“We are so happy and honored to play here, we never thought we would ever get the chance to come to Beirut and play to you guys, thank you so much. Support music, bring the people together! We’ll never forget this night!”, said RHCP’s bassist Flea at the end of the 2-hour show. A night that started with “artistic boycott” flyers being distributed on the way to the venue, something that didn’t stop thousands of attendees from enjoying a memorable night watching the ultimate RHCP live performance – we’ll get to that shortly.
Since Mashrou’ Leila cancelled their opening slot for this event, most of us weren’t yet familiar with the replacement band Pindoll, and oh were we in for a treat. This female-led Indie band are so professional it’s impossible not to be impressed with their performance, creativity and musicianship. Their music is a mix of Cabaret, Jazz and Rock, which reminded me of the smooth jazzy songwriting of Madder Mortem mixed with Stolen Babies’ craziness. They proved to be so highly entertaining and fresh-sounding that they’re bound to go international very soon. Make sure to give this band a listen on their soundcloud, and join their Facebook page for their latest events’ details.
There was a 45-minute wait before the main event of the night as the stage was being “upgraded” for RHCP; we’re talking more lights, custom monitors and roadies testing out all the instruments. Blues music was played at a low volume, as if it’s stabilizing the crowd’s mood after an exciting Pindoll performance.
After their recent “I’m With You” release and the new-found spirit with guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, Red Hot Chili Peppers’s live performances are better than ever, with extended improvised jams between songs, experimental wizardry (especially from Josh) and groove mania with drummer Chad Smith, percussionist Mauro Refosco and bassist Flea.
The setlist featured some songs from the new album like Monarchy Of Roses, The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie and Look Around as well as hit songs like By The Way, Can’t Stop, Give It Away, Californication, Otherside, Under The Bridge and Throw Away Your Television. With 3 giant screens entertaining the crowd (especially the far-positioned seated attendees), everyone was either clapping, singing or jumping like crazy (and even all 3 at once); it was surely a night to remember.
With a 30-year musical history under the belts and with the evolution they’ve shown with “Stadium Arcadium” and “I’m With You”, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees Red Hot Chili Peppers are not even close to the end of their career. Their show at Beirut Waterfront is my favorite local event this year, and with the positive way they connected with the crowd, this surely won’t be their last concert in Lebanon!