Written by Bill Whiting
Photos by Scott Preston
Los Angeles, California’s favorite sons, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, brought their I’m With You Summer 2012 tour to Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena on June 6, and put on one of the best concerts of the year. Beginning the show with the opening track from their latest disc, I’m With You, entitled “Monarchy of Roses,” drummer Chad Smith and bassist Michael “Flea” Balzary locked into a heavy groove that continued into the shredding chords of the evening’s second number, “Can’t Stop.” New lead guitarist Josh Klinghoffer played the opening notes to “Scar Tissue,” and the arena erupted into loud shouts of appreciation. Klinghoffer easily navigated his way around the material, and added screaching leads to the radio hit, “Dani California.” The top of the pops revue was a consistent theme as the Red Hot Chili Peppers have seven Grammys, and have sold over 65 million albums worldwide to date. “Throw Away Your Television” emphasized the band’s enormous stage, and multiple screens that gave every patron the advantage of a close up view of the live Chili Pepper experience. Singer Anthony Kiedis led the ensemble through I’m With You’s chart topper, “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” and Klinghoffer brought the arena’s denizens to their feet on “Under the Bridge.” Plenty of bouncing, dancing about, storytelling and light humor from the Red Hot Chili Peppers made for a memorable and enlightening two hours on an early June night. A nod to their primary years in punk clubs yielded a winning version of the old school nugget, “Me and My Friends.” Then, the long waterfall of FM staples led to the end of their set as they serenaded the Cincinnati faithful with “Californication,” “Suck My Kiss,” and the sing a long, “By the Way.” After a standing seventies style ovation that burned mightily with the glow of cigarette lighters, the Red Hot Chili Peppers jammed into a funk filled mini encore set that included a blazing breakdown of “Sir Psycho Sexy, the brutal knife edge rap of Robert Johnson’s “They’re Red Hot,” and the summarizing slam that finalized the concert in appropriate fashion, “Give It Away.” Another winning show from the Red Hot Chili Peppers leaves one in rabid anticipation of their next recording and subsequent tour.
Setlist: Monarchy of Roses, Can’t Stop, Charlie, Scar Tissue, Dani California, Look Around, Throw Away Your Television, Hard to Concentrate, Factory of Faith, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie, Under the Bridge, Me & My Friends, Californication, Suck My Kiss, By the Way
Encore: Chad & Mauro & Josh Jam, Sir Psycho Sexy, They’re Red Hot, Soul to Squeeze, Give It Away
Be sure to check out more photos from the show here.