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Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers at Stadium of Light, Sunderland

IT'S the type of decision that might have been expected to give the tabloids a field day: 'Football stadium bans football!'

The Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Stadium of Light

IT'S the type of decision that might have been expected to give the tabloids a field day: 'Football stadium bans football!'

But rarely can a crowd have been so fortunate as those at the Stadium of Light on Sunday after the promoters of the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert decided not to allow the England versus Italy match to be screened on the monitors around the ground.

Presumably they feared the audience might be distracted from seeing the Californian rockers strut their stuff, headlining a bill that also featured The Wombats, Reverend and the Makers, and home grown talents the Futureheads.

They should have known better. It was those who decided to sell their tickets to the gig after England surprisingly topped their group at Euro 2012, thus landing a Sunday night quarter final, who were left ruing their decision.

For just as much as you can rely on England to let the nation down, you can count on the Chilis to deliver.

They have been playing this game for 30 years, after all. And whilst the extreme behaviour of their formative years may be a thing of the past, they still managed to pack plenty of energy into a performance that illuminated a wet Wearside night that belied their years.

With the talented John Frusciante having departed the line-up for a second time, it was left to a bare-chested Flea and newly-moustached Anthony Kiedis to orchestrate proceedings. And what followed was a fast-paced journey through a back catalogue laced with hits such as Scar Tissue, Californication, By The Way and Under The Bridge, along with less memorable recent efforts.

Back in the North East for the first time since a show at Newcastle’s intimate Riverside more than two decades ago, this was perhaps the lowest key of the three big Stadium of Light gigs of the summer. But it will linger in the memory far longer than that miserable non-event of a football match in Ukraine.

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