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

I finally saw Red Hot Chili Peppers do their funky thing no matter that Kiedis rocked out while wearing a soft-cast boot. Find photos and tour dates here.
Red Hot Chili Peppers

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

11-May Pittsburgh, PA PPG Paints Arena

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

23-May Des Moines, IA Wells Fargo Arena

26-May Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre

28-May Edmonton, AB Rogers Place

29-May Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome

18-Jun Quebec, QC Vidéotron

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