As said by bassist Flea at the end of the concert, they’ve been coming here for three decades now and have always been met with a warm, generous reception. It doesn’t seem that Ireland’s current economic turn down had any effect on the welcome we all had for the Red Hot Chili Peppers this June. With giant red chilli peppers floating about, it added a little irony to the weather of that Dublin evening: Red hot.
Although the 80,000+ stadium was empty in places, the atmosphere reflected something of a sold out Wembley show. The Vaccines played before my arrival, which was incredibly odd due to the fact not many had arrived either. But Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds set the mood for the rest of the evening, creating a summer-feeling ambiance in the 20 degree heat (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit). Before playing Oasis’ classic ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger,’ Noel announced his future return to Dublin would be with Kasabian in Marlay Park in the coming month of August. The band played five Oasis tracks including ‘Little by Little’ and ‘Half the World Away’, with everyone in the audience gladly belting out the lyrics.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers arrived with Chad Smith looking like he’s about to play a game of basketball, Flea looking like he’s a biker, Anthony Kiedis with his usual ‘OFF!’ hat and Josh Klinghoffer like regular old Josh. Each member so completely diverse yet come together as a solid family unit. That family unit was exchanged between fans and band members, making the concert feel as intimate if it were a 100 person venue.
Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Look Around (live)
But even a family has its conflicts, and I feel there is definitely some conflicts stirring up between these four musicians. There was no bonding between them, no genuine interaction, they were just there doing what they’re supposed to do. They did a great job, yes, but one could feel some tension.
It was their second appearance in Dublin on their I’m With You Tour, and with newcomer Josh. By nature, Josh is an extremely shy person, and had displayed his introvert ways in interviews. But on stage; well, he surprised us all. He was more explosive on stage than any of the other members, other than ex-member John Frusciante. In simpler terms, he went crazy. For the first time, people were not wanting Frusciante back in the band: Klinghoffer owned the stage. Unfortunately, his guitar wasn’t loud enough for ‘Californication,’ and we all had to witness a failed attempt of copying Flea and Frusciante’s jam before the song in Slane Castle. But, you could really see that he really does belong in the band, showing that he really is a true performer.
Flea on the other hand, did not disappoint at any stage during the concert. Before ‘Around the World,’ Flea played a solo on his bass, and at one stage, sent a rippling effect through the stadium with one strum. Flea was in fact the most warming person out of the four, by talking to the spectators regularly and telling us about his favorite ever performance in Belfast 1991. He described his love for Ireland, and the warm reception the band always received. This personal touch from Flea made Anthony seem a little cold. Kiedis did not stop to talk to the crowd at any point during the concert, disappointing many fans as he is the front-man. (watch the video at the bottom of the article to see for yourself)
The three classics of ‘Under the Bridge,’ ‘Californication’ and ‘By the Way’ at the end pumped up the audience, making them beg for more. They didn’t have to wait too long before the appearance of drummer Chad Smith where he played a solo along to the crowds chants and U2’s ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday.’ This is where Flea reappears walking on stage on his hands, and proceeded to stay upside down for a further three minutes. The four all collide together again to play ‘Suck My Kiss’ and ‘Give it Away’ before another jam and Flea saying his thank you and goodbye. The final two tracks are what really kicked the audience into gear, with a fantastic light show during both performances.
The production of the entire show was phenomenal, with lights and screens making it an enjoyable and memorable experience. The whole performance was recorded on audio and will be available on the Red Hot Chili Peppers website to download along with other performances of the tour. The entire concert was electrifying, and you could understand why they were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. For me, the concert is something I will never forget or replace. Leaving with tears streaming from my face, I didn’t want it to end. I’ve been listening to these boys since I was the tender age of six, and they’ve become heroes to me, so getting to experience them in all their glory was far too overwhelming. Rumors swell around Ireland that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are due to return in a few weeks. If said rumors are true, you will see me there.
Written by Sarah Keary
OurVinyl | Contributor
The set list:
Monarchy of Roses
Around the World
Factory of Faith
The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
Hard to Concentrate
She’s Only 18
Under the Bridge
By the Way
Chad & Mauro & Josh Jam
Suck My Kiss
Give It Away