Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Strokes Bring a New Level of Rock to Miami


Sara Gelrud

Julian Casablancas, lead singer of the Strokes, performs at the Hard Rock Stadium. The Strokes opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers Aug. 30. On their setlist was “Bad Decisions” which Casablancas can be seen singing.

Sara Gelrud

Overpriced merch, huge crowds, and the Florida heat. What’s not to like about concerts?

All jokes aside, the Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) and the Strokes put on an incredible show for the Miami stop of the Chili Peppers’ 2022 Global Stadium Tour (also known as the Unlimited Love Tour).

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are traveling the world in celebration of their new album, Unlimited Love. The North American part of the tour began on Jul. 23 and the band will play their first international show in New Zealand on Jan. 21.

This is the band’s first album since the release of “The Getaway” in 2016. Only a couple months after releasing a preview to Unlimited Love, the Chili Peppers surprised their fanbase by announcing the release of another album, “Return to the Dream Canteen” scheduled for Oct. 14.

Leaving home an hour and a half early for the concert (which took place at the Hard Rock Stadium) did not give me enough time to make it to the opening act, Thundercat. I thankfully made it in time for the Strokes’ set, one which lived up to my expectations.

The Strokes played a set of nine songs including a personal favorite, “The Adults are Talking.” Julian Casablancas, lead singer of the Strokes, sounded somewhat similar to the studio recorded version of the track. Instead of committing to the falsetto near the end of the song, Casablancas opted for improvisation. Casablancas frequently improvs during live shows, including stories and political commentary in his lyrics. Sadly, the sound quality in the stadium was poor and Casablancas’ words were, for the most part, unintelligible. Throughout most of the concert, the sound coming from the instruments overpowered the singers’ voices and It was only until half way through the RHCP’s set when the sound was fixed.

Lead singer of the RHCP, Anthony Kiedis, ties the flag of Ukraine around his neck while performing a song. “It’s not for me, it’s for the people in Ukraine. I’ll take care of you and you take care of me,” he said. (Sara Gelrud)

Casablancas did not sound identical to the recordings but it’s safe to say that lead guitar player, Albert Hammond Jr., did not miss a beat. Hammond Jr. delivered a spectacular performance, sounding exactly the same if not better to the band’s recordings.

After the Strokes played, the RHCP entered energetically and brought a new level of funk rock to the stage. As soon as the band members greeted each other on stage, the chemistry between them was strong.

They played a set of 16 songs, from fan favorites like “Snow” and “Californication” to songs from their new album. Lead singer Anthony Kiedis’ voice has not changed with age. In fact, Kiedis’ voice is nearly identical to the band’s studio recorded albums from the ‘90s. With that being said, it was strange when Kiedis got tongue tied during “Snow” and mixed up the lyrics.

Even if Kiedis fumbled a few words here and there, John Frusciante, backup vocalist and lead guitarist, was consistent throughout the band’s performance.

As the RHCP performed, the graphics in the background matched the energy of the crowd and even more of the songs being played. 

Something you can’t get when simply listening to the RCHP on a streaming service is their improv in between songs. The band’s use of improvisation to fill in the transition between songs was incredible. This was, arguably, the best part of the RHCP’s performance.

Overall, despite the poor sound quality of the Hard Rock Stadium, it was surreal to see my favorite bands perform after a long concert hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As anyone who’s been to a concert knows, there’s nothing like seeing songs you adore being performed live.

John Frusciante, backup vocalist and lead guitarist for the RHCP, sings “Around the World”. The RHCP played a set of 16 songs ranging from classics like “Californication” to songs from their new album “Unlimited Love” like “The Heavy Wing”. (Sara Gelrud)