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Red Hot Chili Peppers: A Night of Emotion in Grand Rapids, MI

Red Hot Chili Peppers: A Night of Emotion in Grand Rapids, MI

When I was but a small child, I used to sneak my sister’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik tape into my room. I’d unfold the long cassette lyric insert and marvel at the scrawling and fluid script the tracks were written in. That’s where this started for me. I have been listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers for most of my life. As a high school kid, I was thrilled when I heard they were coming to boring little Utah to play. However, I elected not to buy tickets to the show because I felt that at the time they were too expensive, about $25.00 as I recall. I have regretted that choice for many years. As a 34-year-old adult, I have since learned to BUY THE TICKET and take the ride. I recently had the chance to atone for my mistake, and have now crossed that threshold into finally witnessing one of my all-time favorite bands play.

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By the time Red Hot Chili Peppers were supposed to be on stage, I had to keep checking my pulse because I could feel that it was insanely high. I could no longer contain my excitement as I saw Flea walk out with his technicolor dream vest and leopard print hair. This is what I had missed all those years ago and my life had lead exactly to this moment. An interesting intro jam filled the air until all members were present and accounted for. The Chilis lead off with Can’t Stop.

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The lighting production of this arena was like I have never seen. From what I learned, this is specific to their tour and they know how to do it right. A series of cylinders hung from hundreds of ropes that were suspended above the stage and pit area. As the songs played, the lights were moving in colors and actually changing heights, creating an incredible living and moving wave of lights. They formed complex shapes and patterns and it was impossible to look away .

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This was a concert I would go to many times more. We were treated to lots of love and an emotional speech from front man Anthony Kiedis. Being a Grand Rapids native, the arena was bursting at the seams with love and adoration for him. Anthony spoke to the crowd about life and the often harder part of life: death. He explained that his father is not doing well, and as we all must do, he is edging towards death. He imparted his accepting attitude of the journey his father will take as a spirit soon, and asked that the audience give a ten second vocal applause to send his father some joy. It was a beautiful moment.

DSC_4187Another very touching moment came when Flea addressed a rather difficult anniversary for any hardcore Chilis fan. It was 29 years to the day that guitarist Hillel Slovak had passed away. Flea, in a tender and slightly broken voice, asked that we observe a moment of silence for their brother. The night forged ahead with the banger cover of Higher Ground, Aeroplane, The Getaway, Californication, and my favorite upbeat robo-disco tune Go Robot. The setlist can be seen below.

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1.Intro Jam
2.Can’t Stop
3.Dani California
4.The Zephyr Song
5.Dark Necessities
6.The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
7.Fire(The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover) (with Jack Irons)
8.Parallel Universe
9.Go Robot
10.Californication
11.Aeroplane
12.The Getaway
13.Higher Ground(Stevie Wonder cover)
14.Soul to Squeeze
15.By the Way
Encore:
16.Goodbye Angels
17.Give It Away

 

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I was extremely pleased with energy and performance of this band. It was everything I had hoped for and more. I loved seeing Josh Klinghoffer doing his thing. There is nothing lacking in his performance if it were ever a thought in your mind. At the end of the show, Detroit native(the words out of his own mouth!) Chad Smith took a few minutes to say thank you to the massive crowd.

 

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He was genuine and seemed to have enjoyed himself the night before with a couple of surprise pop-up appearances in local Grand Rapids pubs. Before he left the stage, he said ” Thank you Grand Rapids, for Anthony Kiedis”.

Yes, thank you indeed. High school Me can now let go of a bit of that regret.

Meredith

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My name is Meredith and I like music and photography. I've been shooting bands since 2009. I love live music and my favorite bands are 311 and Dirty Heads. I've traveled many miles on this earth to see bands and shoot concerts. Music is part of my soul. I've covered shows from Ringo Starr to Rob Zombie to Willie Nelson. I grew up listening to everything. My mom taught me the value of a good song and I've been a music fan my entire life. When I'm not at a show, I'm home with my family and our many pets. See you at the shows!
About the author
Meredith Newsome

Meredith Newsome

My name is Meredith and I like music and photography. I've been shooting bands since 2009. I love live music and my favorite bands are 311 and Dirty Heads. I've traveled many miles on this earth to see bands and shoot concerts. Music is part of my soul. I've covered shows from Ringo Starr to Rob Zombie to Willie Nelson. I grew up listening to everything. My mom taught me the value of a good song and I've been a music fan my entire life. When I'm not at a show, I'm home with my family and our many pets. See you at the shows!

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