LIVE: Little Dragon & Red Hot Chili Peppers, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh

Photos: Little Dragon/Victoria Ford & Red Hot Chili Peppers/Kevin R. Tomich

 My love for music has taken me on a few epic journeys to some great cities—Austin, LA, Miami –to name a few.  I will travel far and wide to catch a show from one of my favorites.  So, when opportunity knocked to catch both Little Dragon AND Red Hot Chili Peppers together, going to this show was a no-brainer.  Called up a friend and hit the road to Pittsburgh, PA.

Arrived to the Consol Energy Center slightly before Little Dragon came on, lights go down Yukimi and crew run out to the stage, then suddenly the stage went completely dark, due to a freak power outage. The band had to re-do the campy run out to the stage bit. Which totally fits their fun, quirky personalities.  As a fan of their music I felt so proud to see them ascend on the concert chain (I remember seeing them in waaaay smaller venues) and play for an almost full house, because we all know how much love the opening acts usually get ( it also doesn’t hurt that Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers bigs you up every chance he gets).


As soon as Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) hit the stage, they ripped into the first of about four jam sessions, its hard to deny their musical force.  The entire arena stayed standing throughout the entire show—yes, even during the slower songs.  I always felt that it has to be murder choosing the songs for the set, yet RHCP pulled it off effortlessly.  Were there songs that I personally wanted to hear?..Yes, but I’m sure those songs will be performed in another city during the tour.

There’s something kinda wonderful about Michael “Flea” Balzary.  Yes, Yes we know that Anthony Kiedis is the frontman, but Flea at 49, with his funky green hair and toned body steals the show.  His energy is still as high if not higher than it was 20 years ago—doing walking handstands across the stage and providing comedy, telling the crowd, “I went to Tiki Lounge last night [on the South Side]. Passed out in my own vomit. Some college students beat the [hell] out of me.”

Age has also set in well for drummer Chad Smith, who obviously gotten stronger with age (see photo below).  Now, while everyone will try to compare Josh Klinghoffer, the new guitarist to RHCP’s former guitarist John Frusciante, I’m going to refrain from that.  Klinghoffer, holds his own quite well judging from how he approached his solos and being victorious during the quickfire sparring challenges that Flea administered.

 But it was Anthony Kiedis who approached the show like a prize winning boxer fighting a life or death match was one of the highlights of the night for me.  He attacked each song like it owed him its life. From the emotionally charged “Under the Bridge”, “Higher Ground” and “Look Around”.  Kiedis, won.

The cool thing about the show is, that every show on the tour is being recorded and available for download here.  Do yourself a favor..If they come to your town—GO!

I’d also like to thank Kevin R. Tomich for the use of his RHCP photos.