Red Hot Chili Peppers to play O2 Arena

Some tickets are still left for the first big show of the fall season

Red Hot Chili Peppers are just about to kick off their European 2016 tour, and a few tickets are still available for the Prague show at O2 Arena on Sept. 4.

The tour begins in Belfast on Aug. 25 and after two dates in Britain jumps over to Hungary. The tour winds up in Vienna on Nov. 21. Dates in Italy, France and the Netherlands are sold out.

RHCP just released their 11th studio album, The Getaway, in June. The first single, “Dark Necessities” was their 13th number-one single on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, which is a record. (Linkin Park has 11.) RHCP also holds the record for most Top-10 singles, with 25 compared to 23 for U2.

So far on The Getaway World Tour, songs from the new album have been making up about one-fifth of the show, with “Dark Necessities” appearing in every show. Another fifth has been coming from Californication, their 1999 album, which remains their most commercially successful.

The song “By the Way” from the 2003 album of the same name has been in every show as well. “Give It Away” from the 1999 album Blood Sugar Sex Magik has been in almost every show.

But the songs have differed a bit from show to show so far, and there have been some interesting choices, and not only from their own catalog. There have been a number of cover songs played just once each. Artists include some obvious choices like Iggy Pop, David Bowie, The Smiths and Jane's Addition, but then get into some classic-era rock like The Kinks and even back to the roots of rock with a Robert Johnson song. What covers they will play once they start the European leg of the tour is anybody's guess.

The band has a lot of lineup changes over the years and now consists of vocalist Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea, who have been on every album, drummer Chad Smith, who has been with the band since 1988, and relative newcomer Josh Klinghoffer, who has toured with the band since 2007 and joined in 2009.

The new album marks a change in direction. For the first time in a quarter century, the band did not use Rick Rubin as a producer. Instead, they turned to Danger Mouse, who has previously worked with Gorillaz, Beck, Norah Jones and Adele.

A number of factors led to the change, but mostly the band wanted new inspiration. They had more than two dozen songs ready to record in 2014 but then Flea broke his wrist. When they were ready to move forward again and found Danger Mouse, he wanted to start fresh with new material. Kiedis said many of the songs were inspired by a relationship that had broken up spectacularly. Elton John also appears playing piano on one song, and he and Bernie Taupin get a writing credit.

The band and the record label each wanted different songs to be the first single, but Danger Mouse pushed for “Dark Necessities.” The album has had mostly positive reviews. A limited edition pink vinyl version will be released in September, with money raised going to Gilda's House, a charity for people with cancer and their caretakers.

The band has been active in other causes as well. Flea has campaigned against gun violence. The band has performed concerts in support of Tibet and the Dalai Lama, and for voter registration in the US. The fight against global warming and aiding victims of natural disasters have also received the bands support.

They appeared at a concert in February to benefit Bernie Sanders, who was seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency but ultimately lost.

In a recent video clip that has gone viral, Flea attempts to teach Koko, a gorilla who knows sign language, how to play the bass. The gorilla won't be joining the band onstage anytime soon though.

Video on YouTube

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