Knebworth House is a stately home, just outside Stevenage, and occasionally they allow gigs in the grounds (other than the Sonisphere festivals, the last gig was Robbie Williams’ in 2003). The Red Hot Chili Peppers played one of their only two UK shows there last Saturday, and thanks to the Boy and his competition winning skills, we got free tickets!!
Supported by Reverend and the Makers, The Wombats, and Dizzee Rascal, the rain didn’t put many people off, but, armed with wellies and pack-a-macs, the three of us managed to find a good spot. The 80,000-strong crowd was hugely mixed, from people in their early 20’s wearing onesies to people in their sixties looking disapproving at some of the support choices (the people next to us clearly weren’t Bassline Junkies!)
The supports were good, but I think with such a mixed audience, they definitely had their work cut out for them. The Wombats were fantastic, with loads of songs that people knew, and everyone was bouncing along. Dizzee Rascal’s set mainly consisted of his more popular songs, but almost everyone (bar the couple we stood next to 😉 ) was dancing and singing to Jus’ a Rascal, Bonkers, and You Got The Love.
Inevitably though, the rain got much heavier just before 9pm, but the Chillis walked on stage just fifteen minutes after they were expected. Their show was amazing. The lighting and strobes were awesome, and they played for almost two hours without much pause – between songs they played extra intros or solos, so the whole set flowed. They played some of their new songs, but mostly older songs like Under The Bridge, Dani California, and Throw Away Your Television, as well as a couple of covers. The rain didn’t spoil it at all, and we had a really great day/night.
We left just at the right time too, it seems, as we managed to get out of the carpark in about 15 minutes, whilst those who waited until the very end were still trying to get out in the early hours of the morning, and a theatre in Stevenage had to be made into a makeshift shelter for people who were stranded.