Support: Fool’s Gold
So back again at the O2 Arena, this time for a change of pace with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Tonight was my third time seeing the band but for some reason the first for 9 years. Interestingly each time seeing them has been at a different sized venue and with a different guitarist. First up was the Manchester Apollo in 1995 with Dave Navarro on strings (supported that day by Moby and the Flaming Lips) and Dublin Lansdowne Road in 2002 with John Frusciante on guitar (supported by New Order). Both were good gigs but for me this was possibly third time lucky as tonight was even better.
2011 actually marks the band's 28th year in existence. This time Josh Klinghoffer was on lead guitar but usual suspects Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith and the ever-entertaining Flea were all in place. For most groups nearing their third decade together it would probably mean being non relevant and playing to audiences their own age. Yet surprisingly the crowd tonight was extremely young. In fact I looked around and only saw one couple that could possibly be older than me…..now I always try and get standing tickets for rock gigs….I’m not one to sit. I may not have many dance moves but the few that I do have, I want to be able to unleash on the unsuspecting people around me and not be told to sit down by anyone. Tonight I’m sure the wife (seven years younger than myself) started edging away from me as she realized she didn’t want to be the one seen with the old fogey. It was bad enough as we were walking into the gig as two lads (a little worse for wear) started chatting to me about how great the Chilli Peppers were. Asking me had I seen them before and telling them yes I had and that the first time had been in 1995 they looked at me realizing I was older than they thought (I was under cover in a ’38 year old trying to be trendy’ jacket and hat). One looked at me and said “Cool I was 4 years old then”. I cried a little inside…
The sold out show tonight was part of the bands I'm With YouTour in support of the fabulous album of the same name. Kicking off with new song, Monarchy Of Roses,and backed by a superb stage set up and video screens, the band was on fire from the very start. It’s corny to say it I realize but the atmosphere really was electric. It’s possibly the best atmosphere I have been to at the O2 Arena, which gets better as a venue each time I go. It really is an adaptable arena.
Next up was Dani California with the whole crowd singing back the chorus. New song Look Away sounded great, ditto Scar Tissue and last single Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie.
Under The Bridgehad the whole crowd singing the entire song in unison, Can’t Stop, Californication, By The Way all superb.
The encore included a cool cover version of Neil Young song, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (at least that is what I was told as I didn't know it myself). Give It Away was the last song tonight with Anthony thanking everyone before leaving the stage and letting the rest of the band finish off with a final jam.
- Chad Smith pelting his drum sticks out into the crowd managing somehow to dodge the video screens
- Flea is a true legend and it is he that dominates the stage
- Anthony, despite catching a cold from his four year old son, managed to get through the set unscathed and showed what a great front man he is
- Josh fitted in well although was a little muted at times
- It’s impossible not to dance to this band
- Apart from me feeling old this was a great gig with a great atmosphere
What shone through for me was the new songs blended in well with classics. It didn’t matter the crowd seemingly loved every one.
On tonight's form the 5 year break between albums has done the band a lot of good. They have said they feel invigorated now that Klinghoffer is on board. It remains to be seen whether that is a long-term thing. I hope so as I think there is a lot more to come from him and as a result the band as a whole. I certainly hope so as a world without The Red Hot Chilli Peppers is a lot less entertaining.
Ticket: November 4th 2011
Ticket Price: €65.45