Date: Sunday 30th July, 2017
Location: Harpa, Reykjavik, Iceland
RHCP in Reykjavik! We arrived in Iceland on the Sunday morning as I didn’t want to risk going there on Monday, the day of the concert. I had absolutely no idea that Chad was due to do a drum clinic in Iceland that evening. I knew of the RHCP concert the following night and nothing else. As we were being dropped off at our hotel from the airport transfer, the driver noticed my RHCP t-shirt and asked if we were there for the concert. He then went on to say that Chad Smith was doing a solo show in Reykjavik that night at Harpa. It was sheer chance I found out about it.
Harpa is a purpose built music/entertainment centre on the harbour and it is a really stand out building so we knew where it was from previous visits to the city. I tried to find out some information but it was hard as everything was in Icelandic so I decided to call into Harpa in person as were had planned to walk along the harbour that day and, as most people in Iceland speak English, I thought it might be easier. Luckily, there were still tickets available and we were sorted!
We decided to eat at the nearby Hard Rock Café as I’d promised the kids we’d eat there one night and it was really close to the venue. Plus, one of Chad’s jumpsuits is on display there so we thought we’d have a Chad evening.
(It’s really hard to take photos of this because of the reflections in the glass)
After the meal, we walked across to Harpa and since we were early, there was only one person in the queue before us and we were able to get front row seats directly in front of Chad! I don’t think Icelanders do the queue for hours before an event thing (the same was true for the actual concert with only a handful of people being there before 6; the doors opened at 6.30p.m.)
The tickets stated a 7p.m. start but the audience was still trickling in at that time. It was pretty much a full house so we’d been really lucky to get tickets. Chad actually came on about 7.10 p.m. and the clinic (Chad joked about the event sounding like a medical procedure) lasted about an hour and a half. The drum kit was set up on a slightly raised stage area but when Chad was speaking, he walked around the space between the stage and the audience.
It’s strange playing on my own as there are “normally three little men running around in front of me.”
Chad began by saying how pleased he was to be in Iceland as it was his first visit there. He went on to speak about his early life and playing the drums e.g. the story about his first drum kit being made from ice-cream tubs.
“I’ve been playing drums since I was 7 and I’m now 112.”
He explained how he bought into the whole sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll thing as a teenager and started playing locally thus realising he’d not only found his passion in life but he could get paid to do it too. Chad’s love of playing the drums really came through as did his gratitude for having the life he does where he can follow his passion as a career.
Chad then went on to take questions from the audience; some were about drumming techniques and others were more general e.g. he answered one question by discussing in detail the (English) drummers who had influenced him greatly. He played the drums briefly a few times in-between talking and then went on to perform “karaoke drumming” where he played along to RHCP tracks; he’d play a song then talk and answer questions before doing another one. The three RHCP tracks covered were:
Breaking the girl
Throughout the evening, Chad gave away all of the symbols lined up on the stage, drum sticks and other equipment; some things were awarded for asking interesting questions and others prizes for answering questions. After playing along to one of the RHCP songs, Chad got up and walked over to where we were sitting and passed the drumsticks he’d just been using to my daughter! He leaned over and quietly said, “Cool t-shirt” as he did so -she was wearing a RHCP tour t-shirt with ‘The Getaway’ album cover on the front. She was so happy!
Chad was really entertaining and very funny all evening. It was very different to the other clinic I went to in Stoke-on-Trent as it was just Chad and therefore centred more on him rather than drumming techniques which the other one had.
Photos (from iPhone and camera)