Red Hot Chili Peppers Blast Through Tremendous Set at Madison Square Garden

by Sachyn Mital

27 February 2017

cover art

Red Hot Chili Peppers

15 Feb 2017: Madison Square Garden — New York

In my 20 or so years of concert going, I had never seen Red Hot Chili Peppers until their recent run at Madison Square Garden. I do recall the time I saw them do three songs, though. It was at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1998, and Pearl Jam had just left the stage (as supposedly the final act), so people started making their way out of RFK Stadium. It turns out, Pearl Jam decided to gift the last bit of their set to Red Hot Chili Peppers as a form of payback. I was no longer on the floor of the stadium; I was somewhere in the lower tier heading to the exit and had to turn myself around to catch them do their set.

At that point in Red Hot Chili Peppers’ career, I was thrilled to see them even for a short bit. Almost 20 years later, I’m finally glad I got to see them especially as they’ve expanded their catalog beyond the classics “Under the Bridge” and “Give It Away”. The band had sold out the three NYC shows of their The Getaway Tour supporting the 2016 album. Opener Trombone Shorty helped the audience get their strut going before the main act.

With their giant LED screens behind them and synchronized lights dangling above them (and above the floor), Red Hot Chili Peppers put on a funky and fantastic show that started with a short jam from Flea, Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer. When Anthony Kiedis finally joined in, the band bust into “Can’t Stop”. Flea immediately starting repeatedly leaping into the air. The band’s punk energy never flagged throughout a set that included “Zephyr Song”, lead Getaway single “Dark Necessities”, “Californication” and the aforementioned classics.

On the first MSG night, RHCP’s set did feel like it leaned a bit more on the last decade or so of material (I would have liked a few more Californication tracks) but understandably the band was mixing up songs for each of the nights. And while there was a spot or two where it seemed like Kiedis stumbled on his lyrics, those were quickly glossed over. The audience just sang louder. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have not let time, or a soft cast, get the best of them and the storied band is a vital band to see live for any fan of rock.

Trombone Shorty:

Red Hot Chili Peppers:

[Intro Jam]
Can’t Stop
Dani California
Zephyr Song
Dark Necessities
The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
Right on Time
Go Robot
Sick Love
Search and Destroy (Iggy and The Stooges)
The Getaway
Suck My Kiss
Under the Bridge
By the Way
[encore break]
Goodbye Angels
Give It Away

2-Mar   Denver, CO   Pepsi Center
4-Mar   Glendale, AZ   Gila River Arena
5-Mar   San Diego, CA   Valley View Casino Center
7-Mar   Los Angeles, CA   Staples Center
8-Mar   Los Angeles, CA   Staples Center
10-Mar   Los Angeles, CA   Staples Center
12-Mar   Oakland, CA   Oracle Arena
15-Mar   Portland, OR   Rose Quarter - Moda Center
17-Mar   Seattle, WA   Key Arena
18-Mar   Vancouver, BC   Rogers Arena
12-Apr   Washington, DC   Verizon Center
14-Apr   Atlanta, GA   Philips Arena
15-Apr   Raleigh, NC   PNC Arena
17-Apr   Charlotte, NC   Spectrum Center
19-Apr   Columbia, SC   Colonial Life Arena
22-Apr   Little Rock, AR   Verizon Arena
24-Apr   Jacksonville, FL   Veterans Memorial Arena
26-Apr   Orlando, FL   Amway Center
27-Apr   Tampa, FL   Amalie Arena
29-Apr   Miami, FL   American Airlines Arena
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13-May   Cleveland, OH   Quicken Loans
14-May   Columbus, OH   Schottenstein Center-
16-May   Louisville, KY   KFC Yum! Center
18-May   Indianapolis, IN   Bankers Life Fieldhouse
19-May   Cincinnati, OH   US Bank Arena
21-May   Kansas City   Sprint Center
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26-May   Winnipeg, MB   MTS Centre
28-May   Edmonton, AB   Rogers Place
29-May   Calgary, AB   Scotiabank Saddledome
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20-Jun   Montreal , QC   Bell Centre
22-Jun   Hamilton, ON   FirstOntario Centre
23-Jun   Ottawa, ON   Canadian Tire Centre
25-Jun   Grand Rapids, MI   Van Andel Arena
30-Jun   Chicago, IL   United Center
1-Jul   Chicago, IL   United Center

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