The band kicked off the evening with a brief jam session featuring the dynamic backbeat of Flea and drummer Chad Smith, while guitarist Josh Klinghoffer shredded alongside them. The jamming continued for a good three minutes before things kicked into gear when, emerging from the blackness like a white rabbit jacked up on Red Bull, Anthony Kiedis hopped onstage and ran toward a center-stage microphone to belt out the opening lyrics to “Can’t Stop.”
"Can’t stop, addicted to the shindig," Kiedis cried out. "Can't top, he says I'm gonna win big." The crowd, awash in red and white lights, fervently sang along, while Flea leaped and gyrated with his custom-made L.A. Lakers bass guitar in tow.
But as it has always gone with the Chili Peppers, the stage belonged to Flea and Kiedis. For all of his craziness, Flea remains a staggeringly talented artist. He’s a virtuoso on the bass, thundering away on each song so flawlessly that one forgets just how technically sound he is. Behind the dyed hair and shirtless L.A.-hobo-chic, the man is unrivaled when it comes to an instrument most casual music fans take for granted. But Flea’s ability on the bass is so devastatingly apparent the band had to bring out a second bassist just to make sure the songs kept in time as Flea wailed about on his own. As for Kiedis, he remains aloof but still has a commanding presence that makes him the untouchable frontman that he is. Kiedis can still belt out those rap-rock tongue twisters like a master, and his energy is so infectious it fuels the rest of the band. When you attend a RHCP show, you expect to see these frenzied two do their thing onstage, hopping and running circles around each other as they rattle the walls with their songs. They did not disappoint.
New Times' ode to Stadium Arcadium, the guys launched into flawless renditions of "Snow (Hey Oh)," "Tell Me Baby," and "Hey."
There was never a lull in Saturday night’s show. The concert deviated very little from the tried-and-true course: tireless energy and pushing the limits of the decibel levels. As the boys bounced from song to song, they occasionally grooved into a hot and heavy jam session, with Flea slapping his bass and running from one side of the stage to the other. Ever the spark plug, he kept jerking his head so violently it looked as if it would become detached at any moment. Kiedis, meanwhile, rivaled his bandmate’s energy with his own frenzied gyrations, running in circles, and strutting around like a rooster on acid.
But the evening belonged to the fan favorites, and RHCP did not disappoint, belting out songs such as “By the Way,” “Under the Bridge,” and “Give It Away.” They brought the house down with the heavy-bass-laden, guitar-meltdown classic “Higher Ground,” the band’s famous rendition of the old Stevie Wonder hit.
The night featured a heavy blitz of ear-drum-splitting classics to go along with the fantastical light show that accompanied each song. Where the Red Hot Chili Peppers lacked in artist-fan decorum, they more than made up for with sheer aggression and patented unwavering energy. Even after touring for more than 30 years, the band’s ability to bring a thunderous, near-reverential sonic boom of deafening funkadelics remains intact.
- "Can’t Stop"
- "Snow (Hey Oh)"
- "Scar Tissue"
- "Dark Necessities"
- "I Wanna Be Your Dog" (The Stooges cover)
- "Right on Time"
- "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie"
- "Go Robot"
- "You’re a Big Girl Now" (Bob Dylan cover)
- "Tell Me Baby"
- "Higher Ground" (Stevie Wonder cover)
- "Under the Bridge"
- "By the Way"
- "Goodbye Angels"
- "Give It Away"