The Red Hot Chili Peppers in D.C.

Sidney Sandoval, Editor

Anthony Kiedis Performing “The Heavy Wing”

A perfect evening in the capital: Anthony Kiedis’ very familiar voice, Flea slapping the bass, John Frusciante shredding the guitar, and Chad Smith banging the drums. On September 8, 2022 the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes, and Thundercat gave D.C. an energetic show at Nationals Park. 


When the Red Hot Chili Peppers announced their tour, my sister and I had no choice but to buy tickets, and of course invite their long time fan, my father. The iconic band has been blasted on my father’s stereo for as long as we can remember, but our interest in the band peaked in the last couple of years. On top of the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the main act, the opening acts, Thundercat and The Strokes, amped up our excitement. 


The day of the event arrived and we took the metro to L’Enfant Plaza which was crammed with Red Hot Chili Peppers tee-shirts and later Nationals Park. Unfortunately, our untimely manners and unfamiliarity with the metro system caused us to miss Thundercat’s set, and half of The Strokes’ set was spent navigating the stadium. After being given wrong directions three times, we took matters into our own hands and made it to our seats, which were worth the money. The crowd was full with The Strokes’ fans and we sang along with lead singer, Julian Casablancas, as anticipation for the main act grew.


At around 8:45 P.M, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and returning guitarist John Frusciante took over the stage and played a lively intro jam. The jam slowly morphed into the familiar riff from their hit “Can’t Stop”, and fans sprung to their feet. A few of their classic songs from albums such as By the Way and Stadium Arcadium followed. “Here Ever After” was the first song played from their new album Unlimited Love. The band had a great stage presence with starting members Kiedis and Flea jumping around rocking the shirtless looks and Flea and Frusciante creating tension with frequent guitar battles. The band didn’t do much talking, except for some comments made by Flea. Spirits were a bit less enthusiastic during the third quarter of the set, but were revived when a jam session turned into the riff from the title track of their seventh studio album, Californication . The set ended with their all-energetic song “Give it Away”. Thankfully, the band came back for an encore and Frusciante teased the intro to “Under the Bridge”, but played “I Could have Lied”. The concert was brought to an end with the song “By the Way”.


On the way back, the streets of Washington were crowded and the metro station was a hazard. When the train arrived, passengers were pushed to the point where I didn’t even have to move my own feet. Personal space was a privilege here, but everybody was understanding and in a positive mood. The Red Hot Chili Peppers gave everybody a memorable night and I can’t wait to see what their next album, Return of the Dream Canteen, brings.