Friday, July 29th was one for the books when Red Hot Chili Peppers hit Levi Stadium — the home of the San Francisco 49ers. Tour support for this stop featured big names such as Beck and Thundercat! The show kicked off with Thundercat, who performed in front of a huge sculpture of a cat (which looked amazing!!!). Thundercat had a short, but sweet set with fellow band members on drums and keys. Thundercat unquestionably steals the show with his signature six-string bass and iconic playing of songs like “Interstellar Love”, “How Sway”, “Overseas”, “Dragonball Durag”, “Funny Thing” and fan-favorite, “Them Changes”.
Following Thundercat was the one, the only, the almighty Beck.
My friend once described Beck to me as “a hip hop artist from the 60s”, which after seeing Beck live now is starting to make sense. Beck has a very groovy attitude onstage, with a real swagger about him; his band does, too. They opened with “Devils Haircut”, followed by a blend of “Up All Night / Black Tambourine”, “Wow”, “Que Onda Guero / Nicotine & Gravy”, “Girl”, “Mixed Bizness”, “Go It Alone”, “Lost Cause”, “Debra”, Dreams”, “The New Pollution”, a cover of Gorillaz’s “The Valley of the Pagans” and finally, “Loser” and “Where It’s At”.
If that wasn’t mind-blowing enough, it was time for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who started with a phenomenal intro jam which led perfectly into John Frusciante’s renowned guitar riff at the beginning of “Can’t Stop”. Meanwhile, Anthony Kiedis exploded to the stage wearing all black (except for a pink lightning bolt on his shorts across his crotch). Kiedis’ voice sounded great. It was amazing to see arguably the greatest bassists alive with not only Thundercat earlier, but also Flea! Flea was an animal jumping around onstage with so much energy; he was amazing to watch. As a longtime Red Hot Chili Peppers fan (I mean, who isn’t???), I can’t explain also how amazing it was to see John Frusciante back with the Peppers after he quit back in 1992 due to his battle with drug addiction. Onstage at Levi Stadium, Frusciante seemed happy and healthy, and his guitar playing was out of this world. Last, but not least, we can’t forget about Chad Smith, who held it down on drums with an equal amount of energy to match.
All four Chili Peppers were in their zone and took us on a great ride of a show.
As far as stage production goes, it was as if the stage was one giant screen from the top to the bottom, projecting trippy visuals that reminded me of looking at a giant lava lamp. The rest of the Chili Peppers set was as followed: “Dani California”, Universally Speaking”, “These Are The Ways”, “She’s Only 18” (first performance of the song since 2017 and a tour debut), “Snow ((Hey Oh))”, “Aquatic Mouth Dance”, “Hey”, “Whatchu Thinkin’”, “Wet Sand”, “Tell Me Baby”, “Black Summer”, “Nobody Weird Like Me”, “Californication” and “Give It Away”. For the final encore, the band gave the fans what they wanted and played their classics “Soul To Squeeze” and “By The Way”. All in all, this show was one for the record books. How often do you get to see a tour with not just one GRAMMY-winning artist, but three be multi-GRAMMY winners back-to-back??! Needless to say, you will not regret getting tickets to this show if you can manage to get them. Don’t miss out!
Photography by Katey Schoenberger