Friday, June 1, 2012

Concert Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" tour made its way to the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on May 30 and they did not disappoint.  Although this was the first appearance by the Chili Peppers in the 'burgh since 2003 legendary bassist Flea made sure to remind the crowd of their history in the city going back to the days of playing Graffiti, "We've been coming here for 30 years now, and every time has been better than the last!"  Hearing from others this may indeed have been a true statement.  The buzz from friends and media it sounded as if the Chili Peppers weren't a great live band.  After hearing criticism and seeing a few live concerts on TV my expectations were a bit tempered going in, but this show was great.  Fellow Blast Furnace contributor Ben State who had seen them twice before believed this was the best that they have sounded as well.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers opened the show with "Monarchy of Roses" a hit single from 2011's "I'm With You" album.  The setlist consisted of hits from the majority of their popular albums from the 90's through 2011, the most being from 1991's classic "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" and their newest album "I'm With You."  Absent were songs from "One Hot Minute."  Personally I would have liked to hear a few more songs from one of my favorite albums "Californication," but the Chili Peppers covered most of their classics.  There were a couple of jam sessions mixed into the setlist as well, featuring Flea, new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, and Chad Smith on drums.  Flea was definitely the highlight of the show by displaying his slap and slide techniques which were incredible to watch and hear live.  Newest addition Josh Klinghoffer filled in admirably for the departed John Frusciante.  A few of the older songs you could tell Kinghoffer didn't have the same skill as Frusciante, but Frusciante is considered one of the all-time great guitarists making him difficult to duplicate.  Frontman Anthony Kiedis displayed his range and talents by making the smooth vocal transitions between rock, hip-hop, and funk; the sounds that made the Chili Peppers a legendary band.  The show lasted approximately two hours and the band played almost non-stop without much chatter or interaction with the audience. 

The Consol Energy Center has hosted several legendary musical acts in its first two years of existence and the Red Hot Chili Peppers delighted the sold-out crowd.  Being a teenager in the 90's, the Chili Peppers were one of those bands that you just had to see and they certainly lived up to their Hall of Fame status on this night.

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