Live review

Red Hot Chili Peppers
London Arena, London : 26.6.2002

Usually when a well-known rock band - in this case who carry a lot of weight and have been around for over a decade - play at a large venue such as London Arena you'd expect a decent new or fairly well-known support act to open. However at this show, opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers was Andrew W.K., which in my opinion seemed almost like an insult to the main band.
    Playing tracks such as She Is Beautiful and I Love NYC, the only thing Andrew seemed to be good for was target practice for members of the crowd, who booed constantly and threw bottles at him and his band members. The embarrassing thing about Andrew W.K. is that, although once labelled as a 'rock genius' by the media, each of his songs sound more or less the same; all using a retro 80s metal formula with Andrew using a piano in the middle. What makes it even worse is the way Andrew hops around with one foot lifted up, acting as if he had invented a new dance move. Finishing with Party Hard, it was a relief that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were due on very soon.

After a ridiculous extended wait, the Red Hot Chili Peppers pounced on stage to an ecstatic crowd with the current new single By The Way, which was followed by Scar Tissue and Around The World. At one point frontman Anthony Kiedis referred to the crowd as "the dog's bollocks", making sure that we understood it in its good meaning. As the band went through each song, Anthony displayed a variety of slick and graceful twists and turns on the stage as he sang.
    Although well-known for their onstage antics, apart from Flea delivering oddball, comical speeches about liking each and everyone of England's attractions, and introducing new material, this time the band managed not to strip on stage and end up naked. Overall this show is proof that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are still on top form as one of the world's best loved rock bands.

:: Ben Lewis

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