Knebworth House played host to yet another legendary show this weekend, one that follows in the footsteps of previous performances from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Oasis - and Robbie Williams. Even with the weather being typically English, the temperamental drizzle couldn’t stop the atmosphere formed due to the anticipation of seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
With support coming from Reverend and the Makers, The Wombats, and a very hype Dizzee Rascal, the stage was set for the Chili’s to do what they do best - get funky for the people. Kicking things off with a questionable choice, ‘Monarchy of Roses’, taken from the band’s most recent album I’m With You, the audience got in to the spirit of things pretty quickly but were definitely in search of a more recognizable hit to start their evening off. While the next couple of tracks, ‘Around The World’ and ‘Dani California’, are pretty big by many band’s standards, it isn’t until ‘Otherside’ belts through the speakers that things really began to take shape.
With the hit floodgates now officially open, the concert becomes the anticipated funk fest that it was touted to be. With comic references and crowd interaction throughout, courtesy of bassist Flea, the group start to prove why their stage show is one of the most talked about in rock. Complete with some insanely mesmerizing lighting effects, which includes several screen switch ups and colour schemes, the band take the audience and puts them in a place where nostalgia reigns supreme.
Running through the likes of ‘Soul To Squeeze’, ‘Californication’, and ‘By The Way’, excitement travelled the length of the 80,000 strong crowd, but no song got as big a reaction as the band’s most recognizable smash ‘Under The Bridge’. Every single person appeared to be singing back to the band, although one deranged concert goer broke the cycle and could be heard asking his partner, “Didn’t All Saints do a remix of this?” While obviously he meant cover not remix, the Chili’s performed a few covers of their own - ‘Higher Ground’ by Stevie Wonder, and ‘They’re Red Hot’ by Robert Johnson.
With the rain beating down in fits and starts, the encore played host to a few classics - ‘Suck My Kiss’ and ‘Give It Away’, as well as a couple of instrumental jams. With that said, the Knebworth crowd leave satisfied knowing they’ve just seen one of the world’s most eclectic bands play a set at one of the most famed venues in the UK. A fun day was without doubt had by all, that is until the thousand car traffic jam stops people from getting home at a decent hour, with the local Gordon Craig Theatre even playing host to those stranded and unable to get home.
Their Knebworth performance deserves to go down as one of their best ever, whether it’s because of the lighting effects, their obvious on stage chemistry, or just the sheer fact their songs carry the reminiscent qualities of no other band. Listening to them live in 2012 took you back to school - the greasy hair, the sew on badges and black boots. Nothing beats RHCP live, nothing.
Below: Red Hot Chili Peppers, live at Sunderland's Stadium of Light
'Adds a reality and a personal connection to his sound that can only really be achieved on the live stage'
'This is the proudest moment of my f*cking life!'