Top positive review
on 23 December 2016
I went to see the RHCP in early December ’16 for the fourth time. All three previous RHCP concerts I’ve been to involved John Frusciante who brought me to their music. I will always be interested in what they do, but my love has changed. It was a good, if brief concert, from a different band than the one I hear in my mind. I was left with a thirst for a more permeating, deeper sound, and backing vocals that enrich and lift the overall RHCP experience to something transcendent.
It led me to this DVD. Ignore the awful cover, it is not a reflection of what truly happened on August 23, 2003 as other commentators confirmed. The setlist is inspired. Songs I only partially like such as ‘Around the World’, act as a counterpoint and add uniqueness and unexpected dimensions. The Fugazi intro of Parallel Universe is simply beautiful. The band seemed deeply moved by the incredible audience they had that night and as someone else wrote, John Frusciante poured his heart and soul into Slane Castle from the first second. He appears to be channelling the atmosphere around him. Havana Affair (Ramones cover) is slowed down and reinvented. Venice Queen is a thing of pure wonder.
My only critique goes to Warner Music who should have focused solely on producing an expressive DVD cover to complement and reflect a magical night of music. Taking out ‘Soul to Squeeze’ because of a broken guitar string and ‘perfecting’ everything dims the authenticity and humanity of this seminal moment in time and shows a misunderstanding of what live concerts are to most of the music fans who attend them. Why rewrite history? Regardless, your imagination will take you there.