live music: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS x PRUDENTIAL CENTER x 5.4.12

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Prudential Center, Newark, NJ May 4, 2012 – What a day this was to remember. Earlier in the day, news of Beastie Boy MCA’s death from cancer was breaking fast. I was kind of in shock for a moment when I first read about it. It instantly brought back memories from my youth growing up listening to them. I was fortunate enough to have seen the Beasties perform 2 or 3 times over the years as well as shooting some pics of AD ROCK last year.

One of the things I love about seeing live music is it’s ability to make all that might be bad or sad at the moment, temporarily go away. And that’s just what the Red Hot Chili Peppers did for me. They helped me turn something very sad and tragic into a celebration of MCA’s life.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Fresh off their recent induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, the Chili Peppers made a stop at the Prudential Center in beautiful downtown Newark, NJ. The band came out with a tremendous amount of energy and funk. They immediately tore into the newish single “Monarchy of Roses” from last year’s “I’m With You” album.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Chili Pepper frontman, Anthony Keidis came out sporting a green t-shirt with the Letter’s “MCA” written in black marker across the front. Flea thrashed about the stage with his bass, Chad Smith beat his drums to death and a very pleasant surprise was newish guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer. I hadn’t heard or seen him perform live since he joined the band. He whirled about and rocked it out hardcore. I was very impressed. The guy sounds like a great fit.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Right before the next song “Around The World” off “Californication”, Keidis dedicates the show to the Beasties Adam “MCA” Yauch…then Flea tears into a quick Beasties tribute “Gratitude” on his bass. The arena went crazy with applause. The band worked up the crowd as well as themselves into a frenzy, as they whirred and thrashed about…delivering the goods to a hungry sold out arena.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Next up was “Otherside”, another track from “Californication”. Prior to this song, Anthony Keidis reflected back on a few his memories about Yauch and how much he meant to the band. You can see the emotion from within Flea and Keidis. A very poignant moment.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Pound for pound, I don’t think there are too many bands out there that pack the punch that the Chili Peppers deliver. Even the sheer longevity of the band is commendable. They’re still as frenetic as they were 25 years ago. The keep on keepin’ on and moving up to higher ground.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Prudential Center. Photo by Joe Russo.

Setlist:
Monarchy of Roses
Around the World
(The band dedicates the show to Adam Yauch)
Otherside
(Anthony Kiedis talking about Adam Yauch)
Dani California
Charlie
Look Around
Throw Away Your Television
Strip My Mind
The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
Can’t Stop
Under the Bridge
Goodbye Hooray
Californication
Higher Ground – (Stevie Wonder cover)
By the Way

Encore:
Chad & Mauro Jam – (Beastie Boys So Watcha Want Jam)
Sir Psycho Sexy
They’re Red Hot – (Robert Johnson cover)
Did I Let You Know
Give It Away
Final Jam

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