After a wild summer of playing sold out stadiums in the US and beyond, Red Hot Chili Peppers returned to New York City to play one of the smallest-capacity shows of their tour on Tuesday night (September 13th). Although The Apollo Theater doesn’t have the size of, say, New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, it certainly has the history. “I’m standing where Duke Ellington stood,” said Flea early on in the show, making sure the band paid their respects to one of the most legendary performance venues in the country.
Luckily, Red Hot Chili Peppers definitely know how to bring their best to a legendary location like The Apollo. It wasn’t just the venue that made this performance special; the show was set to be recorded and broadcast on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ exclusive SiriusXM channel, Whole Lotta Red, as a part of SiriusXM’s Small Stage Series, and will continue to be rebroadcast throughout the month.
Not only were there various celebrities in attendance last night (including Questlove, Michael J. Fox, Colin Jost, and Scarlett Johansson), the band was introduced by none other than Chris Rock. “I know for most of us, this is the first time we’ve been out since the Queen died,” Rock joked before announcing the Chili Peppers as “the greatest band in the motherfuckin’ land.”
The show began with a full-throttle, experimental jam from the trio of bassist Flea, recently returned guitarist John Frusciante, and drummer extraordinaire Chad Smith — who happened to be celebrating his anniversary with his wife, Nancy, last night (Anthony Kiedis, who often spotlighted Smith by howling “Chad Motherfuckin’ Gaylord Smith!!!!” throughout the show, took a moment to wish him and his wife a happy anniversary).