LIVE: Red Hot Chili Peppers @ KOKO, Camden

RHCP back with a bang!

On Friday night the Red Hot Chili Peppers played a free show at an intimate venue, KOKO in Camden. The show, in partnership with Radio 1, was free to all attendees with the band giving away all tickets through a random ballot.

The gig was in aid of promoting their new album, ‘I’m With You’, which was released on 26th August. Produced by Rick Rubin, it is the band's first studio album to feature guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, following the departure of John Frusciante in 2009, and is their first since Stadium Arcadium in 2006.

Zane Lowe was acting as warm up entertaining the hoards of fans that packed out the venue. Playing everything from Jay-Z, Dizzee Rascal and Ed Sheeran to Kasabian, Rage Against the Machine and Queen’s 'We Will Rock You', every possible taste in music had been covered and it was safe to say the crowd were psyched.

Following the addition of guitarist Josh Klinghoffer there has been much talk around the stability of the band and ultimately their potential for further success. In response to this all members have responded positively though with Anthony Kiedis declaring that "there is no question – this is a beginning," whilst drummer Chad Smith stated, "this is a new band. Same name, but it's a new band”. It is because of this that all eyes have been on the chilli peppers this year and it was obvious that all the fans in attendance were prepared to critically judge the performance.  

With a set list built upon By The Way, Californication, hints of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Mother's Milk and finally ‘I’m With You’, it was testament to see that almost everyone in the crowd was singing along to every word. The crowd was made up of all sorts, metal heads, indie lovers, couples of all ages and parents in the over 40’s category. It was amazing to see that not only do the Red Hot Chili Peppers span 20 years of rock history; they've captured the minds and hearts of different generations.

In terms of the show put on, the Chili Peppers were absolutely on fire. With Kiedes jumping and skanking around the stage, Flea banging his signature head roll, Klinghoffer sharply working the guitars and Smith keeping the beat perfectly. The performance was reminiscent of the early Chili Peppers shows, with Flea and Kiedis interacting with the audience, enjoying being on stage and equally as excited about the gig as all those not on stage. 

Josh Klinghoffer has received much criticism as replacement to John Frusciante. Many have said that since his exit, the music is missing Frusciante’s quality to the melody and subsequently lacking in depth, complexity and cohesion. In this intimate gig however, Klinghoffer held his own. The guitar solo’s on tracks like ‘Throw Away Your  Television’ were energetic, his interaction with Flea on tracks like ‘Give It Away’ were entertaining and his control over the numerous guitars he changed between was seriously impressive.

On top of a wealth of classic hits, they performed the new single off the album entitled ‘The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie’ and the crowd absolutely loved it. The track features one of Flea’s catchiest bass lines to date that hums throughout the whole song and performed live you can’t help but nod your head and beat your leg back and forth!

The encore began with a 5 minute instrumental, initially just Smith on drums accompanied by a percussionist, then introducing Flea on the bass, with Klinghoffer pounding on stage and Kiedis proudly watching from the side of the stage. Keeping the fans hooked until the final minute with ‘By The Way’ it was clear that every occupant of Koko could have stayed all night.

The gig was a huge success. With the new music making a sound that we haven’t heard from Red Hot Chili Peppers in a long time combined with their obvious renewed energy and passion for what they are doing, the UK and Ireland tour in November is a definite must see!


(Highlights of the show will be on Zane Lowe's show on Monday 12th September, 7pm)

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