UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Chili Peppers Awe Boston Viewers


Red Hot Chili Peppers vocalist and frontman, Anthony Kiedis

The Red Hot Chili Peppers took to the stage on Feb. 7 at Boston’s TD Garden, as part of their Getaway World Tour. This Los Angeles-based band started their tour in May 2016 to promote their newest album, “The Getaway.”

Boston is the largest of the five stops that make up the Getaway World Tour. The tour itself spans four continents and includes over 140 shows. The North American leg of the trip is the largest, due in part to the fact that additional shows were added in certain cities when tickets sold out quickly and there was additional demand. Boston just so happened to be one of those cities. The North American part of the tour is the third of the five legs, and includes show dates that run from January to July.

The show started when the Chili Peppers’ guitarist Michael Peter Balzary, better known as Flea, walked on stage to introduce Jack Irons, a former Chili Peppers member and the founding drummer of the group. Despite the connection to the band, Irons did not have the same good feel during his individual opener, which consisted of a cacophony of drums paired with background videos that I can best describe as trippy.

The second opener made up for Irons’ noise. The next performance was by Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, who describes themselves as a “hard-edged funk band that employs hip-hop beats, rock dynamics and improvisation in a jazz tradition” on their website. The group’s variety of instruments (including the guitar, drums, saxophone, and brass) made a jazzy-funky fun opener.

After that came the performance that everyone had come to see: the Red Hot Chili Peppers. While the band is 34 years old, they have not lost their touch, which showed in the fact that the show sold out and nearly every seat was filled. The crowd ranged from kids to adults to the 50-and-over year old rockers.

A strong opening of classic Chili Peppers’ music, which included “Californication,” got everyone out of their seats and singing along with RHCP frontman, Anthony Kiedis, while Will Farrell look alike drummer Chad Smith and Flea played the tunes that the Chili Peppers are known for. In addition to the three older members, the band was accompanied by 37-year old guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who joined the band in 2007, and Nate Walcott, who joined the band in 2016 as their band’s touring background pianist.

The band opened up with some of their older songs, but they also played songs like “Dark Necessities,” which was released in 2016 as a single. However, this single is included in the group’s newest album, “The Getaway,” which was released in June 2016.

While I wasn’t a big fan of the newer tracks, the lightshow and background video that went along with the music helped to keep my attention as tube-shaped lights of various colors descended from the ceiling at varying speeds, turning the audience that was blue one minute and red the next. The live video that ran throughout the show included the band members in different hues.

Some of the outfits the band sported were quite notable, which included Flea’s pants, which were comparable to Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in that they were made up of different squares of color. Kiedis eventually took off his shirt to show off the various tattoos that cover his body, which are commonly seen in pictures of the group.

While Kiedis was not able to move as much, with one of his legs in a cast, he still hopped around the stage, and Flea later walked on his hands to the front of the stage.

Te show had a few flaws, but it still proved that the band is strong despite the recent injury to their front man. The diversity in the age of the audience members proves that while the band and its members are aging, they are still drawing new generations of followers. Between the music, the video, the lights, and the various colors, the band gave the audience more than just a something to enjoy listening to, but something for their eyes to be in awe of.
What the Chili Peppers gave their audience that night was an awesome show.