Twelve hours after the Red Hot Chili Peppers left the stage after their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the band treated a packed House of Blues to a brief matinee set in support of President Obama’s reelection campaign.
The concert was free to volunteers and VIPs involved in the campaign and the only announced concert of any sort by any of the 2012 inductees. While the band admitted to not having much sleep, their energy and stage presence did not show it, as the Peppers relished the small club atmosphere as screaming fans danced and sang along.
After a brief introduction by the reelection campaign’s chief Jim Messina, imploring the diverse audience to participate in the upcoming election season, the band opened with a funky shot in the arm with “Can’t Stop,” from 2002’s By the Way. While the stage was simply set, with nothing more than house lights, the band’s instruments and amps, and an Obama/Biden logo on a large screen at the back of the stage, it allowed the music and message to take center stage. Hits like “Dani California” and “Under the Bridge” turned into sing-alongs as Anthony Kiedis and Flea acted like rockers half their age, not Hall of Famers nearing 50.
Kiedis did take time between songs to implore the audience to become politically active and support the President, but limited the discourse to just that. The six-song set then closed with “Around the World,” but the band quickly returned for a two song encore, “Sir Psycho Sexy” and “They’re Red Hot,” which featured a nice jam and left the audience abuzz as the 2012 Induction Week came to a perfect close. — Aaron Mendelsohn