On this date in history, Part 2: Fifteen years after that Rush show, I traveled back to MSA in 1996 to check out Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Toadies, and Spacehog. Starting from the beginning, Spacehog played a fairly generic opening set. Nothing horrible, but nothing horribly memorable, either!
Moving on, The Toadies were a vast improvement, playing mostly selections from their fine Rubberneck album. My highlights were Backslider, I Come From The Water, and the incredible Possum Kingdom. They rocked hard and got the crowd pumped and didn’t overstay their welcome.
The Toadies – Possum Kingdom
Obviously, the majority of the audience was there primarily for the funky headliners, and Anthony Kiedis and the boys delivered the goods. This was the short period of time when Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction was their lead guitar player. I’ve always been a huge fan of his playing and I thought the album he played on with the Peppers, One Hot Minute, was among their finest. Dave is admittedly more of a rocker than a funk player, and not as suited to the RHCP style as John Frusciante, but he has fantastic stage presence and killed it on this particular night. Getting to play with Flea and Chad Smith would be a thrill for any guitar player. Those guys laid down a bed of nasty funk that had us dancing throughout the show. Total beast mode rhythm section! They played a handful of the songs off One Hot Minute and filled out the rest of the set with crowd favorites from the earlier classics. Two completely different styled shows 15 years apart made for March 11 to be a fondly remembered date in my concert history!
Written By Braddon S. Williams