Red Hot Chili Peppers
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Date: March 7, 2017
Location: Staples Center
The Staples Center became alive last night as eager fans headed downtown to see their hometown heroes The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anxious fans in Chili Pepper attire stood outside counting down the moment of having the chance to see their favorite band perform live. Fans waited in line hoping to buy merchandise while the KROQ booth blasted music handing out free giveaways. Walking along the sidewalk holding a sign that read “I Need a Ticket” an eager fan clinched to hope that he’d score a ticket for the sold out concert. Should of expected a celebrity sighting that night, but was still surprised to see Craig Robinson! Soon the crowd was let into the venue and the fun was about to start.
Onstage a joyous Flea announced the first opening act of the night; Jack Irons. Flea was stroked to be introducing his friend to everyone at the Staples Center that night. His enthusiasm about Irons got the audience excited to see him perform. For those unfamiliar Jack Irons is one of the founding members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the original drummer. He left the band in 1988 around the time when fellow band mate Hillel Slovak passed away. Though he left the band there was no acrimonious feelings between him and the others. Flea had reason to be enthusiastic as Jack Irons nailed his performance that night. His performance consisted of playing drums while the large video screams behind him played imagery related to the song being played. No vocals were sung throughout the half hour performance, just him showing off his mastery of the drums. The music he played were punk rock songs yet had a mystical, foreign allure but felt extremely experimental at the same time. He played non-stop throughout his set, which impressed me as he did not miss a beat. My favorite song was the last one that featured odd Alice in Wonderland imagery that had a psychedelic feel. Sadly, that was his last song of the night, but he went out with a bang.
Up next were the New Orleans band Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. The band played a variety of genres from pop, rock, jazz, R&B, funk and even punk. I have to say the band felt out of place that night compared to the other two acts of the night. This band had more bass, jazz sound to them, however the audience had no problem embracing them. It might have been due to their lively performance, their fast paced spirits, or even maybe they were being endorsed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers themselves. Regardless, the band’s energetic performance contributed to creating an entertaining atmosphere. Their dynamic performance will be the main aspect that I will remember from this band. The audience became thrilled towards the end of their performance when they started playing brass cover songs. The songs covered were Suzanne Vegas’s Tom’s Diner, Rage Against the Machine’s Bulls on Parade and Green Day’s Brain Stew. These instrumental cover songs displayed the diverse talent of all the members. If creating a fun, entertaining atmosphere filled with incredible music was their goal, then they met it.
The lights dimmed down for the final time as The Red Hot Chili Peppers made their grand entrance. Flea, Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer entered the stage the three of them jamming together. Throughout those first few minutes the audience became hysterical as their anticipation grew tremendously. Smith, Flea, and Klinghoffer were huddled in around the white, wolf themed drum set giving the audience a taste of what was yet to come. Soon Anthony Keidis joined the others onstage as he yelled out to the audience “What’s up hometown” to the cheers of the fans. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were back home and everyone in the room couldn’t have been more excited. The hometown performance of any band always seems to bring out the best in any artist. They’re back on their home turf where it all began. At another point during the concert Kiedis asked Flea where he was sleeping that night. He replied with warmth “at my home in Los Feliz.” This is a band that takes pride about their Los Angeles roots which definitely showed that night. Towards the end of their performance Flea quipped about some food after the show in Los Angeles if anyone in the crowd wanted to join. On a side note I was relied that this show was not rescheduled like the others that were planned the week prior. Those shows were scheduled due to Kiedies recovering from bronchitis but he seemed to have made a speedy recovery right on time for their three show performance at the Staples Center.
The band played a fine mixture of new and old songs alike from their 11 album catalog. Can’t Stop was the first performance up which set the stage of how the whole night was going to come together. Hearing their classic hits of Scar Tissue and Californication brought back memories of high school for me. It was during my high school years that I started to listen to rock music with the Red Hot Chili Peppers being one of the first bands I got into. Californication and Stadium Arcadium were among my favorite albums during that time and when I heard songs from those albums lots of memories flooded back to me. Dani California was the highlight for me that night due to the meaning that that song has to me. This was the first Red Hot Chili Peppers song I became exposed to 11 years ago when they were releasing Stadium Arcadium. I’ve always loved that song and actually wrote an analysis on it in my college music class. I never thought though that I would ever see the band actually perform live in person. It did happen and I could not have been happier than I was that night. Emotions came out that night as Under the Bridge and Goodbye Angels moved the audience, some even to tears. Everyone had their eyes on stage as Kiedis sang with strength these beautiful songs. During Goodbye Angels, people in the crowds took out their cellphones, turned on the lights, and waved them in a sea of lights. There was only guy I saw that actually had a lighter all lit up in the air, how far we’ve come. That sea of cellphone lights still magnified the powerful performance bringing even more meaning to it.
Newer songs such as Dark Necessities and The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie showcased how the band’s evolving songwriting through the years. Personally for me these are some of my favorite rock songs of the last five years. Throughout the concert all four members of the band were on point and on their A game. It was fun seeing how all four members interacted with one another and played off each other. They all were in sync with one another with each song that they performed. Josh Klinghoffer did an excellent job during his solo of I’m Set Free. His solo performance surprised me as I was not expecting it, but I was left speechless at the end. Flea’s energetic presence that night were some of the highlights of the night. He’s a superb bass player that one needs to see live in order to understand how amazing he is. Chad Smith rocked it out throughout the whole night having small solos here and there. He never missed a beat and upon seeing him live I can see the resemblance to Will Ferrell more apparent. Kiedis was phenomenal that night as he gave it his all to the audience that night. He was just what I expected to see live; raw energy and tremendous charisma in his performance. An aspect about the concert that I enjoyed was that in between songs the band would play seemingly random instrumental music. From there they would dive to the next song on their set list. It kept me and the audience guessing as to what song would be played next, creating playful sense of suspense. Lastly, the flowing bright light props should be mentioned as they were used throughout the concert. Right in front of the band there a row of large bright lights that would change color and move around based on the song being played. The lights would change different colors most prominently the color red, of course. They would move by forming what seemed like a waves, moving down one row at a time, creating multiple layers of squares, and other designs as those. The band picked a great song to send their night; Give It Away. As the song came to a triumphant end the floating lights formed the red Red Hot Chili Peppers logo marking the end of a memorable night.
Red Hot Chili Peppers Setlist
1. Intro Jam
2. Can’t Stop
3. Dani California
4. Scar Tissue
5. Dark Necessities
6. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
7. Right On Time
8. Go Robot
10. Tell Me Baby
11. Red Hot Mama
12. Parallel Universe
13. The Getaway
14. Suck My Kiss
15. I’m Set Free (Josh Solo)
16. Under the Bridge
17. By the Way
18. Goodbye Angels
19. Give It Away
Daily Bruin. March 8, 2017. “Review: The Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Staples Center” by Adrija Chakrabarty. http://dailybruin.com/2017/03/08/review-the-red-hot-chili-peppers-at-the-staples-center/
Los Angeles Times. March 8, 2017. “Review The Red Hot Chili Peppers are still in love with L.A.” by Mikael Wood. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-red-hot-chili-peppers-20170308-story.html
The OC Register. March 8, 2017. “Red Hot Chili Peppers deliver a high energy set at Staples Center” by Kelli Skye Fadroski. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/set-745970-band-night.html
- 1st concert at the Staples Center.
- Attendees who bought tickets for this concert were also given the option of either getting a digital or physical copy of their latest album.