The Chili Peppers may be close to celebrating three decades in the music business, but the energy the Californian quartet can still generate on stage is enough to power a small town!
From the moment the band opened with Monarchy of the Roses, from their last album I’m With You, it was clear that this was going to be a turbo-charged set filled with industrial strength tunes.
Unlike the visit from Coldplay earlier in the month, there were no fancy lasers, pyros , xylobands or confetti canons – instead there was a stripped back stage decked with multiple screens beaming out pop-art style images of the band.
And throughout the 1 hour and 50 minute set, the band members threw themselves across that stage as their delivered up their trademark sound of hard-edged funk, melodious rock and hip hop.
They may have once been prone to on stage nudity but last night singer Anthony Kiedis set the red, white and black dress colour code for the rest of the band, tipping a nod to the stadium.
While this may have been one of only two UK dates the Chili Peppers are doing, the stadium still a number of empty seats, particularly in the north stand – though this could well have had something to do with the timing of the gig, clashing with the England Italy match.
Fortunately this didn’t diminish either the crowd’s or the band’s enthusiasm or energy, as they belted out tunes such as Can’t Stop, Dani California, Look Around, Universally Speaking and Ethiopia, which was inspired by a life-changing trip Flea and guitarist Josh Kinghoffer took to the African country.
The band’s classic hits such as Under the Bridge, Higher Ground and Californication were saved until nearer the end and received the best response, with the roar of the crowd appearing to fill any empty spaces that were in the stadium.
Bare-chested bass player Flea steered the energetic performances along, walking across the stage on his hands for the encore to get in place for Suck My Kiss.
He also served up some great head to head guitar jams with guitarist Josh, adding a dose of freshness to the set. Give it Away was saved for the finale with the Chilis spinning across the stage like whirling dervishes as the crowd erupted into one final leaping mass.
• Support came in the shape of Reverend and the Makers, scouse indie rockers The Wombats and Sunderland band The Futureheads, who flew the flag for the region.
1. Monarchy of Roses
2. Can’t Stop
3. Dani California
4. Scar Tissue
5. Look Around
6. Universally Speaking
7. I Like Dirt
8. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
9. Right on Time
10. If You Have to Ask
12. Under the Bridge
13. Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder cover)
15. By the Way
16. Suck My Kiss
17. Soul to Squeeze
18. Give It Away