Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oct. 25 at Verizon Arena

Posted By on Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 5:50 PM

The Red Hot Chili Peppers played Verizon Arena Thursday.
  • Brian Chilson
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers played Verizon Arena Thursday.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers took a slightly different musical path to its May induction into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame than most of their fellow honorees. Yes, they have had a boatload of hits and sold tons of albums — precursors for Hall consideration — but they’ve done that with music that mixes more styles than most hit bands.

The RHCPs are all about rock … and funk … and hip-hop/rap (or at least what passes for hip-hop/rap for old white folks) … and punk … and metal. And they’ve always been about energy — frenzied energy — that is infectious and keeps its fans on their feet and into the music.

The 10,479 who attended the Peppers’ concert Thursday night at Verizon Arena were treated to a greatest-hits type show — it included almost all the big songs along with an up-tempo, thumping cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” and four of the best tracks from “I’m With You,” the album that debuted in August 2011 and the band's first album in five years.

The record's release spawned this epic, grueling tour that started Sept. 11, 2011 in Bogota, Colombia, and ends Feb. 5, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa. It included only one extended break (three months) and made its way to six continents (all but Antarctica — unlucky penguins) including three European legs.

The Verizon concert was the 106th of 128 on the tour, which means the band was absolutely skin-tight. Practice makes perfect, which the Peppers proved in an 18-song, 105-minute set. RHCP may be the only band whose bass player is the undisputed leader. Flea (born Michael Peter Balzary) is the band’s musical and emotional spark plug, and nine days after turning 50 he was non-stop action — flitting to and fro across the stage, his trademark slap-bass style establishing the crucial bottom end to the band’s funk-filled hits.

Catalysts to the high-energy atmosphere were the well-choreographed videos that accompanied the songs, displayed on a number of smaller screens that were staggered at different depths relative to the front and back of the stage. Typically, they sometimes showed live concert footage, but many times cartoons and other images accentuated the
songs’ themes.

And, oh the songs. After “Monarchy of Roses,” the first cut on “I’m With You” and the tour’s usual show-opener, the band moved through “Dani California” and “Scar Tissue.” Lead singer Anthony Kiedis, whose foot surgery postponed this show from March to October, is the other focal point of the band, and he showed off both his full-throated and more subdued styles, respectively, on these hits, two of the band’s three Billboard Top 10 singles.

The show never really lost momentum, but it picked up noticeable steam in the homestretch, a five-song closing set that kept the always-standing crowd at a fevered pitch: “Under the Bridge” (the third Top 10 hit), “ Factory of Faith” (one of the rockingest songs off the new album), “Higher Ground,” “Californication” and “By The Way,” another huge hit.

The three-song encore ended the way all RHCP shows do, with “Give It Away.” The band’s quintessential anthem, though not one of its biggest pop hits, revolves around its most famous line — “What I’ve got you’ve got to get it, put it in you” — and shows off almost all the musical themes that make up the Chili Peppers’ blended style.

This dynamic concert was another feather in the cap of Michael Marion and his crew at Verizon Arena, who in 13 years have brought us an impressive list of up-and-comers, current hit-makers and hall-of-famers.

More photos and a picture of the hand-written setlist, after the jump.

rhcp_setlist.jpg

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oct. 25 at Verizon Arena

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oct. 25 at Verizon Arena

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oct. 25 at Verizon Arena

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oct. 25 at Verizon Arena

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oct. 25 at Verizon Arena

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oct. 25 at Verizon Arena

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oct. 25 at Verizon Arena

Tags: ,

Speaking of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Verizon Arena

  • Fleetwood Mac is coming to Verizon Arena

    October 9, 2014
    Verizon Arena reports this morning that Fleetwood Mac (now including longtime estranged member Christine McVie) will be in town March 11. I know that seems that a long time from now, but tickets go on sale Monday Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. and they'll probably go fast. Prices range from $52.50-$174, tickets will be available via Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. /more/
  • Live Review: Eric Church and Dwight Yoakam at Verizon

    September 15, 2014
    Apparently Dwight Yoakam’s acting career is sufficiently slack enough that Friday night saw him opening for bro-country kingpin Eric Church at Verizon Arena. Hollywood is taking Yoakam in small enough doses (he has a recurring part on CBS’s “Under the Dome”) that he can lend his considerable talents to country music, which currently can use any kind of flavor it can get. /more/
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Kelley Bass

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • The Quapaw return to Arkansas

    Casino try a good bet.
  • Jean Gordon to receive Truth Teller award

    Jean Gordon, who's worked a half-century in just about every social justice and peace movement you can name, will receive the Arkansas Community Institute's 2014 Community Truth Teller Award at a program at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the library's Darragh Center
  • The French Hill 'tis better to receive-than-give open line

    An open line that features new Congressman French HIll's antipathy in the Catholic newspaper to Obamacare as a "giveaway" to drug companies and hospitals. A Catholic nurse points out that children and other people in need are the real beneficiaries of this giveaway, along with Catholic hospitals.
  • Fan happiness over Hogs' win over LSU costs UA $25,000 UPDATED

    The University of Arkansas will be fined $25,000 by the SEC because Hog fans stormed the football field after Saturday's victory over LSU snapped a long SEC losing streak. It was a second offense by the UA of the conference's "access to competition area" policy.
  • GOP's new Obamacare attack

    It was inevitable. The long crusade against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has pivoted from a battle against socialism to a populist war against big business: The program known as Obamacare is now supposed to be merely a feed trough for the captains of industry, not a government program to force health care on the undeserving poor.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation