Monday, June 25, 2012

My First Red Hot Chili Peppers Show (Impressions and Duluth Concert Review)

I was waiting for this day for so many years! Red Hot Chili Peppers, one of my favorite rock bands, came to Duluth (a small town near Atlanta, GA) in the 10th of April, 2012 (after their January Duluth date was cancelled due to the Anthony Kiedis's injury). While living in Russia I was dreaming of seeing their live show. They came to Moscow once in 1999, and had a huge gig on the Red Square within one of the MTV shows. I lived in my home town of Yekaterinburg that time, and watched that show on TV being impressed and excited by the performance of the band, but was not financially independent enough to even consider traveling over 1500 km to Moscow to see them. Later, in 2007, I first time did travel that distance to see Aerosmith, but that's a different story. 

So back to RHCP in Georgia. When I found out they were coming it was already too late to buy tickets at Ticketmaster for the initial not expensive price, because all the tickets were sold out within few minutes of the sale. Unfortunately I was moving from Russia to the US those days to pay close attention to the official tickets sale date and be able to buy tickets in the first seconds of the sale. So my boyfriend (at that time) and I had to buy tickets at a much higher price (about 50% more expensive) from a re-seller we found at Craigslist. All other tickets resale web sites had the same rows tickets being 2+ times more expensive than the initial Ticketmaster price. (Such a profitable business, isn't it? I wonder how it is not controlled and not restricted in the USA). We ended up buying tickets from the same Floor zone, but different rows, because the guy who sold them to us didn't manage to buy two side-by-side tickets since the tickets around were bought almost instantly by other people. Well, we were happy that we at least bought those tickets, since I was not willing to buy tickets for $150+ each, and therefore could miss the show I was dreaming about for so long. Jumping a little bit further in the story, we in the end watched the gig from a closer raw, because there were two empty side-by-side sits. However, it took us a while to find them. Also, if there were still Ticketmaster tickets available, I would buy tickets to the front Floor section to better experience the show (the tickets there cost about $80), but the re-sellers were offering those tickets for $500-600! Insane!

Anyway, the gig was amazing, the band's performance was great, however being not close enough to the stage has made our experience not as incredible as it could be. The crowd around us was rather calm too, so we didn't feel the uniting energy you sometimes feel at other gigs when the energy of the band's performance at the stage naturally merges and mixes with the crowd's mood, and creates unforgettable experience no matter how far you are from the stage.

Right after the gig in April I wrote a concert review, and would like to share it with you:

Red Hot Chili Peppers came to Georgia again, this time supporting their latest album ‘I’m With You’. 

Like in the other cities of the North American tour, the concert has started with Santigold opening act. Her performance accompanied by the band and two dancers was a fun start of a great night.

After 45 minutes of a warm-up show and a small break during which the stage equipment was changed, the lights were turned off and the long-awaited Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer appeared on the stage. However, it should be mentioned, that along with the RHCP members there were guest musicians. One of them was Mauro Refosco – a Brazilian percussionist, who performed on several songs of the ‘I’m With You’ album and who is currently traveling with the band on their world tour. His playing beautifully complimented the show.

Photo. The start of the RHCP gig in Duluth, GA, April 10, 2012. Mauro Refosco is at the photo on the right.

Similar to the previous tour cities, the gig started with the first song from the ‘I’m With You’ album – Monarchy Of Roses, accompanied by the bright lights on the huge stage screen. The crowd was slowly becoming more and more captured by the show.

During the whole concert Flea and Josh were jumping, rolling and doing other crazy things on the stage with their guitars. Flea even managed to walk on his hands at one point. No doubt, the crowd really loved it! Anthony and Chad were also rocking on the stage and actively interacting with the crowd. 

Talking about the band-fans relationships, it’s worth mentioning that the band has recently announced that they will make a book about their fans. You could actually see at the concert how the band tries to emphasize the importance of their fans: at different points of the show random people from the crowd were showed on the huge stage screens in real time.

Both set-lists and number of songs were different in different cities of the tour. Particularly in Duluth they played 5 songs from the last album, 3 songs each from ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’, ‘By The Way’, ‘Californication’ and ‘Stadium Arcadium’ and a few other songs. The gig was full of improvisations and jam-sessions from the band. The first song was followed by the long intro jam, which kept the crowd in anticipation of the next song. Flea played solo preceding Throw Away Your Television. Chad Smith excited the crowd by playing a long intro to the Dani California. After the encore Chad played a great solo accompanied by Mauro Refosco playing on various percussion instruments. Then Josh and Flea joined in a jam session slowly moving to Freaky Styley. The gig ended with the final jam by Flea, Chad and Josh while Anthony left the stage after the energetic performance of Give It Away brightened up with images of the random people’s faces on the big screens above the stage.

Among the memorable moments of the show was a performance of Happiness Loves Company when Flea put away his base guitar and played the song’s accompaniment on the piano. His brilliant playing once again proved his many-sided talent.

In the end of the show Flea addressed some words to the audience and asked people to support live music. 

Chad Smith was the last one who left the stage. He spent some time traditionally throwing his drumsticks to the fans and thanking the crowd.

It was a great gig, and hopefully it’ll be not too long till we see Red Hot Chili Peppers in Georgia again. Meanwhile, let’s congratulate the band with their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction on April 14, 2012.

Set-list in Duluth, GA (04/10/2012):

Monarchy Of Roses
Cant Stop
Look Around
Flea solo
Throw Away Your Television
Wet Sand
The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
Chad Smith’s intro
Dani California
Happiness Loves Company
Right On Time
Under The Bridge
Higher Ground
Chad Smith’s Solo and Jam
Freaky Styley
Sir Psycho Sexy
They’re Red Hot
Meet Me At The Corner
Give It Away
Final Jam

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