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Red Hot Chili Peppers and Wolfmother give sun-drenched Endfest crowd a spectacular show
Red Hot Chili Peppers and Wolfmother give sun-drenched Endfest crowd a spectacular show
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Endfest 15 w/ Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wolfmother, Nine Black Alps, and others

August 12 @ White River Amphitheatre

Despite the absence of Snow Patrol, whose flight into the US from Europe was canceled as a result of the recent terror threats on air travelers, Endfest was a very cool experience two weekends ago.

I arrived at the concert, presented by alternative radio station 107.7 The End, just as Nine Black Alps were going onstage. The UK-based band ripped beautifully through a forty-five minute set that included several cuts from last year's album Everything Is. A highlight of the quartet's performance was a great live rendition of their current hit single "Unsatisfied". Nine Black Alps, who opened two shows for punk heavyweights Social Distortion in July at the Moore Theatre, are so ordinary looking (cords, T-shirts, moppy hair) that you might mistaken them for restaurant dishwashers if you didn't know they were in a rock band.

Wolfmother jumped on Endfest's main stage after meeting a cluster of fans and media representatives, delivering an exciting performance that thrilled everyone in attendance at White River Amphitheatre. The Australian threesome sounded marvelous as they cranked out "Dimension", "White Unicorn" and "Woman". The young trio has captured tremendous buzz since the release of their self-titled debut in May, and the th0usands of concertgoers converged at the outdoor arena Saturday afternoon witnessed a band worthy of all the hype surrounding them. Vocalist/guitarist Andrew Stockdale, bassist/organist Chris Ross and drummer Myles Heskett, Wolfmother's equally gifted components, are playing like pros right out of the gate. There's no doubt their star will rise significantly in the near future.

Admittedly, I missed most of The Mars Volta's set. But from what I did catch of their hour-long set was an ambient blend of rock indisputably different from every other act performing at The End's shindig. In fact, I'm not even sure if it truly fit in with a roster of booming performers like Wolfmother, Eagles of Death Metal and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Mars Volta played songs from various recordings, including their newest effort Amputechture. Unfortunately, the emo-driven duo cut their performance short because an audience member threw a bottle of urine at them. Not cool.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, making their Endfest and White River Amphitheatre debuts, rolled onstage shortly after 9pm to a rambunctious crowd. The Grammy-winning punk-funk ensemble opened their two-hour set with a dazzling guitar instrumental from band members Flea and John Frusciante, followed by an energizing rendition of "Can't Stop". The veteran rock group then delighted fans with a bouncy, fun version of their MTV VMA-nominated "Dani California". Lead singer Anthony Kiedis appeared built and sexy, wearing black pants cut off at the calves, pinstriped vest and fingerless cotton-knit gloves. His shoulder-length hair was nicely groomed, at times fully covering his eyes. Flamboyant bassist Flea, always an interesting sight to behold, was decked out in a one-piece body suit in a color that resembled Pepto Bismo.

The band sounded amazing from the get-go and maintained high momentum throughout their performance, which included new material from this year's Stadium Arcadium and older favorites from their fifteen-year career. Endfesters sang along to "Charlie", danced and jumped to "By the Way", flicked their lighters to "Scar Tissue", and swayed to "Californication". Sadly, the Peppers omitted two huge hits from the set list, "Higher Ground" and "Dosed". Frusciante and Flea displayed some mindblowing guitar work, collaborating on a few impromptu instrumentals sprinkled in between songs. A riveting rendition of "Give It Away" brought concertgoers to their feet and drew the curtain on an amazing daylong event.

Endfest, in its fifteenth year, also featured The Subways, Eagles of Death Metal, Rock Kills Kid and The Gossip on a separate stage.

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