Funk rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers brought its Getaway Tour to a packed house at Atlanta’s Philips Arena Friday night.
The night started with RHCP bassist Flea being the first person to take the stage to introduce the first of two openers, Jack Irons. Flea told the Atlanta crowd how he and Irons originally became friends in the sixth grade. As fate would have it, Irons would later go on to become the founding drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Fast forward thirty plus years, and he’s now a solo artist on tour again with his original band mates. Jack Irons performed a set of his own drumming work set to a light jazzy musical backing track to start of the evening.
The next performance was Japanese metal-idol band, Babymetal. The band consists of three young girls, two of them still teenagers, and a backing band clad in traditional Japanese robes. The most accurate way to describe their performance would simply be to say they feature heavy metal music, Alvin and the Chipmunks-esque vocals, and elementary school play-like choreography, all twisted together into one bizarre show. Maybe it’s huge in Japan, but I’m pretty sure it was over most everyone else’s heads.
Finally it was time for the main act. As soon as the spotlight hit Chad Smith nonchalantly striding over to his drum kit it was clear the audience was in for some top tier entertainment. Red Hot Chili Peppers have been around for over thirty years and the decades of experience were clear. The entire band exuded calm confidence yet frantic energy for their performance. Anthony Kiedis, Flea, and Josh Klinghoffer all jumped and ran about the stage like they were just a couple young guys in a rock band, despite the fact Flea and Kiedis are both in their mid-fifties.
Their first song was “Can’t Stop.” They followed that with hits like “Snow (Hey Oh),” “Dark Necessities,” “Dani California,” and “Go Robot,” all sprinkled throughout the setlist. They played 19 songs (including three covers) at their Atlanta show, pleasing the crowd with a non-stop energy set that conclude with their classic “Give It Away.” It was clear by the end of the night how and why RHCP have been able to remain on top after all these years.
The North American leg of the Getaway World Tour ends in Chicago on July 1.