Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers at Big Day Out Sydney
The searing sun had set, a cooler breeze was blowing and the stadium was heaving as fans eagerly awaited the arrival of one of the world’s biggest rock bands to the ‘Big Day Out’ arena, the Red Hot Chili Peppers - and boy was it a show worth waiting hours in the grueling heat for.
Drummer Chad Smith, dressed in red, opened the show with a drum solo before being joined by Josh Klinghoffer on guitar and a purple-haired Flea on bass. Like a true rock star, Anthony Kiedis waited for the crowd anticipation to build before literally jumping onto the stage in a trucker cap, suit jacket and a purple t-shirt printed with a huge number ’13.’
Recent hit ‘Monarchy of Roses’ was the opening track, followed by RHCP classics ‘Around The World,’ ‘Scar Tissue,’ and ‘Snow (Hey Oh),’ by which time Kiedis had stripped off everything but his pants and shoes.
As expected, the real sing-a-long jams of the set were ‘Under The Bridge’ and ‘By The Way,’ which saw the entire stadium pumping as the crowd made every attempt to be heard over the top of the band.
While the boys chose not to go down The Killers’ route of on-stage pyrotechnics, the hectic LED screens and beautifully shot footage projected onto the two big screens made for an epic and world-class stage spectacular.
The award for most interesting band member of the night went to Flea, who took every opportunity to launch into a spoken verse of prose or soliloquy about world peace, which all seemed to be positively received by the enthusiastic crowd.
Like every great rock band, you can’t end a show without a killer encore, and the Chilis delivered once again. With Anthony taking his time to rejoin his crew onstage, Chad, Josh and Flea enjoyed jamming before Kiedis made his entrance for ‘Higher Ground.’
The boys then prepped for their big finale by rocking out with two crowd favourites - iconic nineties tracks ‘Soul To Squeeze’ and the elastic funk hit ‘Give It Away,’ before indulging in one final instrumental session.
With Kiedis’ vocals in spectacular form and the rest of the band performing with the energy you’d expect from men 20 years their junior, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single Chilis fan who wasn’t totally blown away by the epic 90 minute set.
Written by Lucy Slight