It was with much anticipation that the Red Hot Chili Peppers took to the stage at Knebworth Park on 23rd June 2012- a venue that has hosted many legends such as Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, QUEEN, Oasis and Robbie Williams. And with only two shows in the UK in 2012- It was not to be missed.
I got Tom tickets for Christmas- he has a tattoo of their band symbol, but has never seen them live- so it seemed like an appropriate gift. I then found some bargain tickets online for the brothers and sisters. Winner!
We missed two of the supporting acts: Reverend and the Makers and The Wombats, as we were too busy drinking cheap shots beforehand.
However, while the Chili Peppers were the headline act of the night, one man did indeed send the 80,000 capacity audience Bonkers. What looked from the outside as a slightly odd choice as a support act, rapper Dizzee Rascal, got the whole crowd moving on their feet. Dizzee dashed from stage left to stage right with a continuous enthusiastic performance.
The “bowl” nature of the venue provided good views for those trying to stay out of the path of the flying bottles of wasted lager/ cider/urine. At £5 for a bottle of 200ml Brothers cider- the only place my drinks were going was in my belly!
The Chili Peppers came on stage just after 9pm. The band comprised of Anthony Kiedis (lead singer), Josh Klinghoffer (guitarist), Chad Smith (drummer) and Flea (bassist), quickly established an electric atmosphere opening with Monarchy of Roses before launching into more recognisable classics: Around the World and Dani California. The band’s classic hits, such as Under the Bridge, Tell Me Baby, Otherside, Californication, By the Way (my favorite), Can’t Stop and Around the World (just to name just a few) went down a storm- even if The Zephyr Song and Scar Tissue were disappointingly absent. The band’s six- song encore included Suck My Kiss, Sir Psycho Sexy and Give It Away.
We were all left a bit confused when Flea said **“Thank you Wembley” and were not impressed with the poor coordination of exiting the park as it took quite a lot of people three or more hours to get out, resulting in trains being missed and a theatre being set up for an overnight shelter.
The main set of their music was energetic, which was remarkable for a band who’s not in the first bustle of its youth (28 years old/young) – and perhaps the jamming between themselves did reduce interaction with the faithful fans. A little disappointing, but still a great night with a great crowd of people!! The rain added to the atmosphere and was no mood damper :-)
** It turns out that he may have said “Thank you humbly”. I’m not yet convinced…