The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Red Hot Chili Peppers perform explosive closing set at Lollapalooza

James Hoeck
The Red Hot Chili Peppers closes for final night of Lollapalooza 2023 on Sunday.

Red Hot Chili Peppers closed out the T-Mobile stage at Lollapalooza 2023 with a showy rock performance that showcased the strong talent of all four members.

Though patches of ground were extremely muddy, festival-goers found haven in the patches of grass and mulch.

The band began their set with a two minute long recorded audio, reminiscent of old Hollywood movie soundtracks.

The band then entered the stage. Bassist Flea — real name Michael Pete Balzary — did a handstand as he entered.

They then launched into a four-minute-long instrumental piece. It built instrument by instrument, starting with drummer Chad Smith. Flea entered next, followed by guitarist John Frusciante.

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Flea, as he did many times throughout the set, showed off his very impressive bass skills.

The band then played the opening notes to their hit “Can’t Stop,” and the crowd came to life, with nearly the entire crowd singing along.

After the song ended, Flea welcomed the crowd to the band’s performance.

The band then performed “Scar Tissue,” another hit that much of the crowd knew. At the end of the song, Smith — who is 61 years old — showcased his talent in an impressive, fast-paced drum solo.

After that, the band began “Dani California,” a third hit that the crowd knew. Thousands of voices sang every word of the refrain back to lead singer Anthony Kiedis.

During the song, bubbles could be seen floating above the crowd, reflecting the lights from the stage.

Frusciante then launched into a strong guitar solo, the first of many in the band’s set.

Flea thanked the crowd for seeing the band.

“Thank you so much for sticking around to see us play,” Flea said.

The band then began a series of lesser well-known yet still enjoyable songs, performing “Aquatic Mouth Dance,” “Suck My Kiss” and “Soul to Squeeze.” 

After “Suck My Kiss,” Flea recited a strange song, “Orange Claw Hammer” by Captain Beefheart. Flea’s rendition was spoken in rhythm and felt almost pirate-esque. 

The band played a cover of “Dreamboy / Dreamgirl” by Cynthia & Johnny o, and also played “Right on Time,” two very upbeat songs that got

Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis lifts his injured leg performing at the T-Mobile stage on Sunday. (James Hoeck)

the audience moving and resulted in several mosh pits breaking out within the crowd.

The band performed “Carry Me Home” and “Tell Me Baby,” and had a four-minute instrumental jam session.

When the opening riff to “Californication” began playing, much of the crowd cheered and sang along to one of the band’s biggest hits.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers played two more hits afterwords, “Black Summer” and “By the Way,” both of which were received very well from the crowd. 

The band then left the stage for a few minutes, before returning for an encore. Kiedis had a boot on his left leg for the entirety of the set, but that did not stop him from dancing during the encore.

Kiedis also changed his outfit for the encore, returning to the stage in a red hat and without a shirt.

They played “I Could Have Lied” and “Give It Away,” the latter of which was an explosive, high-energy seven minute performance.

The band ended their set a few minutes before schedule, and thanked the crowd once again for coming, before leaving the stage.

The entire band’s experience performing was incredibly obvious, all four members felt like masters of their craft. Their set was a well-oiled machine and a strong ending to Lollapalooza 2023.

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About the Contributors
Kiran Bond
Hi! My name is Kiran Bond and I'm a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in informatics. I started writing for The Daily Illini in the features section back in early 2022, before coming to buzz. I'm very passionate about music and journalism, so buzz editor is an awesome position for me! In my free time, I'm usually doing something musical! I'm in the Women's Glee Club choir and I play piano and guitar. I'm also probably listening to Fall Out Boy or another pop-punk or post-hardcore band. For any inquiries, feel free to reach out to me at !
James Hoeck
James Hoeck, Photo Editor
Heyo! I am James Hoeck, a third-year undergraduate student in photography with a minor in media. I have been a part of Illini Media for two years, starting back in fall 2021. I hold the position of Photo Editor here at The Daily Illini. I also work as Photo Editor for Illini Media’s Illio Yearbook. There is a good chance you will see me out and about on campus taking photos for my personal work or for The DI and/or Illio! If you want to check out more of my work, visit my socials linked below.
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