Warning: Sarcastic sense of humour alert! Don’t like my tongue- in-cheek style, read no further. Apparently some people think I’m actually serious when I write… Hahaha! Artistic licence anyone?!
RHCP Birmingham on Saturday 10th December, 2016.
Tonight, I had seats as my daughter was too young for the arena and I was taking my monsters to their first EVAH concert. It to be RHCP as they’ve been surrounded by the band since birth and I had promised to take them on the next arena tour. Finally the tickets arrived with 48 hours to go- talk about cutting it fine! (Amazon had sent their tickets out in plenty of time but these were through the official site’s pre-sale and so many of us had everything crossed for them to arrive in time). We got there, got drenched in the torrential rain getting into the arena from the car park although thankfully the shuttle bus meant we got less wet than we initially feared, I spent a small fortune on merch (for my daughter as always!) and we made it to the seats with popcorn and drinks- I’ve never sat waiting for a rock band eating popcorn before but there is apparently a first time for everything!
A bit earlier than I expected and I think most other people did too as the arena was half-empty (I don’t think on purpose as people were still coming in when RHCP hit the stage although maybe it was! ), the lights went down, the Baby Metal sign illuminated and it was show time!
Cue the start of a cringe worthy intro voiceover welcoming us the metal world of babies in a way that hasn’t been heard of since 1983…
If you don’t know this band, imagine Slipknot wrapped in torn bed sheets accompanied by three hyperactive toddler cheerleaders who sing after inhaling 1000 helium balloons EACH. Oh, and throw in a Simon Cowell style producer who threw this ensemble together to make money, sorry I mean for delectation of Japanese fetishists, and all this somehow ended up on a stage in the UK!
Let’s go back six months or so when they were announced as the support act. My son walked past as I was reading the announcement and he started to laugh when he saw the name Baby Metal. I’d never heard of them so I asked why. I was told they were a joke band that became the butt of internet jokes six months previously and that the kids at school were shouting “Baby Metal” and parodying (my term; not his!) the band. “Trust you to be past it, Mum! Why are you asking about them now?” I explained they’d just been announced as the support act for the Chilis… Cue son literally rolling around the floor in laughter before telling me to watch a video. I said I would later but he insisted on then so he could watch my reaction. He selected a video and I started to watch. TBH, I couldn’t see the issue as I liked the music but son was watching me intently and instructing me to wait much to my puzzlement… And then I saw! The helium induced ‘singing’ started. Cue son rolling on floor again at my reaction… At this point in walked my daughter who saw the video playing and started to laugh saying Mum, “Why are you watching this now? So past it. Such a joke…”
Back to the concert. I can only say Baby Metal are worse in concert than I anticipated. Concert level speaker distortion and those vocals…. And as I imagine the proportion of the audience who speak Japanese was in the lower end of single figures, most of us couldn’t even attempt to decipher the lyrics making them sound even more like random noise. And irritating isn’t in it for the silly girlies. Two 12 year olds dressed to look six and
an adult doing the same pretending to be rock stars while throwing devil horn signs and wearing frilly skirts with their hair in bunchies. Not sure whether to feel sorry for the audience having this inflicted on them or the poor girls who looked so desperately miserable with their forced smiles.
Still, they performed some great tricks. Whatever the girls are on to race and jump around like they do, I seriously need some especially when they weren’t even the tiny bit breathless at the end of their set given how perfect the vocals sounded. It was almost as impressive as the bassist that played with one hand at one point (the other was under the torn bed sheet… Umm! ) and my absolute favourite bit was the drummer who stood up at one point, stepped back from the drum kit, held the drumsticks in the air and the drums still
played… Umm again! No idea why everyone was screaming that they were miming! And as my 12 year old commented, the adult girl child had two mics and used one to speak to the audience (how many times can you say Birmingham in 30 minutes? I think we all knew where we were!) and another to sing into. Shame they didn’t just mime and turn off the sound.
By the time we got to the final track, ‘Gimme Chocolate’, when they compensated for the language issue by repeatedly saying the only word English words they knew other than ‘Birmingham’ which were somewhat unsurprisingly ‘gimme’ and ‘chocolate’, I seriously had to fight the urge to run down to Bournville and buy the largest bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk I could and ram it in their mouths to oblige and also give the rest of us some peace!
Considering the concert was held on almost Led Zeppelin land, Baby Metal went down faster than an actual lead version of the same. There were a line of Baby Metal devotees on the front row, a few scattered through the audience and some people clapping politely while most people were just mouthing WTF? Then they went off. Never has silence been so blessed!
Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Again a little earlier than expected and to an arena that wasn’t full (people were coming in for about the first ten minutes- apparently there were issues at the doors) the strains of a trumpet were heard…
Around The World
Snow ((Hey Oh))
Right On Time
She’s Only 18
Suck My Kiss
Soul To Squeeze
By The Way
Give It Away
Around The World! I’d seen it cropping up on set lists as the opening song a few times recently and was really pleased to experience it as it’s such a brilliant song. I was also delighted to hear ‘Hey’. Love that song so much and again I’d seen it on set lists recently but never thought I’d ever hear it live! So happy! And my daughter was so happy to hear ‘Sick Love’ as she’s liked that song since first hearing it although that was pretty much a given at the moment.
The new lights are amazing too! Videos really don’t show them to their full effect. Really happy to see them for real; they are even more stunning than anticipated.
There were issues with ‘Soul To Squeeze’… Collective audience holding of breath and mentally sending AK the lyrics as the whole of the first verse wasn’t right. There were issues with ‘Give It Away’ too and no end jam but the concert was still amazing even though Josh was ill and according to Chad at the Drum Clinic on Tuesday, there were human and technology issues. I was more than happy and had two very happy kids! Just watching their reactions during the show added another dimension. It was time for Give It Away all too soon but we have a whole load of new family memories <3
I didn’t realise until I got home and looked at my photos but Flea now has a ‘stache.
AK made Josh and Flea smile when he said he was going to play an instrument as he felt like doing so. He was saying “right now” and the other two were clearly wondering what was going on!
Suddenly Anthony called out and everyone thought there was another problem as it was just after Soul To Squeeze but he just called the other musicians being called onto stage although it looked like a sudden change.
Flea sang a little song naming places in the area e.g. Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and the Black Country.
Sick Love live is accompanied by images from the video split across three screens.
AK started to sing ‘Goodbye Angels’ from a seated position.
Chad was totally hamming it up when he gave out drumsticks at the end.
RHCP Birmingham on Sunday 11th December, 2016.
Nobody Weird Like Me
Hard To Concentrate
Tell Me Baby
Did I Let You Know
Under The Bridge
Dreams Of A Samurai
Give It Away
Back again! But this time without kids and with a standing ticket. Got there a little later than planned due to the motorway being stationary for a while and holding me up but I was still able to get a spot just back from the barrier.
Another great set list! I really wanted to hear ‘Dream of a Samurai’ live so my wish came true! Everyone and everything seemed totally on form with lyrics intact and no visible issues. Josh was totally on fire. Being under the new lights added another dimension to
them – they are just amazing- and there was a short jam at the end of GIA tonight.
During the encore, Josh dived off stage and came back wearing a red beanie loosely perched on his head. At the end of the concert, he tossed several picks at the crowd and then took off the beanie and started to gesture intently at someone in the crowd – was clear he wanted someone specific to get it (I knew a friend of mine was roughly in that spot and that she’d got a sigh for Josh so I really hoped it was her. We met up at the end of the concert and it was 🙂 )
Chad made a lengthy and impassioned speech right at the very end when the rest of the band had left the stage talking about Birmingham and Black Country drummers and bands/musician such as Glenn Tipton, Ozzy & Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, etc. and what an honour it was to play in Birmingham for that reason.
And I have another set list!
Such an amazing weekend and then there was the Chad Smith’s drum clinic to follow on the Tuesday.