By Brad Haynes
After a jammin’ instrumental intro by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and current guitarist and baby of the group Josh Klinghoffer, “Can’t Stop” was a fitting opening song for the band that shows absolutely no signs of stopping any time soon.
Fronted as always by Anthony Kiedis, now sporting a bowl cut and porn stache and resembling a circus strongman, the band is as tight as ever and the energy, be it musically or physically, is flowing strong.
And it’s a gorgeous show as well. In addition to background screens, the staging boasts cylindrical lighting (which resembles the hanging lights you might find floating over your kitchen island) occupying the entire ceiling of the arena. Through up and down movement it provides some amazing choreography, proving to be the perfect mildly psychedelic accompaniment to the show.
While Kiedis had little to say during the evening, Flea on the other hand was extremely chatty, at one point early on in the show proclaiming his love for Florida and the Atlantic Ocean’s ability to calm and uplift his soul.
While it was the Getaway Tour, staged to support their latest studio album, songs from that album, which could be heard toward the middle of the show, were obviously not the ones the audience was there to hear. It was the classic Chili Peppers tunes that had the audience singing along.
It wasn’t halfway through the show before Kiedis, who can still rock it shirtless, lost his top and let it all hang out. Flea, on the other hand, stayed fully clothed in what resembled an outfit made from a carpetbag for the evening’s proceedings.
Flea remained the evening’s good will ambassador, at one point recognizing an audience sign which said, “My wife had to spend 3K on these tix. Throw us a stick.” Unfortunately, drummer Smith was off the stage at that point and the man didn’t get his wish. Alone onstage with guitarist Klinghoffer, the duo engaged in an awesome guitar battle before Smith and Kiedis returned to the stage for “Californication.”
As mentioned earlier, it was those RHCP classics the audience was craving, and that and the 1995 hit “Aeorplane” did not disappoint.
Flea had his turn to shine with his vocals on the clever “Pea,” which succinctly made its humorous point.
The show concluded with audience favorite after audience favorite, starting with their 1989 cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” But it was the moody ode to Los Angles, “Under the Bridge,” and “By The Way” that probably received the biggest crowd reactions of the night.
Remaining old school, RHCP let the crowd wait for an encore before returning to the stage with the incredibly agile Flea (54-years-old by the way) doing a handstand across the stage as he entered for the show’s finale. For that matter, both Kiedis, 54, and Smith, 55, demonstrated amazing energy as well.
Concluding the night with “Give It Away,” the band appeared to love doing just that, with their music, their energy, and their love for the fans.