Festival at Mt Duneed Estate back in 2015, after it got relocated from Lorne due to bushfires raging on Boxing Day at the Wye River. Over a couple of sweltering 40 degree days, I saw one photographer bail out due to dehydration and many punters suffering heat exhaustion in the intense sun with no trees or shelter. With this vivid memory in the back of my mind, I decided to arrive later than usual and miss out on the local support band, Slowly Slowly. I had photographed them recently at Falls Festival in Lorne and also saw them briefly at the St Kilda Festival a couple of weeks ago. When you are photographing 40 odd acts at Falls and you know you photographed them but have no recollection of what they even look like and they only thing you vaguely remember is that they are another emo rock Triple J band, it didn't sway my early decision to get there any earlier. It was a much safer bet to arrive in the mid afternoon, plus I had to pick up some friends a few suburbs away to drive to the winery. I would have much rather have seen one of the many great local bands currently killing it, such as Amyl And The Sniffers, Stiff Richards, Grindhouse, Hits, Cable Ties, The Neptune Power Federation and so forth, getting a guernsey or as they say in the music industry, getting a leg up.


I was very excited to see George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic again. Last time in 2015 at 170 Russell (or was it called Billboards back then?), they raised the roof with their energetic P-Funk party. I look around, I wonder if this 20,000 strong audience will appreciate the musical education that they are about to receive from these funk masters?

Clinton has been getting some extra attention recently. Primarily because he announced that the Clinton aka Dr. Funkenstein would retire from touring in May 2019. Secondly, due to a cult TV show from Mike Judge, the creator of those two MTV brats Beavis and Butt-Head and the popular HBO TV show, Silicon Valley. The latest season two of the animated music documentary, Mike Judge Presents: Tales From The Tour Bus had George Clinton and former Parliament-Funkadelic flamboyant bass player, Bootsy Collins telling bizarre stories from on the road. Bootsy unfortunately doesn't tour anymore but Parliament Funkadelic has lead guitarist DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight who memorable ripped 'Maggot Brain' to shreds last time at 170 Russell.


It's time for the main act. The whole hill at Mt Duneed Estate is jam packed as far as the eye can see, as the sun slowly sets. This place has a much more relaxed vibe than any soulless seated stadium gigs. Mt Dunneed Estate is one plus half the capacity of Rod Laver Arena and it is a gorgeous sultry night with fine music in the air, as 20,000 punters have packed into the winery. Everybody is grooving and singing along and there is no fun police (i.e. overzealous security staff) telling punters to sit down, which I see often at stadium gigs or at seated venues like the Palais Theatre in St Kilda. Out of the two RHCP concerts in Victoria, I know which one I would rather be experiencing with my good mates.

The show starts with an Intro Jam with Flea wearing Los Angeles Lakers yellow shorts and no top. Originally from Melbourne, Flea is like a little kid bouncing around on stage who just drank way too much red cordial without any water. I did notice some fans up front also wearing Lakers gear. I assume it must be a thing.

The Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame's youngest-ever living inductee, Josh Klinghoffer grabs his well worn vintage Fender Stratocaster. He is wearing a simple loose green T-Shirt, as he start jamming it up with Flea. Klinghoffer might have replaced John Frusciante in 2009 but there is no doubting his credentials. He will even get his chance in the spotlight later on but more about that later.

Tonight we see is a different set from their Melbourne show at Rod Laver Arena. It is refreshing to see a band of this high calibre, not afraid to mix it up every night, rather than be another well oiled machine, pumping out the same tunes every night. While Melbourne might have got 'Aeroplane', 'Scar Tissue' and their funky cover of Stevie Wonder's 'Higher Ground', the Geelong crowd tonight got the extra special treat of getting their bigger hits such as 'Suck My Kiss' and their signature song, 'Under The Bridge'. High five if you made the right decision to attend this A Day On The Green concert rather than a Rod Laver Arena during a busy working week.

There are many highlights during the band's performance. There is no doubt that the biggest cheers for the night when the band played the big smash hits. 'Californication', 'Suck My Kiss', 'By The Way' and especially 'Under The Bridge' made the crowd go apeshit with delight. Everybody was just singing along and dancing with their friends or waving iPhones in the air, like they just don't care. Everybody is having a great time!

It was fun to see Flea going solo and taking over the microphone performing 'Pea' from One Hot Minute. It's an oddball throwaway song to add to the setlist, as Flea sings about getting beaten up by a "redneck asshole". It is good time to charge up the drinks for many punters only to find that the bars are all closing. One burly dude who has had a few too many, suddenly decides he wants to climb over me and a barrier to get one final drink at the bar. Rather than enjoying Flea's solo performance, suddenly I am thinking of the late and great Spencer P Jones and his song 'The Bogans (Are Having All The Fun)'.

I love that Flea got on the microphone and had angry rant about the current music crisis happening in Sydney. "That stupid shit in New South Wales trying to pass a law so that it's impossible to put on a concert. Making it hard for people to go see live music....that's the stupidest fucken shit I have heard in my life." Flea ponders, "What can make a community stronger and better by everybody going out to see live music? JESUS CHRIST! Live music forever for the people." Then the band ripped into one of the best songs from 1987 album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, 'Me And My Friends'.

After 'By The Way' the band walk off stage. Klinghoffer and Smith appear back on stage for the encore. In other concerts on this current tour the pair has been performing Nick Cave, Elvis Costello, Garbage, Sinead O'Connor and even some good rockin' ACCA-DACCA covers. In Brisbane, Klinghoffer unexpected performed a Talk Talk cover of 'It's My Life', as word filtered through on social media that day that leader Mark Hollis had just passed away. Here at Mt Duneed Estate, we were treated with lovely tribute to Chrissy Amphlett, as they perform the Divinyls classic, 'I Touch Myself'. Midway through the song, Flea appear on stage walking half the length of the stage on his hands. It's a such treat to watch but I get the impression this is a regular thing with the energetic 56 year old wonderboy. There is no end to the marvel of this man. He is one of the best bass players in the world, belting out some crystalline vibes via a trumpet during 'Hump De Bump' and now he is being an acrobat. The adoring crowd lap up his circus act. To see the acrobatic Flea, fast forward to the one minute, five second mark of this fan captured video footage.

Source: fan footage from YouTube @HenrikLewandowski

The concert ends with a free for all P-Funk party, as George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic join the Red Hot Chili Peppers for 'Give It Away'. Clinton shares the microphone with Kiedis. Mid song the voluptuous Scottie Clinton performs the most hilarious breakdance. Most of Clinton's band's get the crowd to swing their arms in unison, left and right. Fans are standing on their partner's shoulders. It's a heady mix with twenty performers on stage. When Keidis sings "What I've got you've got to get it put it in you" and surreal animated graphics suddenly mutates from a french kissing mouth extended tongue to suggestively showing multiple pairs of pulsating breasts. Keidis croons "George Clinton is gonna give it away....Blackbird McKnight is gonna give it away...starting tonight". Mic drop and then he leaving the stage with a "Nothing but love, y'all". Flea thanks everybody and Chad chucks some drumsticks 20 metres into the air and suddenly it's all over. Talk about ending on a high note. It is so great to see a band still bringing their A game. Thank you Red Hot Chili Peppers.

REVIEW: Red Hot Chili Peppers - A Day On The Green (Mt Duneed Estate)
PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram @chilipeppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers setlist.

1. Intro Jam
2. Around The World
3. The Zephyr Song
4. Dark Necessities
5. Snow (Hey Oh)
6. Me & My Friends
7. The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie
8. Parallel Universe
9. Pea
10. Go Robot
11. Californication
12. Hump De Bump
13. The Getaway
14. Suck My Kiss
15. Under The Bridge
16. By The Way
17. I Touch Myself (Divinyls cover by Josh and Chad)
18. Goodbye Angels
19. Give It Away (with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic)
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