It’s been a while that I listened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it just had been a while that I really connected to their music (also because it had been quite a while that they actually had a new album out and everything after Californication was doomed to be a bit of a disappointnment, with I’m With You an actual disappointment). But then I started listening to their last album, The Getaway and it obviously hit me at the right moment and made me fall in love with their music again. So I decided to shell out the steep ticket prices and go to their concert in the Stadthalle in Vienna with my sister. It was with her that I had been on my first and last RHCP concert 10, 15 years or so ago, which wasn’t all that great (maybe because we had seats so high up, I could barely make out what happened on stage and maybe because I was too sad about the fact that I was too young to catch them on their Californication tour).
That’s all so you know the circumstances under which I attended the show, because it’s not easy to navigate the mix of love, nostalgia, (fear of) disappointment and seat trepidation that framed the concert for me. But as difficult as the starting conditions were, I absolutely loved the concert itself. It was a great show.
As a supporting group, RHCP brought in Deerhoof, a group I never heard of before and that really didn’t work for me at all. It started with the irritation that I didn’t ever catch their name. I don’t know if they actually never said it or if I never heard it, but there was also nothing with their name on on-stage, so it took me googling to actually discover their name. But even if that irritation hadn’t been there, there was still the fact that they barely interacted with the audience at all which felt weird. And I couldn’t really get into their music, plain and simple.
It felt more like a relief when they finally stopped playing and it was time for the main act. They came on with a whole lot of energy thankfully, so that the warming up from the supporting group wasn’t actually all that necessary (it also helped, of course, that Anthony Kiedis and Josh Klinghoffer are pretty hot). And after my last concert experience with them was so lukewarm, is was great that they immediately went in hot and pulled me along.
Their set list was great, too (you can listen to the entire thing here, apparently). A good mix with a whole lot of hits and old favorites, which meant that the new album was almost a little neglected (and they didn’t play my favorite song of the new album, The Hunter), but I didn’t mind that.
The light show they brought with them was also great. The moving and colorful lamps made entrancing and fitting forms to accompany their songs. We could see them from our seats really well and really appreciate them (I did take videos of them and had planned to edit them together and do something about the horrible sound, but I haven’t so far, so it’s probably never going to happen – but somebody filmed along and had practically the same seats as me only on the other side of the stage).
Altogether, it was a great evening and I was very happy I chose to buy the ticket after some hesitation (it was really expensive) so that this great experience could wash away my old RHCP concert memories.