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Red Hot Chili Peppers prove why they’re still rock legends to sell-out crowd

The Red Hot Chili Peppers literally burst onto stage with the energy of 21-year-olds mixed with a litter of golden retrievers, to the screams of a totally full Mt Smart Stadium.

RICKY WILSON

The Red Hot Chili Peppers literally burst onto stage with the energy of 21-year-olds mixed with a litter of golden retrievers, to the screams of a totally full Mt Smart Stadium.

REVIEW: they may be of retirement age, but on Saturday night the Red Hot Chili Peppers showed Auckland why they are and always will be rock legends.

In a tight one hour and 40 minute set, Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and guitarist John Frusciante – back with the band for the first time since 2009 – treated the sold out Mt Smart crowd to a lot of their new hits, and a sprinkle of the classics.

Rapper Post Malone opened for the band.

He crashed onto the stage with I Like You (A Happier Song), sporting an I Love Auckland t-shirt – an easy way to win over a crowd.

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For a tatted, dread locked dude, Post Malone smiled a lot, and thanked the crowd profusely, even if there was a “f……” before every thank you.

During his hour-long set, the rapper cycled through his hits, like Psycho, Rockstar and Sunflower, with a self-deprecating joke here and there, such as declaring he was about to sing a song he wrote because he was obsessed with squares, before launching into Circles.

Then it was time for the real show to begin.

Post Malone didn't hide his love for the City of Sails while supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

RICKY WILSON

Post Malone didn’t hide his love for the City of Sails while supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers literally burst onto stage with the energy of 21-year-olds mixed with a litter of golden retrievers, to the screams of a totally full Mt Smart Stadium.

While Post Malone could have been playing any old festival set, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were here to play a concert.

The set began with a jam between Flea, Fruscinate and Smith, before Kiedis joined the band on stage, decked out in red socks (matching with Flea) and a mesh t-shirt.

Kiedis joked he'd secretly been living in Invercargill.

RICKY WILSON

Kiedis joked he’d secretly been living in Invercargill.

The Peppers played at Auckland's Mt Smart on Saturday, and will play at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr on January 26.

RICKY WILSON

The Peppers played at Auckland’s Mt Smart on Saturday, and will play at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr on January 26.

After being joined by Kiedis, we got Around the World, then Dani California, a hit that made the stadium erupt.

Unfortunately, for casual fans, this would only be one of three of their most popular songs they would play all night.

It was obvious the band didn’t hold the crowd’s full attention while they played their newer songs, like Tippa My Tongue, The Drummer or Aquatic Mouth Dance, all from their 2022 albums.

I’m huge on crowd interaction, and I’m not a fan of artists that shuffle out onto the stage, sing their songs, mutter “Auckland” and call it a night.

Flea and Kiedis bounce around the stage with the energy of 21-year-olds.

RICKY WILSON

Flea and Kiedis bounce around the stage with the energy of 21-year-olds.

Flea (real name Michael Peter Balzary) just became a father at 60.

RICKY WILSON

Flea (real name Michael Peter Balzary) just became a father at 60.

However, I made an exception with the Peppers, because what they didn’t give in banter they gave in their musical performance.

We did get a joke about Kiedis living secretly in Invercargill (can you imagine?) and sleeping in bunk-beds with Flea amongst the Rotorua mud. Slightly misplaced Kiwi-isms, but we’ll take it.

The group’s sheer talent blew me away throughout the concert, and to be witness to a band that continues to hold such a significant influence on the music industry made it one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended, despite not hearing Under the Bridge or Can’t stop.

They eventually gave the crowd what they were waiting for in Californication about half-way through, By the Way shortly after, before leaving the stage – only for Flea to walk straight back on in a handstand. Somehow, this made perfect sense.

Anthony Kiedis and co proved they can rock just as hard as ever.

RICKY WILSON

Anthony Kiedis and co proved they can rock just as hard as ever.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were joined by guitarist John Frusciante, back with the band for the first time since his initial exit in 2009.

RICKY WILSON

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were joined by guitarist John Frusciante, back with the band for the first time since his initial exit in 2009.

The band gave it their absolute all for Give It Away as their final encore song, and with thank-yous from Kiedis and Flea, the lights came up.

It was the first time I’d seen the Peppers live, and if I had worried they might not be at their peak any more, I was quickly proved wrong.

To borrow the clich̩ saying Рlike fine wine, the Peppers get better with age, and maybe the addition of one of their best guitarists.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are headed down south to Dunedin to play at Forsyth Barr, before flying across the ditch, Post Malone in tow.

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