Nissan Stadium @BenNeelyPhotography

Red Hot Chili Peppers With Thundercat And The Strokes At Nissan Stadium

Red Hot Chili Peppers are like the funk-rock equivalent to an Adam Sandler flick. You know exactly what you are getting yourself into and it’s guaranteed to be fun.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
RHCP Nissan Stadium Nashville @benneelyphotography -LiveNationTN 2022

Smack dab in the middle of releasing two albums—April’s Unlimited Love and the upcoming Return of the Dream Canteen— in one calendar year, the Chili Peppers are touring with the likes of The Strokes and bass wizard, jazz-fusion bandleader supreme Thundercat. Their Global Stadium tour visited Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans, on Aug. 12, 2022, and it was exactly the raucous good fun you’d expect.  

The gang’s back together

The 2022 tour marks the return of guitarist and all round cosmic musician John Frusciante, who helped make “Give It Away,” “Under the Bridge,” “Scar Tissue,” and “Californication” some of the most iconic songs in the band’s lengthy discography. It’s their first tour in more than a decade with John Frusciante back in the fold. No wonder tickets sold out fast!

Red Hot Chili Peppers
RHCP Nissan Stadium Nashville @benneelyphotography -LiveNationTN 2022

“Walking into Nissan Stadium with RHCP logos everywhere reminded me of a school field trip I had to the Parthenon in Nashville back in 1991. We stopped at Coolsprings Mall and that is where I purchased one of my first cassette tapes. “Blood Sugar Sex Magic”  I listened to that tape front to back many times. With my Pioneer tape player you could rewind one song at a time and back then  “I Could Have Lied”  got played a lot. Hats off to LiveNation and RHCP Management for putting on an unforgettable show!” Ben Neely

Thundercat Nissan Stadium Nashville @benneelyphotography -LiveNationTN 2022
Thundercat Nissan Stadium Nashville @benneelyphotography -LiveNationTN 2022

Higher Ground

After Thundercat mesmerized, the Strokes got the night started walking out to Kraftwerk‘s “Kometenmelodie 2”. They played a mix of songs from their early 2000’s heyday like “Reptilia”, off of 2003’s Room on Fire, and selections from their most recent album, The New Abnormal, including “Bad Decisions” and “The Adults Are Talking”. Many of the songs on the setlist were culled from 2001’s Is This It, among them “Hard to Explain”, “New York City Cops”

Next up The Strokes walked onto Stage and lit up the day. Ending with Someday as the crowd song along .

The Strokes Nissan Stadium Nashville @benneelyphotography -LiveNationTN 2022
The Strokes Nissan Stadium Nashville @benneelyphotography -LiveNationTN 2022
The Strokes Nissan Stadium Nashville @benneelyphotography -LiveNationTN 2022

Unlimited Love 

Having read Anthony Keidis’ book Scar Tissue earlier this year, I was primed for Chili Pepper fun. And whatever you think of their music, they are indeed hard-working musicians who have made an everlasting career out of doing what they want when they want to do it…hence the two albums this year. Weirdly enough, despite being a huge music junkie, I have never seen the Chili Peppers live and they did not disappoint. 

Soul to Squeeze 

After The Strokes’ opening set, Red Hot Chili Peppers busted onto the stage and launched into an intro jam that ultimately gave way to a funky “Can’t Stop”. Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and John Frusciante—who have become rock stalwarts that we take for granted—played an 18-song set, occasionally stepping outside of their well-known fan favorites to include some covers that are near and dear to their souls. 

Give It Away

Say what you will about Red Hot Chili Peppers, but the venerable funk-punk road dogs put on one hell of a show. The long-running Los Angeles quartet has had a Music City stop on most of its tours since the mid-1980s — including a show at Exit/In circa Thanksgiving 1987, when legend has it they had a full turkey dinner backstage — and Friday night they played their biggest yet when they pulled into Nissan Stadium, and purely rocked. 

“It was 30 years ago when I first saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers on mtv Playing “under the bridge” with Anthony Keidis’s hair flowing like an angel.  So when chad smith started playing and flea started dancing around with John head banging his heart out I had goosebumps!  And then out of no where Anthony came on stage and he sounded like perfection. I have seen bands play after 30 years and they sound horrible with the drugs and the alcohol their voices do not stand the test of time this band stands the test of time. I would absolutely go again” – Alexis Ramos RHCP Fan

By the Way

I was hoping they would play the Flea-composed song “Pea” from their divisive album One Hot Minute, or the old jam “Real Men Don’t Kill Coyotes” but alas they did not and that’s okay; the show was super fun and that is all you can ask for in this life.

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