Red Hot Chili Peppers at Madison Square Garden

Red Hot Chili Peppers at Madison Square Garden


In my 20 or so years of concert going, I had never seen Red Hot Chili Peppers until their recent run at Madison Square Garden. I do recall the time I saw them do three songs, though. It was at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1998, and Pearl Jam had just left the stage (as supposedly the final act), so people started making their way out of RFK Stadium. It turns out, Pearl Jam decided to gift the last bit of their set to Red Hot Chili Peppers as a form of payback. I was no longer on the floor of the stadium; I was somewhere in the lower tier heading to the exit and had to turn myself around to catch them do their set.

At that point in Red Hot Chili Peppers’ career, I was thrilled to see them even for a short bit. Almost 20 years later, I’m finally glad I got to see them especially as they’ve expanded their catalog beyond the classics “Under the Bridge” and “Give It Away”. The band had sold out the three NYC shows of their The Getaway Tour supporting the 2016 album. Opener Trombone Shorty helped the audience get their strut going before the main act.

With their giant LED screens behind them and synchronized lights dangling above them (and above the floor), Red Hot Chili Peppers put on a funky and fantastic show that started with a short jam from Flea, Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer. When Anthony Kiedis finally joined in, the band bust into “Can’t Stop”. Flea immediately starting repeatedly leaping into the air. The band’s punk energy never flagged throughout a set that included “Zephyr Song”, lead Getaway single “Dark Necessities”, “Californication” and the aforementioned classics.

On the first MSG night, RHCP’s set did feel like it leaned a bit more on the last decade or so of material (I would have liked a few more Californication tracks) but understandably the band was mixing up songs for each of the nights. And while there was a spot or two where it seemed like Kiedis stumbled on his lyrics, those were quickly glossed over. The audience just sang louder. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have not let time, or a soft cast, get the best of them and the storied band is a vital band to see live for any fan of rock.

Source: Red Hot Chili Peppers Blast Through Tremendous Set at Madison Square Garden | PopMatters