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Concert Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers heat up Value City Arena

Veteran rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers brought their California-funk to an enthusiastic Columbus crowd on Sunday night at the Value City Arena.

Bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer opened the show with a fun little jam session before singer Anthony Kiedis joined them as they launched into “Other Side.”

Throughout the next 90 minutes, the band –– with the help of rows of cylinder lights hanging from the ceiling and flowing in different orchestrations and colors above the crowd –– made the cavernous arena feel like an intimate concert venue.

Though the band boasts a career of nearly 30 years, they mostly chose to include songs from the last fifteen years, along with a couple of covers. The Chili Peppers omitted hits like “Soul to Squeeze” and “Higher Ground,” and instead opted for tracks like “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” and “Californication.”

While it was fun to see the band veer into different territory by covering songs by Looking Glass and Talking Heads, I’m not sure it was worth including them when arguably the band’s most notable song “Under the Bridge” was absent from the setlist.

Though the crowd didn’t seem to care about what they weren’t hearing, there was definitely a noticeable bump in energy when they began to play their oldie but goodie, “Suck My Kiss.”

Opening the show was a founding member of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack Irons, who played the drums solo while electronica music filled out the sound, creating a psychedelic musical experience.

Los Angeles band Irontom also opened with an energetic set that primed the crowd for the night’s headliner.

Watching them onstage last night, it was hard to believe that three-fourths of the band members are in their mid-50s. Kiedis and Flea especially seemed to have endless energy and created an incredible live experience for new and old fans alike. I heard people commenting after the show that the band was better last night than they were 10 years ago, proving that age is nothing but a number.

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