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...

  • Forever Charlie: Charlie Wilson live at Verizon Arena

    June 1, 2015
    Charlie Wilson, one of the greatest R&B artists of all time, came to Verizon Arena last Friday night and performed for a near-sold-out crowd as part of his Forever Charlie Tour with special guests Joe and Kem. Joe opened the show, Kem followed with a great set, and Charlie rocked the house. If you missed it, you missed out on something wonderful. /more/
  • Kanis Bash 2015 and a Q&A with Black Horse

    May 18, 2015
    Kanis Bash is an annual fundraiser for Little Rock's Kanis Skate Park, featuring live music, art, merch, skateboarders and food. It started six years ago when finances became tight for a group of locals that had been volunteering their own money, time and services to maintain the free DIY community skate park. This year’s Bash attracted skaters, artists and fans from over a dozen states. /more/
  • New video from Swampbird, 'Matter of Time'

    May 18, 2015
    The latest from Little Rock alt-country band Swampbird is "Matter of Time," off their album "Something To See." The video was shot in Nashville and stars Aubrey Peeples, from the TV show "Nashville" (also: "Sharknado"), and is, according to the band, the second part of a trilogy of videos directed by Conway native Chris Jones, which will collectively form a short film to be released later this year. /more/
  • North Little Rock cop highlighted by Killer Mike on CNN

    May 7, 2015
    Atlanta rapper Killer Mike appeared as a guest on CNN yesterday and held up North Little Rock police officer Tommy Norman (who he discovered on Instagram) as an ideal example of how officers can involve themselves positively in their respective communities. Norman appears in the segment as well to explain his approach and comment on recent events. /more/
  • Central Park Fusion is fine dining worth experiencing

    May 4, 2015
    There was a time that I was jealous of the food scene in towns outside my home base of Hot Springs. /more/
  • A Wizard, A True Star: Todd Rundgren in Little Rock

    April 28, 2015
    Music legend Todd Rundgren released his 25th solo studio album "Global" earlier this month, and spent a few days in Little Rock in support of its release. On Saturday, April 18, I headed out to Arkansas Record and CD Exchange in North Little Rock for Record Store Day. They had food trucks, free merch and a special guest appearance by Rundgren himself. A steady line of Rundgren fans shuffled in line for over 3 hours getting an autograph and photo op. He even stayed an extra hour — missing lunch, apparently — to continue to signing autographs as his wife, Michele, offered to take pics with people's cameras. /more/
  • New video from Goon des Garcons, 'SHITONYOU'

    April 28, 2015
    I'm been out of town for a week and have a lot to catch up on, but here's a quick endorsement for Little Rock rapper Goon des Garcons' new video, for "SHIT ON YOU," the opening track from his latest mixtape, "YOUNG DIRTY BASTARD." /more/
  • Live Review: Fleetwood Mac returns to Verizon with classic lineup reunited

    April 23, 2015
    Fleetwood Mac is a band that embodies change and transformation. After a slew of different lineups, they hit their stride in the mid-‘70s, around the time that many of their fellow Boomers were settling down and starting families. Maybe that’s why their most beloved songs contrast a sort of jaded wisdom with hopeful confidence – the perfect soundtrack for growing up while still feeling young and looking forward to the future. /more/
  • Help Knox Hamilton replace their stolen gear

    April 16, 2015
    Over the weekend, Little Rock indie pop band Knox Hamilton played a show in Portland, and on their way out town, while they'd stopped to "take in the sights" at Multinomah Falls, the band's van was robbed. They lost four guitars, a bass, and various other equipment and valuables (including cash, phone chargers, passports and a guitar strap hand-made by one of the band member's mothers!) that they'll undoubtedly need to continue their tour — their next show is scheduled for April 25. The band has a GoFundMe campaign set up for fans to help out. /more/
  • Cache can't cut it

    April 14, 2015
    All sizzle and no steak at Cache in the River Market. /more/
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Kelley Bass

  • 'Winn Dixie' delights

    Rep stages premiere of musical.
    • Dec 12, 2013
  • 'Pal Joey': a winning revamp

    Pal Joey" was a modestly successful Broadway play in 1940 revived on the big screen in 1957. And now it's back more than five decades later — with some major plot revisions — in a world-premiere run to kick off the 38th season at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.
    • Sep 12, 2013
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon

    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.
    • Oct 31, 2012
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation