Jazz Fest: Context Works Against Red Hot Chili Peppers

Everything is relative. At a Lollapalooza or a rock festival, Red Hot Chili Peppers are funky. At Jazz Fest, they’re a rock band. They love funk, and Flea can be a funky bassist, but their rock is stronger than their funk, and it shows in a place where funkier bands are all around. Sunday, they surprised almost no one when they brought out The Meters with Ivan Neville subbing for Art to join them on the set-ending “Give It Away.” The two bands jammed together at Voodoo in 2006, and Meters’ guitarist Leo Nocentelli played the Acura Stage a few hours before the Chili Peppers.

Jazz Fest: Sunday's Schedule and Picks

I have the highest hopes for today at Jazz Fest. With the exception of Janelle Monae, this first weekend has lacked musical urgency. Pearl Jam started and finished hot, but you had to be committed to get through the middle hour. Van Morrison wasn't a mess, but I'm not sure "electrifying" is in his vocabulary in 2016. Our highlights for today aren't all attention-grabbers, but they do reflect personal visions.

Dumpstaphunk Plays Dirty

[Updated] The title track on Dumpstaphunk's new Dirty Word tells you all you need to know about the band. It's little more than a riff, but that riff's a monster, one that the band plays as an instrumental for more than half the song's running time. It doesn't wear out because the music around it is in constant motion - a bass pick-up here, a few bars of a guitar lick there, a keyboard counterpoint farther along.

Last Night: Chili Peppers Stay Red Hot

“We haven’t played this song in 29 years,” Red Hot Chili Peppers’s bass player Flea said to the sold-out audience in the New Orleans Arena last night, before the band broke into “Apache Rose Peacock.” He had reminded the crowd of how long the funk rock band has been together, and went on to remind the crowd of his “favorite place to be": New Orleans, as the song’s lyrics describe. “Mentally or physically, I want to be in New Orleans.”

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