Sunday, June 10: The Hot Reds

The Hot Reds play Sunday, June 10 on the Miller Lite Mainstage.

What has the power to bring pop fans together with metal-heads? What unites rappers with melodic Beach Boys harmonies?

The Red Hot Chili Peppers continue to stand the test of time with their cross-genre appeal. It was that common ground that brought Hot Reds lead singer Ian Ash- a pop songwriter raised on Beatles and Oasis; together with bassist Chivo- who favored the likes of Metallica and Pantera. The Chili Peppers marked the spot where their tastes intersected, and they took to jamming the Chili’s catalog together with great enthusiasm.

Ash and Chivo founded the original pop rock band Ian & The Dream, featuring the hard-hitting and visually flashy drummer Brian Farvour. Farvour responded enthusiastically to Ash’s idea that they also form a Chili Peppers tribute band, and The Hot Reds began to take shape.

Guitarist Brian Zielke was a mutual friend of Ash and Farvour. His meticulous attention to detail he brings to the guitar is strikingly reminiscent of John Frusciante and Josh Klinghoffer. It seemed Zielke was destined to join the group when it was discovered he had grown his hair long like Frusciante when he showed up for the first Hot Reds rehearsal.

They are four boys from the “Woods of Wisconsin”- well, Waukesha more specifically- the birthplace of Les Paul, a hero of theirs. Les was once known as “Red Hot Red”, thus the name Hot Reds is also a tribute to Les in addition to serving as a Chili Peppers reference.

All of the Hot Reds have experienced the rapturous joy of seeing several live Chili Peppers shows. Always inspired by both older and newer Chili Peppers, they have prided themselves on channeling the same raw energy, spontaneity and showmanship into their live performance that the Peppers themselves are known for. As a result, shows by the Hot Reds are engaging and uplifting.

The reason it feels like a real Chili Peppers show isn’t just because the Hot Reds know these songs inside and out; it’s because they grew up with the Peppers and their many transformations. And that’s something we can all relate to, no matter where we prefer to wear our socks.

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