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: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Kelley Bass

Readers also liked…

  • Staff Picks: Netflix and Chill, Benji's pasta fresca, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more

    The podcast Design Matters, published by Design Observer, is celebrating its 10th year and they are revisiting some of their best episodes from the last decade. I just finished this week's replay of the interview with the Scottish born illustrator Marion Deuchars. At the end of the wonderful interview, her two young sons are invited into the studio near where they pitch in some of their own thoughts on art and, in particular, drawing in the art books their mother created for children and adults.
    • Aug 28, 2015
  • Guest Mix: Rural War Room

    World wide weird duo Rural War Room (Donavan Suitt & Byron Werner) is celebrating 10 years of broadcasting and production here in Little Rock and abroad. RWR Radio on KABF 88.3 FM (10 p.m. Tuesdays or anytime on their website), features the duo alternating records in an effort to surprise one another.
    • Sep 14, 2015
  • Your new flags of Little Rock

    BRASHER: Hello Arkansans, this is the first piece from us, Brasher and Rowe and we are some dudes who work in downtown Little Rock and we eat lunch and just talk about all the exciting things around here.
    • Sep 18, 2015

Most Shared

  • "Nasty Woman" at HSU: 32 artists celebrate Women's History Month

    A photograph of a woman doing a headstand so you can see her red underpants. A sculpture by Robyn Horn titled "Approaching Collapse." Those and other works that assistant professor of photography Margo Duvall says "celebrates the female voice in art" for Women's History Month go on exhibit March 1 in the gallery in the Russell Fine Arts Building.
  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation