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I'm gonna start this review simply with... Wow. I saw The Red Hot Chili Peppers last month (November 9th 2011) at the O2 arena London for the London leg of their new 'I'm With You' tour and for a band that have been around for more than a quater of a century they have still got so much power and energy that many bands and artists loose over the years. With the normal Anthony Kiedis on vocals (with a slightly more mature look than he had previously), Flea on bass and general crowd warming and Chad Smith on drums, there was a new edition in the form of Josh Klinghoffer on guitar replacing John Frusciante. Though there was a noticeable difference in sound between Klinghoffer and Frusciante, Klinghoffer brought his own feeling to the music but still kept a sence of familiarity evidence of his previous links with the band.
Walking into the O2 the atmosphere was brilliant even before the boys had stepped on. The stadium was full, especially the standing area which was packed (and eventually closed to any more people wanting in) with tickets given the option of standing or sitting. The warm up act, Fool's Gold, brought a refreshing African feel to the stadium though this wasn't something I personally enjoyed and had expected something a little different. Then they came on and within minuites were rocking the stage, greeted by the expected cheers and screams of fans. In typical style the tops of Anthony and Flea didn't stay on for very long, not that I was complaining. They played a variety of songs, both old and new, from the classics (Under the Bridge, Give it Away, Scar Tissue, etc) and some from their new album (The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie, Monarchy of Roses, etc). All of which were played amazingly. The visuals were also made to match, some songs made of more complex images and lighting whilst others kept it simple focusing solely on the band and each individual member.
The comfort Kiedis and Flea portrayed on stage just shows how relaxed both men are performing, happy to skip on-off stage, lay on the speakers and just generally let go. This comfort is shown throughout their performance in both their presence and music. Chad also happy to show his talent, twirling and throwing his sticks throughout. New boy Josh really came into his part, playing some impressive solos and rocking out with Flea.
The show as a whole was brilliant, a good variety of Chili songs had something for fans both old and new. The O2 also provided it's normal good service, with a great variety of restaurants and pleasing maintance throughtout the show (however there appeared to be quite a few problems with one of the mics which lead to some delay). The music was what we were there for and they delivered, along with a healthy atmosphere and plenty of charming Flea. I would highly recommend seeing them live to any Red Hot Chili Pepper's fan, the feeling of their music and performance a whole lot more a,asking when they a there on front of you.
Track Listings 1. By The Way 2. Universally Speaking 3. This Is The Place 4. Dosed 5. Don't Forget Me 6. The Zephyr Song 7. Can't Stop 8. I Could Die For You 9. Midnight 10. Throw Away Your Television 11. Cabron 12. Tear 13. On Mercury 14. Minor Thing 15. Warm Tape 16. Venice Queen I am a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan and I have listened to all the songs on the new album 'By the Way.' The songs are typical chilis but seem to be a mish-mash of old songs. The title track was a bit of a let down for me. I was expecting originality, but what I got is was a dancy version of all the Californication songs all together in one. It had moments of chilis brilliance but on the whole could be much better. By far the best song on the whole album is 'Cabron.' Similar to Californications, 'Road trippin' but with speeded up areas and far more originality than any of the other songs on the album. It is a fantastic song, showing the chilis are still THE best band around at the moment. I was amused to find out the meaning of the word 'Cabron,' in such an acousticy song. (Cabron means B*****d in Spanish). The rest of the songs on the album are nothing particularly special, and have lots of elements off previous albums. It is a good typical chilis albums with all the funk elements aswell as some really brilliant acoustic and mellow parts. I like the album but it is not quite a classic.
When I heard that the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were going to play the last day of reading in '99, I made my mind up to go and see them ,even though personally there was very few other bands I wanted to see that day. They were filling the last slot of the day ( which meant the biggest time slot available) and quite a crowd had gathered after the Offspring. What had attracted be to see the Chillis were their combination of hendrix-esque licks and deep funk grooves that seem to dance about your sound system along side the hollowing and tender vocals of Antony Kiedis. I also noted that my favourite line up within the band was back together ( that of BLOODSUGARSEXMAGIK ,my favourite album and the one I would suggest buying if you were just getting into the Chilli Peppers.) After a long sound test the band finally appear upon stage, supporting their Californication look (Antony with bleached blond hair and shirt and tie, Flea with neon blue hair ) and they don't fail to please. I noticed how tight a band they had become, parallels could be drawn to Rage Against the Machine Chad Smith ( drums) and the Flea ( bass) lay down flamboyant layers of percussion and funk while John Frusciante soar above all on a velvety melodies. They play all the classics but to my horror there is only a mild reaction from the crowd , the mosh pit is shrunken and there seems to be no signs of life around it. Why ?? It makes no sense the Chillis and giving it there all and they sound awesome and very few are even engaging in a light pogo. The only explanations I can offer is that maybe everyone was too tired for action or too complacent after a weekends worth of music. Either way Under the bridge receives a reaction as lighters are waved in time in the tragic heroine love story in the encores. The band completely met and exceeded my expectations of what they were gonna be like and totally rocked.