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The Loop

Film Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers LIVE – I’m With You

Shot before a rapturous crowd in Cologne, Germany, this is a high-definition showcase of material from the Peppers’ new album of the same name. Though the tattoos have faded over the years, the film makes clear that California’s finest can still pull off the hardcore- Parliament balancing act. Clear being the operative word, with camerawork that is astonishingly close to being at the concert. It’s tempting to applaud after every song, an easier task when the mostly new material is as good as the Chilis in their prime. I’m With You has well honed, radio-friendly songs: “Did I Let You Know” and “Police Station” rely on a deft touch before giving you a good, swift kick.

New-guy guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer comports himself well, driving but unobtrusive. With pink hair to match his sneakers, Flea’s goofiness (a few bars of Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” between songs) can’t hide his virtuosity. And with Chad Smith, the rhythm section is still tighter than a banker’s ass – closer, “Give It Away” brought the funk to a manic level.

Despite a history that’s tumultuous in the extreme, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have always been ferocious live – something this film ably captures. No tube socks or fire helmets, but fans should be thrilled.

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