The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed ‘I’m With You’ live in Cologne, Germany on the 30th August and the concert was broadcast worldwide later that night in selected cinemas.
Here’s the advertising trailer:
At pretty much the last minute, babysitting got sorted as my husband came to the rescue and I was able to go to see it in the cinema in the next town as it was being shown there (Shrewsbury, England for anyone interested) and this is my overview of the movie as I know some people weren’t able to see it & have been asking about it:
The movie started with various random (mostly black & white) photo shots of scenes & brief videos taken from the concert e.g. shots of guitar sound checks, walking along the queue of people waiting to go into the concert, etc. with the RHCP asterisk (and album advert) flashing between scenes and a countdown saying 18 minutes to go, 10 minutes, etc. That lasted for about 20 minutes (I missed the start -as that was how timing worked out but that was better than not seeing it at all- so it might have been slightly longer). As it got closer to show time, the warm up changed to clips of the official RHCP video that was released (added below) talking about Josh Klinghoffer joining the band, etc. cut in with ‘exclusive cinema’ clips of the band backstage talking about the show to follow- they commented on how cool Josh is (the iceman), a definition of his name in German that they were told earlier, how they were going to play the whole album but maybe miss out one track (Anthony Kiedis explained that part and he also said they might change the order and have ‘Monarchy of Roses’ followed by ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ but that wasn’t the case; ‘Even You Brutus?’ was the track that was omitted). They also started to discuss which other track each of them would chose but that didn’t go very far. Anthony Kiedis seemed quite tense and a bit apprehensive about the whole thing, Flea said he was nervous and was talking nonstop (to cover the nerves?!), Josh was unflappable and Chad was well, Chad! It ended with them pointing out they had two minutes to go before they were due onstage…
Official RHCP video that was used in the pre-concert section:
The pre-concert footage ended and we got the British Film Certification certificate flashed up saying it was suitable for over 12s and then a warning that as it was recorded live and hadn’t been checked & that it might contain swearing (it did! Flea was on fire at times, lol)
Then the actual broadcast of the recorded concert started. It showed a little bit of the crowd in the concert venue and then Chad, Josh and Flea came onstage and started to jam; they were followed shortly afterwards by Anthony Kiedis.
Chad was wearing a red top, trousers and hat; Josh was all in black, Flea was topless with red trousers and trainers (sneakers) and Anthony came on stage wearing black trousers and a very cool black tailed jacket that had multi-coloured silk sections (white background with mostly red and blue abstract streaks on it) but that was soon removed and he played bare-chested for the remainder.
RHCP were joined on stage with a few additions; Mauro Refosco joined them on percussion (there was a funny shot of him with the infamous cow bells at one point), Michel Bogley (?) a teacher from Silverlake Conservatory of Music played piano on a couple of tracks and he played the trumpet solos on ‘Did I Let You Know’ and Chad’s drum tech also played extra percussion.
Shots throughout the concert were mostly of the band members either as individuals or the whole band onstage but there were some crowd shots and other shots showing people on the edge of the stage- Anthony’s son, Everly Bear, was seen really briefly at one point.
They played through the whole of ‘I’m With You’ in order with the omission of ‘Even You Brutus’ and it sounded amazing! There were a couple of jams too. Flea swapped his bass for the piano on ‘Happiness Loves Company (?)– he also played a piano solo after Anthony asked him to play something prior to beginning the song. Part way through, Flea started to shake his hands after each song and I assumed it was to remove the sweat as he was dripping with it but then he commented that he needed a break of a minute or so as he had cramp! Chad filled in the ‘silence,’ after some funny back chat between the band, with an impromptu drum solo.
A couple of the songs were introduced by name but most had no name given to them and a couple were referred to as ‘another new song’. Flea seemed to do most of the talking to the audience- chatting about various thing (he likes potato cakes!) but Anthony Kiedis also said some things too e.g. he name-checked his mum (“Hello to my dear mother”) which was really sweet; he also said something about knowing one person at least who would be watching the show and then he asked if Cassia (?) would be watching and said he didn’t know how he felt about that (it looked like something had been said to him but we couldn’t hear what it was). I’m trying to remember what was said (I did start to take notes but gave up as it was too dark in the cinema to write) but they joked about Flea menstruating and being the only man to have a period (this was after the cramp thing). The last band chat (mostly Anthony and Flea) was about the time running out and the 90 minutes nearly being over and that they were grains of sand in an hour glass that was running out.
They then played an encore but after a (partly heard) discussion that took place a couple of times, they announced they would be playing ‘Did I Let You Know’ again as part of the encore as there had been a problem with the trumpet playing on it (or something like that; the playing by Michael sounded great both times so I think it was a technical thing!). In the end, for the encore they played ‘Me And My Friends,’ ‘Did I Let You Know’ and an amazing version (if brief) of ‘Give It Away’.
The band was so dynamic and into the whole thing- you could sense the love and enthusiasm they had for each other, the new songs and playing together. Anthony need seem to be really concentrating on the vocals but in a good way but he was dancing around madly at times too, Flea was strutting his funky stuff as only Flea can, Chad was infectious in his enthusiasm and Josh was wild!