the red hot chili peppers performing at bc place, vancouver, bc, canada on march 29th 2023 © Jamie Taylor

Live Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers + City And Colour + King Princess @ BC Place, Vancouver – March 29th 2023

The Red Hot Chili Peppers returned to BC Place on a windy March evening, and despite the temperatures outside, things quickly heated up inside the arena. The band’s iconic guitarist, John Frusciante, had made his return to the lineup, adding a new level of excitement to the show.

First opener of the night was King Princess, a rising star in the music industry who is known for her soulful voice and honest, relatable lyrics. Born Mikaela Straus, the young singer-songwriter made her mark with her debut single “1950,” which quickly became a viral hit. Since then, she has released several critically acclaimed EPs and her debut album “Cheap Queen.” On this night, she did not disappoint. Her set was filled with energy, passion, and raw talent that left the audience mesmerized. She is a force to be reckoned with, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.

Second opener of the night was City and Colour, a Canadian indie folk band fronted by singer-songwriter Dallas Green. Green first gained prominence as a member of the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, but his solo project City and Colour has become a fan favorite for its stunningly beautiful and introspective songs. Green’s soulful voice and intricate guitar playing create a mesmerizing listening experience that has won him legions of fans around the world. With multiple Juno Awards and chart-topping albums to his name, City and Colour are a true Canadian music icon.

When City and Colour took the stage, the crowd took to their feet. Green’s hauntingly beautiful voice and emotionally charged lyrics filled the arena, creating an intimate atmosphere that was visually stunning. His setlist included fan favorites like “Lover Come Back” and “Sleeping Sickness,” as well as newer tracks from his most recent album “Underground.” The audience was captivated by the raw emotion and radiance of his performance, setting the tone for an unforgettable night of music. City and Colour’s set was a testament to the power of music to move and inspire, and it was a perfect complement to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ upcoming performance.

Then, the Chili Peppers took over the night.

From the moment they appeared on that stage, the Red Hot Chili Peppers showed that they were a force to be reckoned with. Flea, with his cool pink hair, jumped all over the stage, bringing an energy that was nothing short of infectious. Despite his age, he moved with the same youthful abandon that he’s always been known for, and his live persona showed a loving and humble side that endeared him to the crowd.

Chad Smith, the band’s drummer, was rock-solid all night long. He didn’t break up the night with any self indulgent solos, he carried the weight of each song with his bombastic pulsing beat. Meanwhile, Anthony Kiedis was a great singer, and his vocals were on point all night long. He even managed to pull off a sexy mesh top that he eventually removed, much to the delight of the crowd, made clear by the droves of whistles and cat calls. Not bad for a young man in his sixties.

The interplay between Flea, John, and Chad made for some amazing jam sessions, with extended intros and outros that added a sense of funky and fun experimentation to the band’s live sound. Specifically, the intro jam for the whole night, which brought the crowd to their feet and had the venue cheering.

The return of John Frusciante to the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a highly anticipated event, and on this evening he did not disappoint. The virtuoso guitarist brought his unique blend of explorative and hyper emotive playing to the stage, and his solos were nothing short of breathtaking. It was clear that he and the rest of the band were in sync, feeding off each other’s energy and pushing each other to new heights. John’s addition to the extended jams added a level of depth and complexity to the songs that was truly awe-inspiring. Watching him play guitar like a god was a sight to behold, and it was clear that he was back where he belonged, making music with his friends.

The setlist was one of the best compilations in recent memory, with fan favorites like “Eddie”, “Wet Sand”, and “Carry Me Home” ticking all the boxes. John played an amazingly emotive guitar solo on “Eddie” that made the hairs on the back of me neck stand up.

The stage setup was simple but powerful, with a giant curving screen that seemed to start below the band and curve the whole backdrop of the stage vertically into the roof, maybe close to 150 feet high. It added a wonderful visual component, highlighting each song with a vivid accoutrement and adding to the overall experience.

As the band took the stage for their encore, the crowd erupted in cheers. They played “I Could Have Lied,” a classic ballad that showcased John’s emotive guitar skills, and then ended the night with “Give It Away,” a high-energy track that had everyone in the arena jumping and dancing along.

Throughout the show, the Red Hot Chili Peppers proved that they are still at the top of their game. Their musicianship was impeccable, and their chemistry on stage was undeniable. There were no unnecessary theatrics or gimmicks – just four guys playing their hearts out and having a great time doing it.

As the concert came to a close, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the opportunity to see this legendary band once again. Their music has been the soundtrack to so many moments in my life, and to see them live is always a special experience. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a true testament to the power of music, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Overall, this may be one of the best versions of the Red Hot Chili Peppers that I have seen in my 27 years of watching them. They still have fun on stage, love what they do, and sound as solid as ever. This was a show that left everyone feeling energized and happy, and I can’t wait to see them again.

In conclusion, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ concert at BC Place was an unforgettable experience that will be etched in my memory forever. With John Frusciante back on guitar, the band brought a renewed sense of purpose and cohesiveness on stage. Flea’s energy was infectious, Anthony’s vocals were on point, and Chad’s drumming was solid as ever. This was a concert that left everyone fulfilled, and I can’t wait to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers again soon.

Find Red Hot Chili Peppers Tickets!

As a bonus, I even managed to snag the setlist, here is a scan of it:

P.S. they had a date-specific poster for the night and it was beautiful

Check out our photo gallery of the night (all photos © Jamie Taylor):

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