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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Chili Peppers, Buddy Guy in Solid Outings

October 21, 1994|CHUCK CRISAFULLI

The Rolling Stones' "Voodoo Lounge" spectacular rolled into the Rose Bowl on Wednesday with a generous, age-defying celebration of the band's music.

The crowd was there for the main event, but the bill also featured Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and L.A. funk-rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers, both of whom added propulsive energy and solid music to the evening.

Guy seemed to enjoy the opportunity to crank his slashing guitar lines through the Bowl's sizable sound system. Backed by guitar, bass and drums, he worked his way through blues that often began sweet and turned explosive when he cut loose. He played intensely--though mostly for a crowd that was still finding its seats--and ended his short set with a ripping version of "Knock on Wood."

The Chili Peppers took the stage in a fetching mix of skirts, underwear and ponchos, and quickly kicked into the forceful groove of "Give It Away." "Suck My Kiss" and some new material were also strong, and a couple of funk jams were as compelling as the songs proper. Bassist Flea spoke up to urge a no vote on Proposition 187. When the band pulled together on a frenzied version of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground," the excitement was infectious.

The Stones, whose San Diego concert was reviewed here Wednesday, didn't simply play their songs--they prodded, poked, teased and toyed with their songs. Mick Jagger croaked out his seductions, Keith Richards tossed in a signature lick here and there, Charlie Watts held down the beat behind the tiniest of drum sets, and it was consummate rock 'n' roll.

* The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Buddy Guy play tonight at 7 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, $55. (818) 577-3100.

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