It was more of the most high anticipated gigs of the year – it sold out within minutes and tickets were being sold for up to twice the original selling price. Friday seen the Red Hot Chili Peppers roll into town to play at the O2, Dublin.
It has been a good few years since I last seen the Chili Peppers live. They seemed to of had a love affair with Ireland for a few years making appearances at Slane, Lansdowne Road (now known as the Aviva) and also a huge concert at the Phoenix Park.
Despite approaching their 50th birthdays, the surviving founders of California’s premier rock outfit still know how to bring the house down. Support on the night came from Fool’s Gold from Los Angeles but unfortunately due to the match traffic on the way into town – I missed the majority of them. From reports I was told that they were really good and it is a pity I missed the chance to see them.
The band came on stage just after 9pm to a packed out house and kicked off the night with ‘Monarchy of Roses’. The band are currently on the road to support their 10th studio album ‘I’m With You’, the follow up to ‘Stadium Arcadium’, the band’s last album with John Frusciante.
Josh Klinghoffer has taken over from Frusciante and this change has seen a new lease of life brought into the band, on and off stage. Frontman Anthony Kedis recently commented that the arrival of the new guitarist has made them feel like “a new band”.
The band have an impressive stage set up for this tour which can be seen in both videos. It looked as though they are filming their gigs – hopefully for a DVD release. The majority of the crowd interaction on the night came from bassist and co-founding member of the band – Flea, who is widely thought of as one of the best bassists of all time and it is not difficult to see why. His mighty bass sound fills the O2 and he plays with such ease that you can tell the bass is almost an extension of his arm!
Flea and Klinghoffer regularly go eyeball-to-eyeball during the set, which includes Scar Tissue, Factory of Faith and Californication. They show a real sign of solidarity and seem incredibly tight during the set. Kedis seems more distant to begin with but during the gig he announces the reason being that he is suffering from a cold given to him by his four year old son who is accompanying him on this tour.
As the set goes on the band really get into their groove with Kedis showing off his ever unique dance style on stage which has the crowd going mental.
The highlight of the night for me was ‘Don’t Stop’ and their cover of Neil Young’s ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ and the band draws the night to an end with the mighty ‘Give it Away’, followed by a jam between Flea, Klinghoffer, drummer Chad Smith and the rest of their current tour band as Anthony leaves the stage.
The band and the crowd seemed happy with the events of the night with Flea posting a blog entry on the official Red Hot Chili Peppers site after the show, praising the Irish fans, saying, “Last night was such a fun show in Dublin. Truly, Ireland has been an amazing place for us to play through the years.”
It was a great night and I was left completely satisfied by the nights set list and left feeling excited about the big outdoor shows planned in Dublin and Knebworth. Chilis – we are glad to have you back on the road.
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