Photos by Third Eye Visuals
Back in November last year the legendary Californian funk rockers, Red Hot Chili Peppers announced they were coming back to Australia for their first local headline tour in over 12 years. The hype from fans was immediate and their shows were selling out quickly with the first Brisbane show selling out so fast that there were many disappointed fans. Fortunately, they added more shows and more tickets to keep up with demand from eager, enthusiastic and dedicated fans. The first Brisbane show was last night, and the Brisbane Entertainment Centre was absolutely packed to the brim with the excitement and energy levels in the building at extremely high levels from fans of all ages. With a variety of fans at the show, some that would have seen them many times before to young fans who would be seeing them for the first time. There is nothing quite like being at a gig surrounded by that much joy and excitement waiting to see a band you’ve loved since your early teens.
The night kicked off with the father of funk George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. With what looked to be 16 band members on stage with up to 8 vocalists singing at any one time, the sound and funky vibe on the stage was massive! A combination of so many musical genres such as hip hop, metal, rock and very heavy on the funk. A mix of clean vocals, rap and some spoken word, their performance was pure entertainment and full of passion and high energy as they warmed up the crowds for the night. Watching them perform was like drinking a smoothie blended with a mix of all your favourite flavours and tastes in one big delicious cup of the tastiest tunes possible. Somewhere in the middle of the set most of the band left the stage as the keyboardist performed a solo song which was then followed by a guitar solo that received huge cheers from the crowds before the rest of the band came back on stage to pump out some more funkalicious tracks. It is clear how much of an influence Clinton has had on the Chili Peppers, he even produced their album ‘Freaky Styley’ back in 1985. There is some talk of them collaborating again in the near future and if ‘Freaky Styley’ is anything to go by, fans have got something amazing and full of funk to look forward to. With Clinton announcing plans to retire from touring this year, we were blessed to see him perform on stage for possibly the last time in Brisbane.
Having been inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 2012 and with a musical career spanning close to 4 decades, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been a constant in my life for many moons as they have for so many music fans around the world. With albums like ‘Mothers Milk’, ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’, ‘What Hits’ and ‘One Hot Minute’ being played to death in my youth, the Chili Peppers have been a huge influence in my music loving life and seeing them last night brought on so many emotions. Music always has memories and emotions attached to it, the first time I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers was back in 1996 at the Entertainment Centre in Brisbane on their ‘One Hot Minute’ tour with support from Regurgitator. I still have the ticket stub and my memories of that gig will forever be ingrained in my mind and heart. Seeing them all these years later and having the absolute honour of reviewing them was quite a surreal moment and a new memory they have given me to forever reflect upon and cherish.
With whopping cheers from the fans, Flea, Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer graced the stage first, playing an intro on bass, drums and guitar like only they know how. Anthony Kiedis then made his appearance to a cosmic roar from the crowds as they broke into their first track for the night Around The World. With Flea sporting some of his trademark patchwork pants and yelling to the crowd “Yeahhhhh mother fuckers!” he is by far one of the most phenomenal, gifted and spirited bass players I have ever seen perform live. Smith is a master of the drums, playing with intense energy and appetite for delivering a stellar performance every time. Klinghoffer had big shoes to fill after John Frusciante left the band back in 2009 but I honestly couldn’t think of a better replacement. His performance last night was superb and watching him was mesmerizing. Kiedis is an absolute godlike creature whose presence and vivacity on stage is completely encapsulating. They performed like a well-oiled machine of heavy funk rockers and delivered a breathtaking set of songs that included some newer tracks from ‘The Getaway’ which was released in 2016 and some timeless fan favourites including Soul To Squeeze and Give It Away. Also including a cover of the beginning of Iggy Pop’s I Wanna Be Your Dog and Flea doing his song Pea which is the sixth track from ‘One Hot Minute’ and always a popular sing-along little ditty. With both Kiedis and Flea interreacting with the fans in between songs and Flea at one stage saying something about dropping acid later and then saying “The truth is we are going to drink chamomile tea and watch the final episode of The Detective” had fans having a good laugh in response to that and to all of Flea’s banter. After playing By The Way they left the stage briefly before Klinghoffer came back to perform a cover of the beginning of Watching The Detectives by Elvis Costello before they then played two final tracks for the night, Dreams Of A Samurai and Give It Away with George Clinton joining them on stage for Give It Away. An absolutely sublime finish to an outstanding night and performance from both bands that will no doubt leave fans eagerly awaiting the next time the Red Hot Chili Peppers return to Australia.
With thanks to Live Nation the Red Hot Chili Peppers continue their tour tonight with their second show in Brisbane followed by more shows in Australia and New Zealand.
FEB 26 Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Boondall, QLD, Australia
FEB 28 Rod Laver Arena. Melbourne, VIC, Australia
MAR 2 Mt Duneed Estate. Waurn Ponds, VIC, Australia
MAR 3 Superloop Adelaide 500. Adelaide, SA, Australia
MAR 5 HBF Park. Perth, WA, Australia
MAR 8 Spark Arena. Parnell, Auckland Region, New Zealand
MAR 9 Spark Arena. Parnell, Auckland Region, New Zealand