Review: RHCP LG Arena Birmingham 20th November 2011

 Ticket Red Hot Chili Peppers Birmingham LG Arena 20th November 2011

Rebecca’s Overview: Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Concert Number 5!

I’d initially got a ticket for a friend for tonight’s concert so we could be together but the friend didn’t want it as soon as I’d bought it. I’d been trying to sell it and then give it away and spent the day posting on Facebook RHCP groups asking if anyone wanted it but nobody did who could get to Birmingham in time so I ended up going to the concert on my own; not ideal but then I wasn’t going to miss the concert!

I think the cold weather effect is starting to kick in with the queues for the concerts; I asked at last night’s concert what time people got there to get front row and was told about 5 p.m. I left my hotel which was round the corner from the LG Arena about 4.30p.m. and joined the queue; there were about 50 people in front of me and apparently the first people had got there only at 2. Yesterday I’d gone armed with sweatshirt and gloves and was inside so today I had just a light jacket with me… only to end up in the other queue which was outside! It was freezing & foggy (so bad airports were closed!) but the doors opened about 6 so I had just over an hour outside & everyone was chatting so the time soon passed. 

Red Hot Chili Peppers fans in front row

Inside the LG ArenaLooking to the rear of the LG ArenaLooking to the rear of the LG Arena

 

fans RHCP concert LG Arena Birmingham

Looking to the rear of the LG Arena

Inside! Most people had headed to centre stage and were grouped together in a bunch in front of where AK would be but after London I wanted to avoid that and anyway, I was on a mission to photograph Flea as I’d not been to his side of the stage yet and I’d also promised my friend I’d take a load of photos of the bassist for him. I headed over to Flea’s side and result, there was space on the front row. Sorted for now! Initially I thought I was a bit far out, that I’d take some photos of Flea and then try to move as I couldn’t see Chad’s drum kit and Anthony Kiedis would be a bit far but it turned out I had a perfect position and had Flea in front of me, was on a direct line to Anthony a couple of feet away and the equipment blocking my view of Chad was moved at the end of Fools Gold’s set. The barrier was slightly curved so I could easily see across the centre stage. It was the perfect spot and I stayed there all concert. (Thanks to everyone around me for being so friendly).

Me! Screen cap from a Youtube video 🙂

Chad Smith meeting fans Birmingham

Chad Smith Meeting Fans (and a cook!)

I needed to send a message to a friend so I sat down, leant against the barrier and started to write; there was over an hour before Fools Gold came on so I had plenty of time and sitting for as long as possible saves ‘foot burn’ at the end of the concert… I was settled in nicely, typing away when I heard someone shout, ‘It’s Chad! Chad is there!’ I looked up, nothing…so I got up and looked on the stage thinking he must have gone on to check his drums, no not there… not at the side of the stage either but people all around me were calling ‘Chad!’ Then the person next to me said something about getting his ticket signed and I looked, Chad was about a foot away from me! He was on the other side of the safety barrier and was working his way across the front row of fans and thanking them for coming to the concert. I grabbed my camera and then he was there next to me; it was all so quick (I managed to delete the whole of the message I’d been writing as I scrambled for my camera)! Chad spotted my RHCP ‘city flag’ T-shirt, looked and saw it was the London one and said something about me being in London too. I replied that this was the fifth time I’d seen them this tour and that I’d been at Brum the night before, had seen two of the London dates and had been in Paris for the first night at Bercy, he replied with a comment about that being a lot and me being dedicated. I asked if I could get a photo with him and he leant over and put his arm round me, I threw my camera at the nearest person (thank you to whoever that was!) and asked them to take the picture. They did, commented it was blurred and Chad laughed and said that wouldn’t be a bad thing but that they should take another one (both were blurred in the end but it was all so quick that I’m pleased to have got anything!). He then shook my hand, thanked me for coming and I leaned over and kissed him (haha!), said, ‘No, thank you for everything! I love RHCP,’ and he grinned and moved onto the next group of people.

Chad Smith Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer with fan LG Arena Birmingham 20th November 2011

Blurry! But it did happen!

The rest of the time is a bit of a blur as I was so surprised; I think I shook for the next 5 minutes hehe I did manage to update my Facebook status and the notifications I got from that took over the next hour passed away the rest of the time to Fools Gold hit the stage!

Fools Gold

Sorry but I’d really had enough of them by this concert; three and a bit (caught only part of their set in London) sets later really was pushing it for me as their music just isn’t my thing and it just seems so monotonous. After seeing them several times, I still don’t even know what language they were singing in tbh! I recognised the odd English word but couldn’t understand most of their lyrics so I assume they are singing in a couple of languages and one song still merged pretty much into another with no discernable difference even after hearing them several times. They just seem to play too many instruments so you end up with random, discordant noise; think they are a case where less would definitely be more! They were really enthusiastic and into what they were doing so fair play to them; just not my thing!

They were directly in front of me for about 5 minutes on the side of stage so I grabbed some photos of them backstage as well as performing.

new Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist with Fools gold Josh Klinghoffer

Josh Klinghoffer with Fools Gold

The highlight of their set once more was Josh joining them on stage (it must suck so much that the biggest cheer you get is when a member of another band plays with you!). As he walked down from backstage he was directly in front on me; we were all shouting ‘Jooossshh!’ and he put his hand up and smiled at us as he walked down to the side of stage before going on to join the support group. After playing the one song with them, Josh left the stage but stayed on to watch their set from the side of  the stage (he was behind a speaker so we could just see his head).

Josh Klinghoffer backstage

Josh Klinghoffer Watching Fools Gold

Trivia Fact: Josh at this point was wearing a plain top and a beanie hat but he removed them when on stage with RHCP and wore a Fools Gold top instead.

Fools Gold Photo Gallery (including photos with Josh on stage with them)

RHCP Stage Set Up

Red Hot Chili Peppers stage crew

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers on stage LG Arena Birmingham 20th november 2011

It was quite sad for me, five concerts and now I was on the last one and it was also the last of the UK RHCP tour dates, but the boys were amazing! And the crowd around me were brilliant too- everyone was into the band and there were no drunks, there was no shoving and pushing and no ‘drink’ throwing which just added to the whole atmosphere; this was the best concert I went to of the five! Brummies rock (and yes, I was born in the city so I’m a Brummie lol)

The concert followed a pretty standard format with Monarchy of Roses being the opening number. I saw Chad on stage first and then Flea I think before Josh and then there was Anthony Kiedis stomping around in his black tailed coat under the green light in the darkness… “Several of my best friends wear…” stage lights on and the concert was underway!”

Being in front of Flea is amazing; videos don’t do him justice as the speed and effort he plays with is amazing! He is a total pain to photograph; so many photos I took of him have motion blur on them as he’s never still or you just line up the perfect shot and he’s gone!

Anthony Kiedis Leaping into air live at Birmingham LG Arena

AK Leaping

Anthony was a total livewire; he did look tired but that didn’t seem to affect his performance as he was leaping, dancing and stamping around the stage. Josh takes on a whole wild persona the moment he starts playing; he always seems so shy in interviews but he becomes a thing possessed with that first chord and Chad, is well Chad! I could just about see Mauro through his kit and when Chris Warren was on stage (which seems to be increasing; he seemed to be playing/there on nearly every song this show), his enthusiasm is infectious.

OK, standout things -no point detailing everything when you can see the YouTube videos:

Anthony Kiedis came on in his usual tailed coat, OFF! Cap, black jeans but tonight he was wearing an plain green T-shirt and not the usual red Peru one. The jacket came off during the first song I think and the T-shirt only lasted a couple of songs.

Anthony Kiedis Green t-shirt

AK green t-shirt

Josh was came on wearing a grey shirt but he later removed that to show a Fools Gold top; it seemed odd seeing him wear something coloured as he’s normally in plain greys/blacks and the logo was bright blue/pink. (He had changed clothes from when he played with Fools Gold)

Chad was wearing his red outfit.

Flea RHCP bassist putting on a T-shirt because he was cold

Flea putting on a T-shirt because he was cold

Flea came on in his coloured sneakers/trainers, his black trousers with the one leg cut off at the knee and he was bare-chested but shortly into the concert he asked for a top and was passed a white T-shirt by a member of crew, which he pulled on quickly saying to the audience that ‘It was chilly on stage.’ The T-shirt looked really tight and he later asked for another one and swapped into a larger t-shirt which also seemed to be plain white.

Flea Red Hot Chili Peppers changing bass guitar

Bass Swap!

Flea also swapped his bass guitar a couple of times in a middle of a song after gesturing to his bass tech and on one occasion he looked really annoyed; Flea can exchange a bass guitar and not miss a beat which is impressive! The fastest guitar changer in the West!

And I have to mention Flea’s handstand!

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea doing a hand stand at Birmingham

Flea Doing a Handstand!

anthony kiedis tying shoe lace live Birmingham

Anthony Kiedis Tying Shoe Lace

Anthony Kiedis seemed to be having issues with his ear piece and seemed to have his hand to that a lot of the concert. His shoe lace also became untied and he jumped onto a speaker to re-tie it and then remained there for most of the remainder of the song.

red hot chili peppers play Did I Let You Know? With member of Fools Gold

Did I Let You Know? With member of Fools Gold

 ‘Did I Let You Know?’ was unusually performed with the saxophone parts being played by one of the guys from Fools Gold (OK, I admit it! They went up slightly in my estimation at this point! Lol)

set list LG arena nomber 20 2011

Set list & drumstick

We got a tease of ‘No Chump Lover Sucker’ and (part of) ‘They’re Red Hot’ was added to the end of Sir Psycho Sexy.

Several mentions were made during the concert to Birmingham’s rock legacy e.g. that Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne came from the area (sorry I can’t remember exactly what was said each day).

And unusually for the current set list pattern, we didn’t get a cover song during the encore. I was really hoping for Soul to Squeeze or Blood Sugar Sex Magik during the concert as they hadn’t been played at any of the concerts I’d been too; after the drum encore, the band played Sir Psycho Sexy and I thought I stood no chance of hearing either song as generally then it’s a cover followed by the final track, Give It Away. I couldn’t believe it when Soul to Squeeze started to play; in fact, I didn’t actually believe it until AK actually started to sing! Although according to the set list, we nearly got ‘Don’t Forget Me’

 

BTW For those of you who want the gossip, back stage was pretty quiet- well, the bits I could see were and I didn’t see anyone I recognised- no Everly Bear, etc.

Beth Jeans Houghton was there; I saw her standing backstage for a few minutes watching Fools Gold and she was also wandering around during the Chili Peppers set; she spent about 20 minutes at the end of the main set (before the encore) leaning on a speaker and half-heartedly taking photos but there was no public interaction between her and Anthony Kiedis at all. She left the side of stage at the same time that AK went off, presumably to join him backstage I guess.

Beth Jeans Houghton Anthony Kiedis new girlfriend

Beth Jeans Houghton Backstage

 

Beth Jeans Houghton Anthony Kiedis new girlfriend

Beth Jeans Houghton during concert

(BTW a massive thank you to Hannah and Lawrence who humoured the mad woman and let me take a photo of the set list and Chad’s drum stick that they got from the concert!)

 

Summary of the concert with set list and videos:

TheChiliSource Info Thread LG Arena Birmingham 20th November 2011

Over 200 exclusive Red Hot Chili Peppers photos from the concert:

RHCP Photo Gallery LG Arena Birmingham 20th November 2011

Anthony Kiedis Photo Gallery LG Arena Birmingham 20th November 2011

Flea Photo Gallery LG Arena Birmingham 20th November 2011

10 thoughts on “Review: RHCP LG Arena Birmingham 20th November 2011

  1. I’m a massive fan! I was there that night, it was my 4th concert of the tour but I’m seeing them in madrid aswelll 🙂 can’t wait! I thought they wre brilliant as usual although I agree that AK was looking pretty tired and he kinda annoyed me when he walked of the stage without saying anything at all… he’s done that at a few concerts I’ve seen and it always frustraites me that I put so much effort into going to see them and he can’t even say ‘thanks guys you’ve been great, bye’
    any great review, thanks for the photo of the set list, I was trying to remember the exact order all evening!!

    • Thanks! Glad you like it 🙂 We try to get the set list and some photos and videos from a concert, online as soon as we can. I will index them all once I get a few minutes so they are easy to find.

      BTW If you’re going to Madrid and fancy doing an review/overview of it (doesn’t have to have photos; I’m just permanently attached to my camera!), we would love to hear from you (or anything you can remember from the other concerts you’ve been to 🙂 )

  2. Great review! With all the amazing pics you took, the youtube videos I’ve seen and this review, I almost feel like I was there! Thank you Rebecca 🙂

    • No, thank you! Sorry it took me a couple of days to get it online; an swamped here with everything right now. No other copy of that set list has made in online yet so a lot of people were so grateful to you not for running off when the crazy woman approached! It was interesting to see that we nearly got ‘Don’t Foget Me’ instead of ‘Soul to Squeeze’ and nobody would have known that without the set list! Hope you had a great concert and congrats on getting the drum stick & set list; nice to meet you both too. Rebecca

  3. Nice review, bringin back memories for me, tbh it was just magical from start to finish 😀 Highlights for me were flea’s wonderful philosophical sayings inbetween songs like “all wars are shit, and theyre just a result of bein scared to love” ( or smthing to that extent) and ” we aint about violence” 🙂 also the orgasmic jam at the end of give it away, it was beautiful to watch. And josh totally impressed me, he was flippin incredible!!!! thanks for this rebecca!x

  4. Hey there! I really enjoyed your review, I don’t know if you will remember me but I was the guy in the Skeleton suit and green mankini with the pink mohawk and blue hb moustache, I can’t remember if you were in our little side queue outside but I remember your face, were you a bit further back in the queue? Inside, I was a few people to the right of you on the front row, literally directly in front of Flea, which was incredible! He laughed when he spotted my get-up and totally shared the love(and fluids! we ended up several times showered with his sweat and saliva! haha) throughout the rest of the show, smiling, making eye contact and crouching down between his monitors and funking-out(similar to rocking-out but funkier!) for me and my sister!)

    Anyway, the show, the whole experience before and during was mind blowing! I actually loved Fools Gold and found myself possibly the only guy in the place throwing shapes like wild ball of renegade energy to their joyous, organic, funky, worldy groove! they created an amazing wall of sound that resonated through every part of me.
    I got to meet some beautiful people (including Chad of course!).
    Waiting to go in, despite being a bit cold was just as important and wonderful as the show for me, we had a great laugh and ended up creating a tight little unit all getting excited together about the show to come, none of us however could have predicted just how incredible it was going to be! Two of the guys we met were brothers called Connor and Reid, one of whom was a drummer himself and the biggest Chad fan i have ever met, I was so overjoyed for him that he got to meet Chad and then got a drumstick at the end! we also met Charmaine and Porsha(I think I have the right names) who were great, Porsha who had been to see them in france previously that tour and proudly admitted that she was Anthonys stalker! I can’t remember any other names but together we formed a great little crew and vowed that if anyone didn’t make it to the front row we would save spaces, we all made it anyway luckily! I was gutted at the end because the girls came and found me and said “come on, we’re going to get backstage!” however my brother in law was tired and just wanted to go and he was driving so i had to say no:( I was gutted, even if we never made it backstage I would have loved to hang out and maybe try waiting at the back door to meet the band or go and party or something! I was pumped and the last thing i wanted to do was go home! It was kind of similar when I saw them in 06 at Earls Court, my friends that I went with just wanted to get back to the Hotel and while I was ready to party for the rest of the night they just went to bed and left me to find the party on my own! that was cool though, I did end up having a good time!

    I saw them again the other day at Knebworth which was epic! I felt bad for Anthony though as he was really struggling with his voice and I could tell it was making him unhappy, if you can imagine the build up to play a massive show like Knebworth to 80.000 people, getting excited and looking forward to it, only to be let down on the day by your voice. You almost wouldn’t have noticed though, they all still rocked the place! As did the support acts, Dizzee was every bit as great as i had hoped, I’m not a Wombats or a Reverend and the Makers fan but they both played incredibly well, maximum respect to Reverend and the Makers who continued to play faultlessly with the most insane bottle war imaginable waging in front of them!!(look it up on youtube!)

    Anyway It’s mega late and I have pretty much written my own bloody review right here in the comments box!

    Love

    • Hey! How could I forget anyone looking like that 😀

      Thanks for the post; enjoyed reading it and it brought back some great memories! I was at Knebworth too (have a review to write for that as well but my husband died the following day so everything has been a bit chaotic and I’ve not done it yet). Knebworth wasn’t a good concert on so many levels; I saw them exactly a week later in Paris and it was TOTALLY different.

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