RHCP … 2017!

It seems to be all systems go for the US leg of the RHCP tour that is kicking off in a few days. Posts from Rat Sounds show equipment and Anthony’s mum has made this post:

“Thank you to the Chili Pepper fans who have inquired about Anthony. Since his dad is no longer on FB, just wanted to let you know that Anthony is feeling much better and will return to touring next week. Thank you for your concern, and please feel free to share this message with your friends. I’m no longer accepting friend requests. Happy New Year!”

(Please respect her wishes and don’t hassle her or other family members- it’s really nice of her to give us an update as she really wants to be private and not get involved in the RHCP online community in the way Anthony’s father did).

Cancellation of RHCP shows in Dublin

Rumours were circulating earlier on this morning but several Irish news sites are now running the story so it seems genuine (there is currently nothing on the official website but that updated a lot later than local news following the Montpellier cancellation) e.g. Entertainment.Ie and the Irish Mirror. A statement from the band is also being reported:
 “We are so sorry that we cannot come to Dublin as planned for the next few days. Anthony has been fighting off the flu all week and after the show last night it was clear that he has to stop touring and recover, hence the decision to push back the shows to next year.”
 
I know there are a lot of disappointed fans today and several people I know have already travelled to Dublin for the shows from the UK so massive hugs to everyone affected and especially to Anthony along with best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Update: the official website is now running the details along with the new dates for the postponed shows:

We are so sorry that we cannot come to Dublin as planned for the next few days. Anthony has been fighting off the flu all week and after the show last night it was clear that he has to stop touring and recover, hence the decision to push back the shows to next year.

Both shows have been rescheduled to September 20th and 21st 2017 with tickets valid for the new dates as below.

Tickets for Tuesday, December 20 will be valid for Wednesday, September 20.

Tickets for Wednesday, December 21 will be valid for Thursday, September 21.

Chili Weekend in Brum!

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.

15541175_10153928495417330_2520265493437262477_n

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!

Baby Metal

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!

p1070415

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

p1070427

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

p1070436

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!

 

p1070448

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…

p1070563
Set List:
Around The World
Snow ((Hey Oh))
Otherside
Dark Necessities
Hey
Right On Time
She’s Only 18
Go Robot
Sick Love
Californication
Detroit
Suck My Kiss
Soul To Squeeze
By The Way
Encore:
Goodbye Angels
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.

p1070549

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

Notes:
I didn’t realise until I got home and looked at my photos but Flea now has a ‘stache.

p1070689

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!

p1070708

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.

p1070737

Chad was totally hamming it up when he gave out drumsticks at the end.

 

RHCP Birmingham on Sunday 11th December, 2016.

p1070850

p1070809


p1070802

p1070804

Set List:

Can’t Stop
Dani California
Scar Tissue
Dark Necessities
Nobody Weird Like Me
Hard To Concentrate
Go Robot
Parallel Universe
Sick Love
Tell Me Baby
The Getaway
Did I Let You Know
Under The Bridge
Encore:
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

p1070778

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!

15590326_10153928503207330_1667706398272070991_n
Such an amazing weekend and then there was the Chad Smith’s drum clinic to follow on the Tuesday.
Photo Galleries

RHCP Saturday 10th December 2016

RHCP Sunday 11th December 2016

Chad Smith Drum Clinic

“We’ve been around for 73 years & people are still coming to see us. I’m 112!”

 

Date: Tuesday 13th December, 2016

Venue: Moat House Hotel, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, UK.

chad-smith-drum-clinic-ticket-stoke

 

img_2079

Drum kit set up pre-event

 

After an introduction, the evening started with Steve White taking to the drums and talking about the styles he was playing as well as offering tips to new drummers. He was joined by bassist Damon Minchella (ex Ocean Colour Scene & Paul Weller backing band). Their set lasted for about 30 minutes. He asked for no phones to be used during his set so I have no record of what was said to use for this and tbh I was totally distracted by the fact that the empty reserved chair at the end of the row (three seats down from my daughter who was blown away by the fact and was grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat) was filled by none other than Mr. Chad Smith! And I admit I did the fan girl thing of taking a

img_2080

photo of his feet as I could see them clearly and kept pretending to cuddle my daughter so I could turn round and glance his way.  Suddenly Chad jumped up and joined them on stage for a jam session of about 5 minutes.

p1070875

Then it was time for the man himself to go solo! Chad kicked off playing drums along to RHCP’s ‘By The Way’. He then addressed the audience for a while. The guy is so funny and had everyone howling (even though the kid Christmas thing looks harsh written down, it wasn’t the way it was delivered). I’m not sure of the exact order things were said in but this is what I can remember (and can repeat!):

He spoke to the audience apologising for RHCP’s show in Birmingham on Saturday (I was there and it was still amazing!) saying it was a weird set list and there were human & technical issues too.

He jokingly referred to Stoke-on Trent as Stoke-on-Kent and asked if RHCP had ever played there before deciding it was the first time he’d ever been there.

The event was held in the hotel ballroom and sparkly lights were showing on the ceiling so Chad joked about them and asked if the mirror ball could be turned on too before joking about one Christmas tree not being lit up and they’d paid to have both of them with lights on.

His language was colourful and at one point he spotted a kid in front of him and said, “Have you ever heard anyone say fuck before? Well you have now! Merry fucking Christmas!”

He spoke about Donald Trump being elected as President of the United States and joked that someone insulted Donald Trump on Twitter and that he would nuke them. And then added, that he, Chad, predicted this on December 13th.

The Big Bang was the first drum kit! And he needs to go on the Science Channel with that shit!

He was 7 when started to play drums. And you need to practice and practice if you want to make it. He laughed that was little else to do as a child as there was no internet so he’d play drums along to albums.

He commented on how blessed he is to be able to play music for a living and work with such a great bunch of guys touring the world.

Notable quote which I wrote down: “We’ve been around for 73 years & people are still coming to see us. I’m 112!” 😀

At some point he also played drums along to RHCP’s ‘Power of Equality.’

He also played some more and took requests from the audience e.g. the Immigrant Song by Led Zepp and was joined for a jam session at the end by Steve and Damon again. One child got to play on Steve’s drum kit and they were giving him advice about playing in a band (you have to look at other band members and interact with them and not play in isolation):

Drum lesson from Steve White, Chad Smith and Damon Minchella!

Drum lesson from Steve White, Chad Smith and Damon Minchella!

At the end, there was a Q&A session. Most people were given drum sticks for asking questions and one lucky guy asked about a (Holy China) cymbal and Chad Smith promptly handed the whole thing over to him! One question was about Saturday’s RHCP show and Chad talked about the issues again in a little more detail. At the end, he thanked us for having him in Stoke and RHCP in Birmingham at the weekend and the honour it was to play here because of the famous rock bands and drummers the area has produced. He mentioned Glenn Tipton, Ozzy and Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and that John Bonham was (one of the) greatest rock drummer ever.

It was announced by Steve White that they would be signing things at the end and he asked for RHCP fans just to get one or two things signed as there were so many people. However, Chad went straight outside, came back in for a minute or two and people started to line up and then he went again. After a few minutes, we were told to move to the signing table in the next room and again people waited but after a while assumed Chad had left. It was obviously a mix up and I don’t think people had expected for things to be signed until it was announced they would but maybe next time! My poor daughter had raced out to the car to get a RHCP CD to be signed so she was a bit disappointed but cheered up when she got to touch Chad’s drum kit (we did ask first! I had to do it as well hahaha) and have her photo taken next to it and someone kindly said they would try to get an autograph for her.

img_2111
It was such a good evening and I’m still amazed it was so close to me as things like this are normally down in London! It was amazing to be able to see Chad play the drums so close as you don’t normally get that view in a concert. Would recommend going to one if you ever get the chance.

Photo Gallery

Sorry my pics are a bit fuzzy as there was a bank of lights immediately behind Chad Smith at the angle I was sitting and I couldn’t wander around to get a better shot as everyone was seated.


Video from FatPigeon Live

Interview with Chad Smith and footage from the Drum Clinic.

RHCP at Birmingham (1)

p1070563

It’s a crazy weekend for some reason!!! I will write a proper review and add a photo gallery but I’m racing around doing real life stuff so I can go and do this again tonight! I’ve quickly added some photos to the Facebook page for now. You can see them HERE And a quick pic of Flea and his new ‘stache!

p1070689 And a qick

So Hard…

Sigh… OK, here goes.

Blackie’s retirement has left a massive void in the Chili Pepper community. Not only have we lost our “go to” source of information and fan in-between with the band, but it’s created issues within the community. Before, he was Head Honcho and there was no point competing with that as it was a given and he would also steer the community- I’ve seen him have a discrete word with someone about their behaviour when there were issues. Now the gaping void he’s left has nobody to steer it and some people are prepared to do anything to step into it. In the ten years that I’ve been heavily involved with the CP community online, I’ve never know it to be like this with the back-stabbing and bullying that is going on in some areas. There is some pretty unpleasant stuff happening at times on social media.

There has also been a split in the fan base leading to some of the fans seeing themselves as being better than others. And somehow from that an inner circle of FANS has formed stepping into the Blackie void. Obviously, some of that inner circle totally deserve to be there as they are loyal and dedicated fans and I’m not commenting on the rights or wrongs of it but just making observations. However, there is a section of those inner fans that are desperate to keep other fans out in whatever way they can and they seem to be attracting an element of like minded fans who want to be in that inner circle who are now running around sending abusive messages, trying to force fan pages to close  way to do, etc. in order to be able to do so. Other fans are totally on the outside and left out and resentment is growing over it all and it’s adding to the fan base tension and split.

OK, why I’m writing this…

I’m an “out” and that has been repeatedly pointed out to me but I’ve weathered the storm. However, recently things have got really unpleasant and I’ve had a lot of issues with some members of the online community within social media and the threats/bullying/ “self-improvement” messages (I get it! And thank you, I’m just commenting and understand without the need for anymore as a result of this post) some of the real side-stage pass possessing fans and the “wannabe” fans like to send to outsiders like me. It’s been really unpleasant and hard and has led to lots of consideration about me continuing to be involved as many of you know.

And then at Reading I had a moment (OK, a concert length one!). I’ve put so much into supporting the band and their charities and projects and helping the community as much as I can. And I was standing there being jostled in a crowd unable to see much (being 5ft 2″ in a crowd isn’t good!) and looking at ants in the distance on the stage knowing the fans from the inner circle would be side-stage with perfect views and hadn’t had to queue or be pushed around. And it made me wonder what the hell I was doing. Then I got home and had the disappointment of my rubbish pics as I was too far away and too short to take anything decent; knowing I would have shared them with the community and couldn’t.

As a result, I really started to think about whether I carry on with the websites and decided to give myself until the end of this year to decide as it is such a massive decision to take. I’ve put so much into this and it’s hard to walk away from it. I’ve managed to keep this going all through the hell and chaos of the last few years. I’ve nursed two people, my mother (Alzheimer’s Disease) and husband (alcohol addiction), through terminal conditions within three years, been widowed, seen my whole life turned upside down and still kept it going but I know in my heart I’ve now come to the end of the line. I don’t need the hassle from certain quarters and I don’t need to feel rejected and foolish for wasting my time on something I cannot achieve in because I’m an outsider. Ten years and I don’t even have full band autographs which says it all really.

It’s time to step aside and leave things to those real fans as fan pages really ought to be run by them. I’ve got tickets to two concerts in December and I will go and enjoy them just as a face in the crowd and leave the photo taking and reporting to the proper fans. And hopefully I’ll meet a lot of friends and that is the good thing to come from all of this and is something I really do value. A few posts by me will sneak on here I’m sure around the time of the UK concerts (I’ll make a final post at some point if nothing else as this is just an update rather than a proper goodbye). I’ve paid for domain names and hosting for the next year so I’ll leave the websites (this one and anthonykiedis.net) up in case people want the info on them (I might tweak a few things as there were some things I’ve always meant to add/update) or want to read the 50000+ magazine pages I’ve scanned 🙂 But I won’t be involved in them or the Facebook pages any more from 2017. Peace <3

Rebecca (Squitherwitch)