After blazing a path on funky rock jams for years, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were ready to slow their sound some by 1999. The band were a little older, a little wiser; a new creative energy fueled Flea, and guitarist John Frusciante was back after quitting six years earlier, having tackled his demons in rehab. The band returned with Californication in early June of that year, an album that would spiral them toward the mass success they hadn’t yet reached.
Californication also marked a shift in the band’s discography— on the record, the Red Hot Chili Peppers turn inward and toy with vulnerability (no doubt inspired by the tumultuous turns that various band members had taken in the preceding decade). Anthony Kiedis’ voice finds a new depth on this album, his falsetto at its gentle height on hit track “Scar Tissue.” Frusciante similarly slides into an affecting groove, his fluid licks combing between Flea’s warm bass.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers took this new sound and album on tour immediately, performing their new tracks worldwide from Woodstock to Tokyo. Here at Paste, we have original footage of the official first night of their Californication Tour. Watch below to witness a reinvigorated Red Hot Chili Peppers, performing some of their best hits fresh after their release.