The Red Hot Chili Peppers – Live @ Spark Arena, Auckland 2019

The Red Hot Chili Peppers – Live @ Spark Arena, Auckland 2019

Performing for the first time in more than six years the alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers kick off their first night’s tour at Spark Arena to a buzzing crowd. The place is packed to capacity with people young and old, everyone is in for an exciting night.

WORDS BY MONIQUE OHLSON | PHOTOS BY DAVID WATSON

With four mini-LCD screens in a half moon circle above the main stage I am intrigued to see how these play a part in the night. Coming on stage ready for action, I now see they are exactly that, mini screens that prove the main role in tonight’s epic visual display.

Hitting the night off with a very iconic song, ‘Can’t Stop’, everyone knows the words, I’m half deaf by all the screaming fans and enthusiastic people surrounding me dancing to the beat of the night. lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis is right on point tonight and with so much energy I feel tired just watching him.

Cracking straight into ‘Fortune Faded’, long-haired rock bashers are moshing everywhere you turn. The lighting effects are certainly something spectacular, shining all over Spark Arena lighting up the place. Along with the LCD screens showing each band member with a different type of effect with it, be it flashing, strobing or even space invaders, oh my god amazing!

Heading off again with ‘Scar Tissue’, this being one of their most successful songs, I’m finding my groove into this night with all the greats. Flashing lights, video effects and a whole amount of wicked energy, this has to be epic.

Taking a moment to breathe, bassist Flea thanks us for having them and for being an amazing crowd. Wearing a very creative white top with multicoloured pants, he is every bit part of the visual aids they have tonigh.

Things take a slower turn while they change up their songs and perform slower and less well-known songs. The likes of ‘Strip My Mind’ and The Stooges ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ are enjoyable. very unexpected, yet they pull it off.

Anthony takes his shirt off to a stadium of wolf-whistles for his rock-hard abs. Bringing the attention back, ‘Californication” proved to be a crowd pleaser with the room exploding, energy and excitement from the fans matching the band as more t-shirts start coming off and being swung above heads.

This is a very enthusiastic crowd that’s for sure.

The band perform the 2002 hit “By The Way”, which in turn makes me feel a wee bit nostalgic as I remember when this was actually released. Getting right into the notes played by the fantastic musicians, I am just captivated at how much this song seems to be known by every single person in the room.

Then, sadly just when you’re really getting warmed up, the show ends. I know it has to end sooner or later, I’m just not quite done yet.

House lights have not yet come up, so their quick thanks you must mean there is an encore. Right?

Five minutes of foot stamping, chanting ‘encore, encore, encore’ and clapping from pretty much every single fan in the room the lads are back on stage.

Performing a slower song ‘Dreams of a Samurai’, which I personally haven’t heard, I quite enjoyed it. It brought lots of emotion to the evening. You could see it when it was performed by every single band member on stage. Not just through the way their face was, but by how they were each really taking the time to feel the music being played and each playing up to each other as if it was almost a game.

Lastly and of course a great, finishing their entertaining night off with “Give it away”, I am happy. Perhaps I am just greedy, but ‘Under the Bridge’ would have just made the night totally epic if this was also included as part of the set list, but I am still happy with the songs performed tonight.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers delivered an amazing show, thank you for returning back to little old New Zealand. Please come back again soon.

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