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Reviews

Anthony Kiedis

Red Hot Chili Peppers

They've not played in Reading since the festival in 1999, now the Red Hot Chili Peppers return older and perhaps a little wiser to the Madejski Stadium for a 28,000-strong open air concert. Read the review and see the photos.

INFO

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Support: !!! + Ben Harper

Madejski Stadium
Reading

Monday 3 July 2006

They're not exactly an unpredictable band are they, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Playing a set that is similar to the one at Hyde Park in 2004 - when they last played in England - all they've really done is sewn in a handful of new tracks. Even guitarist John Frusciante's cover of I Feel Love by Donna Summer makes it back in there. 

They're even wearing exactly the same outfits as they have done at every other concert on this tour. Anthony Kiedis jives on in black with a hot pink striped tie, Flea in a paisley-printed cat suit, drummer Chad Smith is in denim and John Frusciante wears a Western shirt.

Anthony Kiedis
Iggy Pop or Anthony Kiedis?

Then again, why change a winning team? The Chilis are giving people what they want: the old classics, rather than shove the 28 songs off Stadium Arcadium, their new double-album, down fans' throats.

And while only playing four new tracks is far too few, no one's complaining.

Instead fans are flailing their arms to Can't Stop (opening song after their usual instrumental intro), Scar Tissue, Fortune Faded, Bloodsugarsexmagick, Californication and By The Way.

You can tell what the crowd favours by the immediate sea of arms punching the air during the upbeat songs, and the Christmassy glow of mobile phone screens peppered through out the 28,000 crowd during the slower, more reflective tracks.

"Ironically, it's the very end that most fans have been waiting for. "

Less new songs also make way for Frusciante's virtuoso improvisations.

And it's Frusciante that steals the show tonight, not only with his axe-man antics but his singing is strikingly strong and beautiful - he's arguably a better vocalist than Anthony Kiedis.

His version of Simon & Garfunkel's Emily, Whenever I May Find Her rings out to a silently admiring crowd. An audible ripple of goose-pimples whizzes right through right to the back, despite it being one of the hottest days of the year.

While sweat and red faces aren't ideal, it is the sunshine and the summer vibe that makes this a gig of two halves - fitting for the World Cup and indeed the football stadium setting.

Kicking off at 9pm, the band are still playing in daylight in what seems momentarily like a summer festival and we've all actually arrived at noon.

But as the sun sets, a blistering light show kicks in - 80s-style red bleeps at either side of the stage become dancing stripes which then turn into heart monitor waves. By The Way is accompanied by a row of blinding foglights dipping in and out, while what look like Northern Lights encase the stage and softly sparkle.

Magical as this is, doesn't quite make up for the lack of chat with the crowd, something they used to do much more of.

Flea manages a hearty "Hiya Reading, thanks for coming" after the funk rock assault of new track Charlie. And Kiedis hurriedly says "We love you very much" before their anticipated encore. But otherwise the concert is notably impersonal.

It isn't through fatigue however - the green tea and yoga must have paid off as each member zings with unfailing energy until the very end.

Ironically, it's the very end that most fans have been waiting for. Hearing the poignant Under The Bridge followed by the adrenalin-charged Give It Away now incites roars and inspires dancing from all corners.

It may be an encore that the Chilis do every time, but some good things in life are meant to be predictable - it's so we know we can expect the best.

And it's the best we get tonight.

last updated: 04/07/06
Have Your Say
Were you there? Tell us what you thought of the gig here:
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Kazi
I am 16 your guys arte assome and cool i also want to make like your dance

ashlyn
i think anthony is a sexy man and i whatch his music videos every day he is so fine!!!!!!!!!!!

ruairi
the chili peppers rock! I am 13 and i am doing a school project on them at the moment it's awesome!!!!!

Tearjerker!
They've been my fave band since 98, when I first heard them at the age of 7, and was besotted!I missed them in Hyde Park,but travelled 8 hours (from an hour north of newcastle to reading) to see them, waited hours for the bus and got right to the barrier at the front,John came over to our side at the front,and the atmosphere was just incredible.Having something thats always been my dream right there in front of me reduced me to tears on several counts, because they've been so inspirational to me and i love them so much!Sorry for waffling, I just love them so much!

anthonya
Red Hot Chili Peppers means everything to me, my love to the band couldnt be any stronger. I love them for their amazing music, their charisma, their energy, their love, their chemistry, and by the way, you know this chemical contact between the band and John, that he talks about? I feel the same. I know this might sounds a little weird and that Im obsessed, but Im just addicted. And yeah, theres a difference. Without the Chilis, I wouldnt survive these years that Ive actually survived. Im fourteen years old now, and Ive listened to the chilis since I was five. Thanks to my dear mother, who gave Californication to my brother. I was totally addicted at that time to, but I didnt knew that the music was rhcp. so, when I was in 4th grade, a friend to me sent a rhcp song, called fortune faded. I listened and realized that it was the same as californication, cause I recognized Anthony's beautiful voice. And since then Ive just listened to them everyday, all the day, every second. I just cant get away from them for more than one minute, I need them. All of the Chilis means a lotlotlot to me, everything. But the one that means most is Anthony. Hes so cute, hes so deep (not too deep), hes so hilarious, hes so insane (in the good way) and hes so smart and hes such a great poet. He means more than everything and anything to me, and I love him more than anything. I dont know what to do without them. Anthony is my man.

bronwynk
yeah m8 u rock peppers

beth!
my first real gig, it was amazing!Does anyone know who supported them?

adam
i didn't see this gig, tho sound like it rocked (hard) wich would come as no surprise as i went to the one last year at don valley stadium. P.S can anyone fill me in on upcoming gigs :)

Lindsey
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are utterly amazing and my love for this band couldn't be any stronger. :DJohn, Chad, Flea, and Anthony are so talented!I love them!!!

BRONWYN K
OMG ANTHONY IS SOOO SEXY I WANNA MARRY HIM I LOVE HIM 2 BITS N I ALWAYS WILL

Ellie
OMG Anthony is SO hot!

Nikki
Oh my god. I love Anthony. Awesome gig, anyway.

James Eden
My first gig. Went 2 some more, Iron Maiden and Tenacious D but this 1 has been the best. Totally worth the money, every single penny. Very fun and exiting.

Crystal
Anthony is a better singer than John, but they're both amazing. I love this band. ~Crystal

henry
you rock

george hadow
this was an absolutely amazing gig!! love the chilies and always will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

samantha
ya band rocks and i am ya big fan

shane
im going to their concert in april when they come to australia and i was wondering if anyone knew if they are going to be playing the same over here??? cant wait to see the show hope its as good as u say

Robert Dawson
the concert absolutly kicked ass, i loved me and my friends

David
It's not astonishing that the the Chilis hate the English press, the gig was awesome but you only care about what they wear! Somethings clearly wrong. I've seen them three times, always had different outfits. Best band in the world. As to not Talking to the crowd, you pay for music, not idle dribble like Bono sprouts on stage every time he gets a microphone.

Callum Winkler
Awesome gig! One of the best!

chris
i was there on 14th july, it was an amazing show, shame that where i was there was a large echo, but that didn't spoil it. the red hot chili peppers really are GODS!!!

Jools
All this review does is criticise the RHCP. I dont care that they wear the same clothes, it looks funky! I didnt like !!!, they were terrible with a terrible name! But the Chili's were really great, apart from the fact that they didnt speak to the crowd much.

kim
has anyone ever died in a chilli mosh??

hayley & lindsey
were 12 and we still love and know almot all of your songs we love your music it takes thinking time to understand what you mean but we figure it out

Sophie
Now that gig was amazing, it was the first time i saw the chilies and probably the last unless they come back to the uk!! anyone know anything?? It gave me such a buzz i couldnt sleep for the next week! I wish they played a few more songs from the B.S.S.M album though! By far the best concert ive ever been to and topless Anthony topped it off!

---
ANTHONY IS GOD WE LOVE U, RHCP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JORDON (M.J)
the red hot chili peppers rule and i think they are the best band in the world. there music is soo good and my dream is to meat anthony one day COOOOL

Joe
the photographs on here are terrible. i could have done better with my mobile phone camera.

Brock
WOW!The chilis were fantastic @ the Don Valley Stadium (Sheffield) on 12th July!The gig was a killer, almost literally: the mosh pits were evil!Regardless of the common criticism, I thought the 1st support act !!! were ace!What are they actually called though?HMV don't know what I'm talking about when I show them !!! to find :(

Jan
Went to 17th July gig at Earls Court!! Absolutely awesome - I enjoyed it more than Hyde Park in 2004, for me the sound was better and it felt more intimate, I do enjoy indoor/stadium gigs. I agree with soneones comments about people there who are not die hard fans, the lads next to me kept dissapearing out for a smoke every 5 minutes but hey its a free world and everyone can't be as totally obssessed with RHCP as I am!! LOVED IT.....can't wait to see them again!!

Cloudy
I was at the Reading gig and last night's Earls Court gig & they were both amazing...who ever said AK can't sing is talking c**p, he even manages to sing well after bouncing around the stage. John has a totally different voice - he sang 'How deep is your love' last night. I thought Chk Chk Chk were good, just couldn't really work out what they were singing about!

Les
the band in question were called (spelling????) chik chik chik. and yes the gigi was amazing, i too have seen them a number of time and i thought that aside from john's usual amazing guitaring,,, anthony was on top top form vocally.

Elliott
What a gig! !!! were awful but ben harper made up for it along with his legendary bassist. although there wasnt much interaction with the crowd, there is no doubt that the chilis are awesome musicians and definitely give the crowd what they want. Absolutely fantastic!

Calum
Im not a massive chilis fan but i know the stuff n enjoy it throughly, i also agree that they didnt talk for hours on whatever they could find... but man they played well, didnt hear a dud note from one of them, Fru stole the show but they each performed 110%! the atmosphere was amazing n we bounced away for its worth, loved every red hot second of it!

DJT
Brilliant, even for a 45+ with his 13 yr old son seeing RHCP for the second time. Great start with cant stop then Dani California. Flea and Frusciante were really tight but probably needed a´biggie´in the middle ~I feel love doesnt do it for me. Great finish. Persuaded my 15 yr old to take him to Earls Court ~the trials of being a dad

dunc clark
christ alive it was good!!!!!!!!! key track = blood sugar sex magik

Lee
Watched at MEN in Manchester and musically they were 100% spot on, they have a lot to make up in terms of showmanship. the visuals are sparse ad poor quality, they do not engage with the crowd, and they fail to uplift the crowd aside from a few anthem tracks. The energy they have and the quality of music should be linked to the crowd and an atmosphere created. Tonight was very much a audio experience only. I vertainly expected more. I would watch them again at a small venue for half the money but wouldnt go to a big gig and pay good money for that. Send them a video of U2 or Prince with a post it reading "showmanship".

phil
chilis were awesome. best band ever live and always will be. ben harper was rubbish and !!! were funny! some people just dont have enough musical diversity. who cares about wearing the same clothes. they look funky and always will do. disappointed they didnt finish with universally speaking though, really thought they were getting into it. well worth seeing again and again.

Sy
Just looking for a girl I met at the gig she was with a guy with blonde hair and a brunette who was taller than her she had shortish brown hair and was wearing cream open shoes did not get your name, thanks for great evening the RHCP were amazing email me selloutnewyork@yahoo.co.uk

K
They where amazing, I didn't go to see what they where where wearing, or even how much they talked to the crowd. I went to hear them play fantastic tunes - and thats what they did. Perfectly.

joel p
I have seen the chilis a few times, not this gig though, and I have to agree with the review, they can be a little bland in terms of the crowd intreraction and whilst the music is the most important thing it is important for the band to show their appreciation. I went to see The Who a couple of weeks back and pete townshend was hilarious, but didn't talk for hours on end, just a few comments and stories here and there. Anthony is not that great a singer and again the review is right in stating John F has the best voice, i have seen RHCP before and Kiedis has been out of tune and it was pretty bad to be honest! As for being the best live act in the world...go and see the Who and Rolling Stones before you judge on that!

Daniel
This reveiw is endemic of the growing 'Pop' fans that have unfortunately decided to follow the Chili's! People now go to concerts like this, ignoring the fantastic support acts, ignoring all of the musically creative and lyrically sublime album tracks, just to hear the 'safe' melodic hit that made it onto 'Top of the Pops'. There were quite a few people that spent almost the entire concert walking back and forwards to purchase hot-dogs and candy floss at extortionate prices. And when finally the Chili's played the 'hit' that these people felt they could sing along to, one of the very few tracks they had actually downloaded to their i-pods, they whipped out their mobile phones and watched the whole thing through a small crap LCD screen! I love the Chili Peppers and for that fact Ben Harper! (the support act). I thought their performances were brilliant! Despite their ages, and the longevity of their careers The Chili's are probably more energetic than many young bands starting out today. They did not disappoint in any way! The only criticism i could possibly have is that it was over all too soon, but then they are only human!

simon
Thought the chillis were great but who were the frist support band? Someone told me it was Dirty pretty things, but i've bought their album and it doesnt sound anything like the band i heard last week!! please help

Karen
Awesome gig! First time i have seen the Chili's and would definately see them again - they rocked the stadium...

Ed
Great gig rubbish review!! All of u who knock ben harper, are so obviously clueless. I saw himtwice in 2days and he is safely cemented as 1 of my favorite live acts (second only to the awesome chilis) The atmosphere at the front was electric, If u dont want to be pushed and squashed, then dont go to the front. simple physics! p.s Who is this guy writing this review? Was he schooled underwater? He knows nothing, NOTHING!!!!

CHLOE!!!!!!!!!!
Great Gig Thanks For That Love Ya! Chloe xxxxx

Mike
Approaching 60, could have felt out of place, not at all, my first time, absolutely magical night. Awesome

Roanne
I thought they were amazing, and although it's true i was supprised that there wasn't much talking it didn't occur to me until after the gig because I just didn't miss it. The musical performance was fantastic enough to stand alone.

Petter from Norway.
The gig was superb, amazing crowd. But I disagree with Justin who said everybody were there to have fun. I watched 2 or 3 guys getting high on ecstasy and running in to others making them fall and hurt themselves.. 12 people had to be carried away because of that. And all of the pushing in front of the stage is not fun, at some stages I was unable to breathe properly. It should be more controlled, like in Roskilde. But the chili's were smoking hot!

Debs
Amazing gig, they get better every time I see them, which is now at a count of 5. John Frusciante, is a legend with the chili's and on all of his solo albums. May there be many more chili and john solo albums to come (and hopefully a solo UK tour from John) I would love that!!! Brilliant gig guys Well done xxx

Chris
Yeah, !!! were the worst thing I've heard since my parents and I stayed in adjacent rooms in a hotel with thin walls. Chilis were amazing, and who cares if they were wearing the same clothes as they have been all tour, it's not as if we knew that! Shame they didn't play Otherside or Zephyr Song, and the lack of chat was a bit meh, but all in all a damn good gig.

Zoe
how can anyone say its always the same stuff,every time they play its unique.The only thing that stays the same is the the massive buzz u get from seeing them.

susie
absolutely awesome. what was even more fantastic was losing my brown birkenstock in a mosh pit, finding somebody elses green birkenstock only to re unite with my own brown birkenstock at the end of the concert!!! a truly magical night

Emma
Great show, I'd say they got the combination of old and new songs just right, I was upset they didn't play my top song Otherside though! Can't Stop was an ace start to the show. Thought !!! and Ben Harper were a waste of time. BTW thanks to Ryan for looking after me when I was getting crushed at the front, cheers all the best to you mate.

Kaysh
Good gig overall - no doubt the Chili's are great live - but just not enough in my opinion. Why bring out a DOUBLE album of new tracks then only play a small handful live? Surely some of the musical 'bending off' could've given way to a couple more songs!

Matthew
Good - shame they didn't do more proper old stuff (pre-BSSM). 1999 was better.

Justin
The gig was superb. My first time - the thing i noticed the most about the gig was not the amazing constant banging out of great tunes. But the amazing atmosphere and unity of the crowd. No-one was there to course trouble or satisfy individual needs. We were ALL there to join in this amazing experience together!

Angie & Doody
We went to the Derby gig & it was much more than anyone expected, some critics have said their music is all the same, they obviously don't know their music!

malkster
5th time i have seen them and they totaly rocked,also ben harper has gained another fan in me...awesome but what were !!! allabout...?

Mike
They were absolutely Amazing, if there were as many people as there were at hyde park, it would have been just as great

Alex
SUCH AN AWESOME GIG CHILIS FOREVER

JEN
4TH TIME I'VE SEEN THEM AND THEY JUST GET BETTER AND BETTER!! AMAZING CAN'T WAIT 'TILL NEXT TIME!!

Adam
Tim, are you me? Hehe, Just that was also my 4th time at the chilis and my opinions exactly match yours. Kerrrazy.

James
They were more than 4 of their new songs, if your gonna do a review at least get the facts right! Danni California, Tell Me Baby, Wet Sand, 21st Century, Snow...

Shane
This was my first RHCP gig - and hopefully not the last!! The set was awesome, bloodsugarsexmagic was a pleasent suprise. Even the Tell Me Baby screw-up was one of my highlights. Altogether AMAZING. Except for !!! - didn't get them at all.

Tim
I have to say I think this is a very fair article. I'm a huge Chili's fan - last night was the 4th time I've seen them live - and whilst I had a great night and enjoyed the show, there were definate aspects I was disappointed with. Namely the lack of new songs. The only new ones they did were predictable and will clearly be singles. With 28 tracks to choose from, I'd expect a wider choice, instead of the same old songs churned out again and again (Californication, By the Way, Under the Bridge). Whilst I know they have to appeal to the fans and play their biggest hits, I'd just like to see them do something a little different. Still, a fantastic live show as always

Siany
My first chili's gig, and i will definately see them again, given the chance!

Gerry
RHCP are NRG. Where do they get the adrenaline + Didn't know Mr Kiedis was a frustrated drummer.Thought even though it was in a stadium, it was a more intimate concert than some of the Rock Festival, Hyde Park gigs. Altogether now 'Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner Sometimes I feel like my only friend ...' Thank You RHCP

Anne
I echo everything that has been said already here under "Have Your Say"! It's a shame the writer of the review isn't so enthusiastic as the rest of us true fans!

Sam Freeman
They were amazing, i can see why people say they are the best live act in the world!! you cant get any better that:)

Linda BBC Berkshire
To Rachel - thanks for your comments. The remark about their garb was just to reinforce that they are fairly predictable - at the end I state that predictability is good, so I wasn't having a pop.

Rachel
Not quite sure whether I agree with all your comments about last nights gig. The chilis are never big talkers as you should know. I would rather go and see a concert of singing rather than people just talking all the time. After all thats what we go for. So what if they wear the same outfits - you wear the same stuff to work??? Being an avid chilis fan - I think the article should have been written a little bit better and perhaps by a fan. The Chilis rocked and I'm sure everyone who went will agree. Fantastic show boys!! We love you!!

Nic
Amazing - Chilis are the best live band Ive seen AK's voice is amazing going back and forth between 'shouty' lyrics to melodies with ease. What a rush!!

Sara
First time I had seen the Chilli Peppers and I thought they were great ! Would definatly see them again

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