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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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).
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
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 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.
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 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 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!
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.
‘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)
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.
(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: