Red Hot Chili Peppers
Live at Slane Castle


4.5
superb

Review

by Med57 EMERITUS
January 14th, 2005 | 56 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


The Band: Anthony Kiedis (Vocals)
John Frusciante (Guitars, Backing Vocals)
Flea (Bass Guitar)
Chad Smith (Drums)

This concert took place on August 23, 2003 as at the massive venue of Slane Castle, Ireland, a venue previously headlined by U2, among others. It was one of two one off shows that the Chili Peppers played in the UK that month, following their triumphant appearance at the V festival.

For those of you don't know anything about the Chili Peppers, (is there anyone left anymore who doesn't?), they are the band that originally came out of Los Angeles as a funk rock band, before John Frusciante and Chad Smith joined the band after 3 albums, following the death of their guitarist, Hillel Slovak, and the subsequent departure of Jack Irons, the group's drummer. Following the release of Mother's Milk in 1989, breakthrough album Blood Sugar Sex Magik was released, spawning worldwide hit singles, Under The Bridge, and Give It Away. John Frusciante then left the band, and descended into complete heroin addiction before rejoining the group for the 1999 album Californication, which was hailed as an unlikely, but brilliant comeback, following the disappointing One Hot Minute. Then in 2002, By The Way was released, which showed a new maturity to the Chili Pepper's music, and was critically hailed as one of their greatest albums, if not the best.

The Chilis have also developed a reputation as a quite brilliant live band, due in part to their undoubted ability, with Flea in particular widely being thought of as one of the best bassists of all time, and also due to their improvisation in between songs, and the 100% comittment and joy that they put into their live shows. Here, this is very evident, with several brilliant jams between Flea, Frusciante and Smith, most notably before By The Way and Californication. It's in moments like these, when even people who dislike the music of the Chilis are generally forced to admit their ability and talent at playing together, largely due to the evident chemistry and close personal friendship of the band.

Another high point of this DVD is the use of the "bullet time" technology as used in The Matrix. Particularly in By The Way, when Anthony Kiedis is regularly shown slowing in mid-air, it is used very impressively. While it is easy to dismiss as a gimmick, it adds yet more to the performance. The setlist is also varied, incorporating material from their 3 biggest albums, as well as a cover of The Ramones's Havana Affair, and John Frusciante singing his cover version of Maybe. Flea's trumpet solo, which has started appearing in the set in the last year, is a reminder of the talent of the band, but also shows their musical diversity.

One of the few criticisms of the DVD, is the complete lack of material from their first 4 albums, which some fans feel is the best material they have ever produced. While not agreeing with this, it's inevitable with any band as big as the Chili Peppers that some of their great songs won't get played. For example here, the rock of Suck My Kiss and the slow ballad I Could Have Lied didn't get played, which are among the high points of Blood Sugar Sex Magik. However, other tracks were played, which compensates for this. Another slight disappointment is that the song Soul To Squeeze was left off the DVD, depsite being played, as John Frusciante broke a string on his guitar. It's a minor omission, but it would have been nice to see it on here.

With highlights of individual songs, ones I remember from the DVD, include the infamous intro to Can't Stop, which the Chilis have taken to elongating to hold the audience in suspense. Here, even Anthony seems to hold his hand to his head in mock disbelief when John again stretches this out. Compared with the joyful nature of this song, the artistry of the band really shines through on Venice Queen, a song about Anthony's drug counseller who had died. It's hard to explain the full wonder of this live version, but there's something genuinely beautiful about the moments when John Frusciante switches to acoustic guitar, and the initial effects-laden intro.

Again, it's obvious, given that Ireland has the most copies of By The Way per person sold anywhere in the world, but the crowd here are on top form from beginning to end, getting really into every song, and going absolutely mad during the faster rock songs. Given the full nature of the band's back catalogue, this is no surprise, but the first time you watch this, you will probably be surprised by the improvisational skills of the band, with John's guitar solos changing in nearly every song. This is greatly assisted by the brilliant direction, and sound of the DVD, with the picture cutting between the band members and crowd at what seems like the perfect moments, and the sound being faultless.

In short, this is a very good DVD. It shows what many people percieve as a brilliant live band, at their best, in front of a fanatical audience playing many of their biggest hits. If you have not seen them yet, I can really recommend it, but in the meantime, buy this DVD. It's well worth it.

Overall rating: 4.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiedisfan69
August 19th 2004


42 Comments


I love how RHCP are not exactly 25 anymore, but they manage to produce a very amazing stage presence which is actually BETTER than most 25 year olds can do, IMO. Great job on your DVD review, I didn't know you could do that but I enjoyed reading it. :thumb:

Med57
Moderator
August 20th 2004


1001 Comments


[QUOTE=Kiedisfan69]I love how RHCP are not exactly 25 anymore, but they manage to produce a very amazing stage presence which is actually BETTER than most 25 year olds can do, IMO. Great job on your DVD review, I didn't know you could do that but I enjoyed reading it. :thumb:[/QUOTE]


Yeah, the stage presence and show are amazing. I've seen DVD reviews for other artists here, and I even checked the rules, so it's all good. ;)

br3ad_man
Emeritus
August 20th 2004


2125 Comments


This is a great DVD. I love the Matrix style effects in it and I love how they do jams.

good review :thumb:

Sep
November 12th 2004


297 Comments


Great review and a great DVD. I saw some of the songs on TV.

ringo1983
November 12th 2004


1 Comments


yeah just great but you ****ing idot ireland isnt in the uk get your arse out of your head before you start making stupid insulting comments like that arse wipe

seth plays bass
November 12th 2004


1 Comments


Nice review, I apreciated that mini-bio before the review. Is this DVD easy to find?
i.e. Can I go to Best Buy/Circuit City to buy it?

Funkstard
November 12th 2004


1 Comments


I was at the concert in Slane! Easily the most electric atmosphere I've ever felt at a concert. I've seen the Chilies for the last 3 years, and Slane was by far and away the most incredible experience. EVERYONE was completely into the band, I would honestly say over 90% (or so it seemed) knew the words to every song and sang their hearts out. Absolutely mesmerising, and the DVD does a good job of capturing this, showing plenty of shots of the natural amphitheatre that is Slane castle, and of the huge crowd that was there, swaying and singing as one

My favourite song of the night was left out though, and I was genuinely disappointed with this because for me, 'Soul to Squeeze' and the intro to 'Venice Queen' (as stated above) were particularly memorable, magical and mesmorising. (Alliteration woot! :p )

I must say this is an excellent review of the DVD. Were you there, by any chance?

Med57
Moderator
November 12th 2004


1001 Comments


[QUOTE=ringo1983]yeah just great but you ****ing idot ireland isnt in the uk get your arse out of your head before you start making stupid insulting comments like that arse wipe[/QUOTE]

I'm guessing I've found an angry Irishman? Sorry for any offence caused...I should have said United Kingdom and Ireland or something.

Nice review, I apreciated that mini-bio before the review. Is this DVD easy to find?
i.e. Can I go to Best Buy/Circuit City to buy it?


I would imagine so, but I got mine off Amazon.

I must say this is an excellent review of the DVD. Were you there, by any chance?


I wasn't, no...I was at Glasgow the day later, and that was unbelievable. I've seen them 3 times now, but that may have been the best. The DVD of this performance though makes me think that maybe this was even better.

Thanks for all the feedback.

Knoxvillelives
March 31st 2005


342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm pretty sure that Flea and Kiedis are 40+ now :O
This is a very good DVD as it is very well filmed etc.
But if you prefer the bands older stuff, you might wanna check out OFF THE MAP (I'll doa review some time) because the set list is brilliant there. It's not as well filmed, but I think the band erform beter (cept Kiedis who is getting better at singing each year)
Although I don't really like the set list, i still love the DVD, because it's the Chilis.

pepperhead
April 6th 2005


15 Comments


Well what can i say, a great reveiw i have seen this concert on really late night tv once and i thought it was awesome and i think you have just convionced me to buy it, where did you say you got yours?Amazon?


Knoxvillelives
April 7th 2005


342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Flea plays trumpet at Hyde Park, but it's too long and gets boring. It's much better at Slane

pepperhead
April 16th 2005


15 Comments


yeah that skeleton outfit was pretty awesome, but i actually liked flea's trumpet treated by john, i thought it was a wacky and diffreent cos no other bands do that sort of stuff really. And yeah i get pissed of when the whole crowd sings along to songs like under the bridge and californication, i'd prefer it if they just completley lost it and totally rocked out to songs like give it away and suck my kiss

masada
June 26th 2005


2733 Comments


I'm guessing I've found an angry Irishman? Sorry for any offence caused...I should have said United Kingdom and Ireland or something.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Northern Ireland part of the U.K.?

Med57
Moderator
June 26th 2005


1001 Comments


Yeah, but Slane Castle is in the Republic of Ireland...therefore it's technically the United Kingdom and Ireland. Yay for irrelevant controversies.

masada
June 26th 2005


2733 Comments


Oh. For some reason I thought it was in the North.

By the way*, good review.

*Pun not intended(I think that's a pun...)

tinathefatlard
August 27th 2005


1600 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

my friend got this DVD and we were watching it and all of a sudden we started moshing and we broke his mom's vase...so we were like...shit..and well i ran the fuck outta there hahaha great DVD...and great review

Skinhead On The MBTA
October 2nd 2005


24 Comments


Great DVD, great show, great review. I was surprised when Flea got the trumpet out (I never knew he played it) and the whole show, from beginning to end, was flawless. I also liked Redemption Song which was played over the PA at the end of the show, being sung by Joe Strummer.

Oh, just to set the record straight, Slane Castle is in County Meath, Republic of Ireland, which is not part of the United Kingdom (the full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). I just wanted to make sure everyone who as arguing about it knew that.

Knoxvillelives
October 3rd 2005


342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great DVD, but I prefer the setlist on Off The Map, which is well worthy of purchase (despite lessened video quality and general sheen in comparison with this beautiful document) to those who favour BSSM era Chilis.

Shattered_Future
October 3rd 2005


1540 Comments


My friend has made me watch this many a time...

As much as I can't stand the Peppers, they do put on a good show.

Knoxvillelives
October 4th 2005


342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

On the whole bass drum pic changing, you'll also notice how John's pants change...Anthony's hair goes from mohawk to flattened and on one occassion (the intro to If You Have To Ask)...the guitar starts an John aint even playn!!!

It's taken from three different shows in the same arena and edited together from the best shots. Im tempted to review it



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