Rock: the Red Hot Chili Peppers ignite the Stade de France

Rock: the Red Hot Chili Peppers ignite the Stade de France


Almost ten years ago, on June 30, 2012, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were already headlining at the Stade de France. At the time, their guitarist was called Josh Klinghoffer. This Friday, July 8, while the arena of Saint-Denis is packed for the first of the two performances that the group will give, the six-string attendant is none other than John Frusciante, already in charge between 1988 and 1992, then from 1998 to 2009, before returning to his post in 2019.

And the long instrumental jam that begins the concert, with its long guitar solo, seems above all to be a way for the musician to proclaim that he is indeed back! Before a roar of Flea’s bass announces the first real song, the hit “Around The World”.

Comments from Flea, Kiedis’ shirtless

In the stadium, it is immediately the effervescence! It dances everywhere, on the lawn as in the stands. The sound is however not ideal, even downright swampy at times, marked by the rhythms of drums of a literally unleashed Chad Smith this evening. Just like Flea, who aligns posturing and goat jumps throughout the evening.

The singer, Anthony Kiedis, has himself decked out in an outfit as he has the secret: red jacket, shorts with high socks, cap on his head and his face crossed out with a big mustache. Frusciante, finally, is the most sober, preferring to keep his energy to deliver some solos always well felt.

Stade de France, Friday July 8. Flea set the stage on fire…and even took the time to take a stand in favor of abortion, a right under threat in the United States. LP/Olivier Arandel

Because at his side, his friends deliver a happy mess, as usual. Improvisations, comments (Flea asking: “Was someone present at the Grand Rex concert in 1988?”, the first given by the Americans in our capital, or asserting himself later, before “Pea”, “Pro choice », in favor of the right to abortion), extended introductions, and even a short drum solo before the second real song, « Dani California », the Red Hot dare everything!

Kiedis quickly drops his jacket to remain bare-chested, so much the better for the first rows, the others enjoy the superb light effects used on a few titles, with very psychedelic effects, it sometimes feels like multicolored lava flows are falling from the scene.

Stade de France, Friday July 8.  Anthony Kiedis falls high amid psychedelic light shows.
Stade de France, Friday July 8. Anthony Kiedis falls high amid psychedelic light shows. LP/Olivier Arandel

The new album, “Unlimited Love”, which was number 1 in sales in France, is hardly played this evening, only four titles, a little passed unnoticed in the middle of all the hits, except “These Are The Ways enthusiastically, which Flea, decidedly talkative, defends by arguing that it is a “damn good song”. We approve.

But it must be recognized that, compared to “Suck My Kiss”, “Otherside”, “Soul To Squeeze”, “Californication” or the remarkable final “Give It Away”, which provoke real crowd movements, the other titles do not do not trigger the same fervor. Not even the totally unexpected “Pea”, from the cursed album “One Hot Minute”, from which the Red Hot almost never play any excerpts.

Ultimate clowning for the encore, Flea joins the stage walking on her hands! Not enough to impact his dexterity on the two remaining tracks, two mega-hits that ended up putting the 80,000 or so people present in a trance: “Under The Bridge” and “By The Way”.

In the end, probably not the band’s best performance in Paris, but not the worst either, thanks to a much more pronounced stage energy than ten years ago in the same place, a real concert that lasts a bit (1h50 this Friday night). And special mention to John Frusciante, who did well to come back!

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