I’ve wanted to see the Chili peppers for a while, seeing as they’re pretty much the background noise that coloured my childhood and adolesence. They’ve been around and rocking for my entire life and so I do think my generation has a particular fondness for them. So I managed to snag a last minute ticket and went along, and I was pleasantly surprised to find them as amazing as ever- My experience of live Chilis is a DVD of their legendary 2003 Slane gig, so my expectations were high. Boy they put on a good show…
Support acts (Or: Oh man, Noel Gallagher so doesn’t want to be here…)
So I didn’t actually see enough of the Vaccines to really get a good sense of them, which annoyed me because I rather liked what I saw of them- standard late noughties rock, but with a lot of energy and a good performance. The real support act was Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, and oh man… I almost feel bad for Noel Gallagher and I will give credit and say I kind of liked the High Flying Birds- They have a good sound, I like seeing a pianist in any rock set up, their songs are good and they all look reassuringly like somebody’s dad. They’re perfectly average and sort of over shadowed by Oasis- It says an awful lot that they had to end on 2 oasis songs and they were the only tracks that got the crowd interested. I saw a few High flying birds T shirts around but Noel certainly always going to be defined by Oasis- I have it on good authority that a chant of ‘Wonderwall’ Started in the pit.
Noel Gallagher is kind of a dick
I’ll put this separate because it was a pretty big issue for me. Noel Gallagher was a total tosser last night. He didn’t interact with the crowd at all bar two scant attempts- Firstly to say ‘I was wondering when you’d start that shite’ in reference to the pit chanting ‘Ole ole ole’, and secondly to give a very ill advised shout out to Manchester City Fans which got him a chorus of Boos (My brothers don’t agree but I was under the impression there aren’t many city fans in Ireland? Certainly they weren’t any at the Chilis) After that disaster, he really stopped trying. He just played his songs, said his goodbyes and finished on what everyone wanted, like a good monkey- A rendition of Don’t look back in anger that everyone got into.
I don’t really feel sorry for Noel Gallagher- He did nothing to get the crowd on his side and this arsehole persona he emits just bothers me in principle. Everyone there paid money to go to that gig and have the craic and he sort of plods on and scowls. It’s a personal point I suppose but I do think no matter what you should make some attempt to get the crowd with you, so to speak. Noel Gallagher didn’t even try.
The Chili Peppers
What is there to say? They own the stage, they’re as crazy as ever (Flea continues to be unable to play bass in a standing position- he must always be contorted somehow) and they played a great set. The only notable omission was scar tissue, which mystified me a bit- I thought it might be an encore song but they didn’t play one. That made me a bit sad because I always like encores and think they’re a nice touch to a gig like that. I was pretty far back but even so I thought the sound mix was disappointing. It was hard to hear what anyone said and everything felt to my ear a bit fuzzy. That’s probably a feature of Croke park as a venue for music more than the Chili peppers sound. I did call to a party in a friends house adjacent to Croke Park where they were holding a ‘listen to the Chili Peppers’ party in the back garden and they informed me that there was very little sound leakage from the gig. There had apparently been loads of sound for Westlife (‘Every song. Every WORD. With all the windows and doors shut you could still hear them, BOTH NIGHTS) so perhaps it was to do with that, but all the same it was frustrating.
The Hipsters that kept me entertained
I think a large part of a gig is in the crowd and the Chilis had a suitably rowdy one. Not too bad- We were behind what I call a ‘concert wanker’ who was very apologetic about being a concert wanker. Concert Wankers generally have the following-
- A terrible habit of standing way too close in front of you
- blocking your view
- hold up their phones
- ask you constantly if you have a light
- talk very loudly during songs
- Do anything but actually listen to the music
- Do that stupid thing where they just stand there with their arms in the air (Like they just don’t care; alternatively like Ambidextrous Nazis as Cormac christened them)
So we had a very apologetic concert wanker, a douchebag in a Beatles T shirt and a beanie hat that loudly shouted ‘WONDERWALL’ when the Chilis were playing. Thats hilarious because, yknow, thats not a chilis song, hahahahahahahahahaha. He also had incredible flirty bant times with a girl who kept doing the super annoying ‘lean in close then PULL AWAY ALL DRAMATIC’ move on him about eighty times. She was the companion of a girl who was wearing a shirt that just had Johnny Depp’s face on it for no apparent reason. She turned around and enquired if we knew the current song being played (‘Its off Stadium Arcadium, do you know it? Because it’s off Stadium Arcadium’) She did the stupid hands in the air dance and also put her head down, as if she was like, really hearing the poetry of the lyrics, like oh man, thats so deeeeeep… She also turned out to be Janet Devlin from the X Factor and provided me with boundless entertainment.
Croke Park is pretty good place to see a gig (Even if my shortness meant I couldn’t actually see the band), Noel Gallagher was a very entertaining unpleasant ass, the vaccines were fun and the Chilis were suitably fantastic. It was a bit alarming to hear Flea say that he’s been coming to Ireland for 30 years to play gigs. Alarming that this band of my childhood background music acclaim are going that long and still have such energy and drive. They certainly don’t play like a band that’s been at it for 30 years. All in all, a very enjoyable night.
Niamh ‘What I got you gotta give to yo momma’ Keoghan