Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Of Light, Sunderland 24/06/12

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Of Light, Sunderland 24/06/12

Unless you were around The Riverside in 1990, this is the first live  introduction to the Orange state band’s brand of funk infused rock The Red Hot Chili Peers have entertained millions with ten studio albums and a healthy clutch of hit singles. So it was no surprise  the Stadium Of Light was filled more with anticipation than gloom at the weather, which thankfully cleared in time for the iconic four piece.

First to take to the stage, Reverent & The Makers were adequate support, providing the soundtrack to many that entered the stadium, still dripping when persistent rain turned heavier, then into a cloud burst which soaked all that were not protected The Sheffield band,  made a good impression withe the Stadium Of Light in support of  their third album, ‘@Reverend_Makers’ highlight for the ever growing crowd was of course the Top Ten hit of  ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’, but that said there is more to these loads than just one song.

Next support came from Sunderland’s own The Futureheads, it was nice to see them ‘plugged in’ to play an impressive and versatile set. Playing just one song from ‘Rant’ their latest album, choosing their cover of the Kelis song  ‘Accapala’ though after a couple more burst of original indie rock it was another cover that closed their well received appearance. Their classic cover which is ‘Hounds Of Love’ got the crowd singing even heartier than Jaff and Ross audience singing games, Mass sing-a-longs broke out – typically, “oo-o-o-oo-ho’s” reverbed as different parts of the crowd joined in, to practically everything verse, chorus, there was not even an excuse as the sound was spot on. It must have sounded strange onstage like some 1980’s 12” remix. The four-piece went done better than just well.

So it’s 7:30-ish and it is raining mostly on, more than off, When The Wombats take to the stage. First impression pity all of the beach balls that bounced around the crowd were by now burst, a pity as the band’s music would suit a kind of T4 Beach weekender in an attempt to get the indie “vote” – as the Liverpool band played on, the rain eased as the sun broke through at last, towards the end of a tight set.The trio were on god form. The end result The Wombats went went down very well with younger elements of the crowd, which were numerous. But I must admit my mind was turning it’s focus on tonight’s headliners.

The roar that greeted the Red Hot Chili Peppers some little time after 9pm was warm healthy and loud the various stage and flanking video screens flicker free portrayed the action for those that could not make out the stage clearly – looking around at the crowd it  felt sold out, at worst at least 50,000 plus. The band lit the fuse with drums and bass heralded an onslaught of powerful anthems like Under The Bridge, Higher Ground, Scar Tissue, By The Way were meet with huge approval with sporadic moshing as the crowd bounced on. As each song was reaching the last few bars the crowd showed their appreciation – a sea of overhead hands clapping. There was a memorable rendition of Califoricationwas powerful, first soulful sing-a-long moved into a reworked extended multi-bar bridge replaced with a forthright rock blast of the classic notes and words, all brought to an end with a thunderous close – and that was just one song.

RHCP also thanked supports The Futureheads and The wombats, as the rain held off, the lighting effect grew even stronger as the sky grew dark as iconic songs and jamming sessions filled the excited air. I Remember moshing as the band continued with a bright energetic rendition of their song ‘Can’t Stop’ then there was a blur and frenetic end as post song jamming Flea and guitarist Josh Kllnghoffer cut loose, if you came here to hear some riffs you were not disappointed, backed on most by Chad Smith’s percussive tour-de-force. Furthermore Anthony Kiedis vocals  delivery shines, his voice stands up well to a world tour it’s vigours and demands.

Set went down a treat as you would expect. Lead singer,  Anthony Kledis a) named the right city which is more than David Bowie managed and b) seemly effortlessly lead the more than happy masses. But I will also remember bassist Flea’s end of set speech in support of live music whether it is punk, indie, classical, pop, hip-hop, or rock – get out there and support it was the bassist’s general passionate and articulate message, Various band members said they loved playing here, I perceived the feeling was mutual, I think the crowd would happily see the band again in the future when and if they next they grace these shores again.

A memorable day, we were royally entertained by one of the best rock bands on the planet. With Guitars mark their live reviews out of ten, hope it is understood that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were vibrant, powerful force tonight, out of a sea of gigs recently, nothing has impressed me so much, as the quartet gave tens of thousands one beautiful day, to recall. 9.5/10

Steve Janes

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Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Of Light, Sunderland 24/06/12