The Red Hot Chili Peppers were launched into stardom after the release of their hit 1991 album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The rock and rollers began selling out major venues across the country, due to the airplay of singles like “Give It Away” and “Under The Bridge”. Things were looking up for the Peppers in their earliest days, and they toured relentlessly throughout the early 1990’s in support.
For the tours during these years, RHCP booked some of the most talented up-and-coming bands to support them, including Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins. That lineup would tour until issues forced The Smashing Pumpkins to separate from the group, leaving an opening for another band of up-and-comers, Nirvana. The three bands, RHCP, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana, toured together for a handful of shows during the very final days of 1991.
The three bands kicked off their run on this day, twenty-six years ago, playing the Los Angeles Sports Arena together and treating alternative rock fans to some historical music in rock history. Though things for the RHCP were not great behind the scenes (John Frusciante was struggling with the band’s newfound fame and with drug addiction, and would leave the group in 1992), on stage they were a reckoning force. All three of these bands, in fact, were true forces of nature.
The run concluded with a New Year’s Eve spectacular in San Francisco, CA, a concert that Rolling Stone described as “overshadowing” the NYE celebration from the Grateful Dead. “Even the most casual observer would have had no trouble deciding which side of youth culture would be more fun to belong to,” they wrote in a February 1992 magazine article. In honor of the anniversary of this tour, check out full recordings of all three bands’ performances on New Year’s Eve 1991 at the Cow Palace!
Setlist: Pearl Jam | Cow Palace | Daly City, CA | 12/31/1991
Set: Once, Waiting Room, Even Flow, Suggestion, Why Go, Jeremy, Alive, Leash (with Flea), Smells Like Teen Spirit (snippet), Porch
Setlist: Nirvana | Cow Palace | Daly City, CA | 12/31/1991
Set: Drain You, Aneurysm, School, Floyd The Barber, Smells Like Teen Spirit, About A Girl, Sliver, Polly, Breed, Come As You Are, Lithium, Dumb, Territorial Pissings
[Video: john krieg]
Setlist: Red Hot Chili Peppers | Cow Palace | Daly City, CA | 12/31/1991
Set: Love Trilogy, Organic Anti-Beat Box Band, (No Head No Backstage Pass), Suck My Kiss, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Funky Crime, Give It Away, Nobody Weird like Me, If You Have To Ask, Stone Cold Bush, (Superstar)/Blood Sugar Sex Magik/(Magic Johnson), I Could Have Lied, Subway to Venus, (Sexy Mexican Maid)/(Fela’s Cock) jam (^), (Fopp)/Special Secret Song Inside (Party On Your Pussy)/(Red Hot Mama)/Me And My Friends, Yertle the Turtle/Freaky Styley Medley/(Cosmic Slop)/(Atomic Dog) jam, (After Hours), Crosstown Traffic