Concert Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers

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I’ve had the opportunity to see legends such as the Rolling Stones and Billy Joel in concert,  but neither compared to the incredible musical talent and passion showcased by the Red Hot Chili Peppers last Thursday in the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

For two hours straight, the band fed off the electrifying atmosphere of the crowd and seemed to pour their heart and soul into putting on the best possible performance.

The five minutes at the beginning of the encore summed up the night perfectly. Drummer Chad Smith entered the stage by himself and proceeded to swing from a stage light while dangling from 15 feet above his drum set. After a minute of that, Smith gave an absurd  drum solo, exclamated by Flea, the bassist, walking across the stage on his hands, before stopping in front of the drummer and holding a handstand for over a minute.

Commentary by Andrew Bayliss
Assistant News Editor

The showmanship and passion of the performance was impressive, but of course the focus of a concert is the music. The Chili Peppers played every one of their hits, intertwined with fantastic jams, solos and less popular songs.

After the concert, I asked my brother what his three favorite songs were. He looked at me and said, “I would have to pick 20.” I shared those sentiments. Even songs I barely knew, such as “Look Around” and “Throw Away Your Television,” were entertaining.

The visual effects and stage weren’t overly exciting, but I actually liked that because the focus stayed on the music. The entire back of the stage was a giant screen, and six smaller screens were suspended over the stage. A live feed of the band members was shown for most of the night.

I had been waiting for this concert for over a year, because the entire tour was postponed after lead singer Anthony Kiedis broke his foot last fall. The Chili Peppers are one of my favorite bands, so my expectations were sky-high even before an extra year of added anticipation.

I thought it would be almost impossible for my expectations to be met, much less exceeded. After the three-song encore, featuring “Suck My Kiss,” “Under the Bridge” and “Give It Away,” Flea stayed on the stage by himself.

He told the audience how grateful the band was for their support and urged them to encourage all live music. Support little kids singing “Mary had a Little Lamb” out of tune, he said.

That passionate speech validated what had already been made obvious during the concert—the Red Hot Chili Peppers care deeply about what they do and believe in the power of music.

The music was marvelous, but it was the passion that made this concert a five-star performance.