Red Hot Chili Peppers Unleash The Beast With First Global Stadium Tour
ON THE COVER: Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and John Frusciante perform at Visarno Arena in Florence, Italy, on June 18, 2022.
Photo by David Mushegain / RHCP

The Red Hot Chili Peppers “2022 Global Stadium Tour” is underway in Europe, with the U.S. on tap, and possibly more shows coming around the world for 2023, according to those involved in the tour.

The open-ended run, which will see the Chili Peppers playing all stadiums in North America for the first time, backs the band’s Rick Rubin-produced Unlimited Love on Warner Records, released April 1. The entire cycle catches RHCP at a fertile stage in their career, marked by the return of guitarist John Frusciante to join his former bandmates, Anthony Kiedis on vocals, Flea on bass, and Chad Smith on drums.

For a group of men who have been doing this music thing for all of their adult lives—even if Flea, born Michael Peter Balzary, admits to a sometimes “questionable rate of maturity”—The Red Hot Chili Peppers remain focused on giving it hell. “It has always been, from the beginning, like, ‘We are going to give the best possible fucking show that we are capable of, and we are going to dig as deep as possible to that source and give them everything we can,” he says. “People took the time to come and see us, and we are going to honor them.”

Photo By Clara Balzary

The 2022 trek is set up to be a megatour for the ages, with a powerful lineup curated by the band. Special guests variously include A$AP Rocky, the Strokes, Beck, Haim, St. Vincent, Anderson .Paak, and the Free Nationals, Thundercat, and King Princess.

The tour launched June 4 in Seville, Spain, the first of 13 stadiums in Europe and the U.K. North America begins July 23 in Denver, 19 shows wrapping Sept. 8 in Arlington, Texas. A “dream team” of international live music veterans is behind the run, including Omar Al-joulani of Live Nation Global Touring, Emma Banks and Darryl Eaton from Creative Artists Agency, and Maverick Management chief Guy Oseary, supported by the team at Warner Records, and all working collaboratively to make the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “2022 Global Stadium Tour” a success. This one is obviously a priority for all involved, as evidenced by the heavyweights who were so enthused to talk about the tour on the precipice of its launch.

“Everyone’s prioritizing [this tour], that’s why we’re all talking about it,” Oseary says, “but now it’s time to put talk to action and get in front of the people and show them a good time.”

Close with the band for years, this will be Oseary’s first tour as manager for the band, which has crisscrossed the globe showing people a good time for decades. Stadiums in every market differentiate this particular run. “[Live Nation CEO] Michael Rapino and Omar were really adamant about, ‘Let’s go out there and play stadiums,’” says Oseary. This is not new territory for Oseary, who also manages global juggernauts like Madonna and U2, both having toured the world with Live Nation Global Touring and the division’s leader, Arthur Fogel.

“Red Hot Chili Peppers are a global band, and brand, in the truest sense,” says Tom Corson, co-Chairman & COO, Warner Records. “It’s very rare for an act to reach this elite level on both a music and touring front and still be releasing relevant, important, No. 1 charting records 30 years in. They’ve made a spectacular album with Unlimited Love and there’s no doubt it’s the Best Rock Album of the year. The band has reached the holy grail and the most impressive thing about them is they just continue to top themselves over-and-over again.”

In 2022, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be touring the world at a very uncertain time, to put it mildly. Asked if maybe the world needs a big dose of Chili Peppers right now, Flea, 59, believes that maybe that’s true, at least from a “positivity” standpoint. “I do as much work as I can philanthropically, but just the act of playing music and entertaining people and shining a light in that way, I think, is a really valuable thing,” he tells Pollstar. “And what I always hope is that it can get people in touch with their highest self and their best self, so they can go out into the world and be their best selves. And the more of us that can be our best selves, the better chance the world has of living in a balanced and harmonious way.”
Stadium Arcadium: Flea, Kiedis, Smith & Frusciante on the “2022 Global Stadium Tour” at Goffertpark, Nijmegen, Netherlands, June 10. The tour kicks off Stateside in Denver July 23. Photo by David Mushegain

The fact that Chili Peppers sit on the cusp of its 40th anniversary as a band in 2023 is a milestone not lost on its members. “It’s not easy to keep a band together for very long,” Kiedis, also 59, points out. “As you well know, paying attention to music and coming from a music town, there’s a lot of things that can come along to disrupt the flow of the band, a lot of things, getting along with each other being at the top the list, along with dying and just running out of things to say. So, for whatever reason, we did have this bizarre drive inside of us to continue, even when the going did get tough.”

The going has, at times, been very tough, with enough member losses through death,
attrition, and other reasons to derail a less-committed band. Each member that passed through the band has made an enduring contribution, according to Kiedis. “We never underestimate the value of all the different people who have been in the Red Hot Chili Peppers,” he stresses. “They’re close to our heart, and the times that we experienced with all the different musicians were essential for us sticking together and being here today. So, to all of those who were a part of this that are not necessarily still in the band, we love you and we thank you.”

Kiedis, singer and principal songwriter for the band, says his list of songs for the new record was 40-50 deep, and he doesn’t write them thinking how they might sound in the live format.
“I never think about what it’s going to sound like in the stadium or an arena, or in a movie theater, or in a laundromat, or in rehearsal,” Kiedis tells Pollstar. “I really just want to make myself feel right, and then I want to make the boys in the band feel right. And if I can do that, it doesn’t matter where we’re playing, a festival or a parking lot. It’s going to feel right to us. It’s got to feel right to somebody else.”

That said, the new record’s adventurous sonic landscape brings to mind the pandemic-
induced feel of isolation, claustrophobia and a bit of insanity. When that impression is pointed out, Kiedis says it makes sense. “That’s the environment that we were writing in, and it would be ridiculous if that did not come through,” he says. “I wasn’t trying to be heavy-handed or too philosophical, but those were the conditions that we were writing in, and sometimes you just got to get out of the way and let those feelings come through. It was very isolated, but at the same time, that’s good for us. It turns out that having this slowed-down period of time with nothing to do but hang out in your kitchen and listen to music and sing to yourself, worked for us. It was difficult for humanity, but it really worked for the musician who needed a little quiet time to go to work.”

Flea has a similar take on the impact of the shutdown on the band. “Look, we’ve been on tour our whole fucking lives, so we didn’t play gigs for a couple of years. That was fucking cool, man,” he says. “We are lucky and fortunate, and I do not take it for granted in the slightest that we’re able to afford to ride that time out. It’s really hard in the music world for musicians who really count on touring to pay rent, but we’re lucky enough to not be in that position.”

He added that the band continued to work and record during the pandemic, and prior to the tour launch played assorted gigs and a headlining slot at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest in April. “We’re musicians, man. That’s what we do. It’s not our first time off the turnip truck,” Flea says. So, if the turnip truck stopped for a lot of bands, “for us, the turnip truck was fucking rolling. We were fucking roasting turnips like a motherfucker.”

The tour and pending new record were announced last October and now, as the band is at full throttle, “It’s all happy, smiling, fantastic news, to be honest,” says Banks, CAA London office co-head, and agent for the Peppers for some 30 years. (Eaton oversees North America and Banks the rest of the world).

When We Were Young: Flea and Anthony Kiedis in 1980. The duo formed the Red Hot Chili Peppers while attending Hollywood’s Fairfax High School (initially named The Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem). Photo by Lisa Haun / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Out of the gate, RHCP sold over 100,000 tickets in Spain, kicking off the tour in Seville and then playing Barcelona. Next up was Holland, where they sold out 65,000 tickets. “The shows were spectacular, very loud sing-alongs,” says tour promoter Al-joulani of Live Nation Global Touring, who attended both shows in Spain.

“Sometimes when things go magically right, it’s seamless, and a lot of the working with these guys has been seamless,” says Maverick’s Oseary, on his first global run with RHCP. “It’s been a lot of fun to work with my friends and to get a firsthand experience at seeing how they do what they do. We’re having a good time.”

A well-coordinated launch well in advance of the tour is now paying dividends, so much so that fans who waited around for tickets may end up disappointed. This tour is old-school partnership between all parties. Global tour launches can be tricky things, and no time to be myopic, but the history and market clout of RHCP allows those with skin in the game to have confidence in the power of the artist, especially when operating at the scale of this team.

When strategizing, “You look to see who else is likely coming out around the same time, but to be honest, you can’t constantly be worried about what other people are doing,” says Banks. “Obviously, one tries to avoid going up on the same weekend as other enormous stadium tours, and the benefit of having both Live Nation and CAA involved is that we’ve got eyes on a huge amount of real estate and know what’s going on, so we can try and do that as far as possible. But we had an incredibly strong proposition with the Chili Peppers.”
That strong proposition has been earned through delivering the goods over countless performances. The Peppers are dead serious come show time, and time on stage is “sacred to us,” Flea says. “It’s a kind of deep connection, not only to one another, and not only to the audience, but to the Great Spirit, man, to channeling the cosmos, divinities. I take that shit so seriously, man.”

How serious does Flea take the live thing? “Every show, I get on my knees, and I pray to open myself up and let all the cosmos come through, and that my mortal body can be a vehicle for something beautiful, so that when I die, I will have left light on this earth, and I will have done it in a way that is uplifting to human beings.”

So, pretty serious. “And that’s what it’s about every time,” Flea continues. “Make every groove be the best that it can be. Listen to that kick drum, get inside that kick drum. Lock in with John playing guitar. When he does a riff on the solo, let him flow through me so I can react to it an organic way, not in some pre-programmed way. When you really are improvising from real emotion and from real reaction that’s organic to what’s happening in the moment, then you have the chance to be transcendent, and that’s what we’re always reaching for.

“I’m not saying we can always get there, but we do sometimes. And for us, it’s that: it’s that yearning, that reaching, that never being satisfied, that always trying to go deeper, always trying to go higher or lower, always just fucking going for it, giving everything we can to honor the human beings that came to see us play.”
So, there you go.

Unlike many tours on the road this year and last, the Peppers’ global trek was always planned to go up and out Summer, 2022, in support of their 12th studio (and No. 1) album. The band did their part in delivering a critically acclaimed record embraced by fans, who welcomed the return of beloved guitarist Frusciante to the fold. The tour launch and global on-sale was coordinated with the release of debut single “Black Summer,” the band’s 14th No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative chart, all of which created a wave of momentum around the world.

As they plotted the tour, much of the early debate was about when and how to take the tour to market. Always a complicated calculus, in 2021, with the added wild cards of a pandemic, uncertain global economy, and geo-political concerns to consider, building the plan was even more challenging.

Matt Damon Fans: Anthony Kiedis and Guy Oseary, who has known the band for decades and is now the band’s manager, attend an AFI screening of “Good Will Hunting” circa 1997. Photo by Steve Granitz / WireImage via Getty Images

When to announce and then go up, “was definitely a debate,” says Al-joulani, who is spearheading Global Touring’s efforts on the Peppers’ Global Stadium Tour. The plan was to announce the tour and album—as well as Frusciante’s return—simultaneously last October. Tickets went on sale coordinated with “Black Summer” on Feb. 4, and each subsequent single release added momentum.

As the industry was brutally reminded in the recent past, best laid plans in the world of touring can definitely be blown up. Not so in this case. “This one, I think, we got out at the right time, and obviously them having the album come in April gives you another boost as well,” says Banks. “And always a thing to think about is, what are those opportunities [for] you rise to the top of the heap again in people’s attention, because attention spans are very, very low right now.”

With the timing, “I give all credit to Guy Oseary and the band,” says Al-joulani. “They were really committed with announcing that there was a new album coming and announcing the lineup in the band with John [Frusciante] back. And then you also link all that to a tour announce. We couldn’t have done it without them really wanting to do it, it was very important to them, and a big part of the plan.”

Eight months from announcement until tour is more noted for Europe and the UK than the U.S. and Canada, Banks notes, but all agreed a global announcement was the way to go. “It’s not quite as important as when the shows are, it’s about getting that momentum on an on-sale, so that everybody wants to be part of it.”

As for the routing, not being a previously booked postponement or resumption of a COVID-delayed trek, deciding which markets to commit to around the world back in early 2021 involved no small amount of risk-taking and gut instinct on myriad fronts. “I’m an optimist by nature, “Al-joulani says, “and I also know that you have to be really flexible. We’ve learned that in the last few years. So, we were just really positive and optimistic as we were putting this together.”

Big Air: Flea performing at Goffertpark in Nijmegen, Netherlands, June 10, 2022.
Photo by David Mushegain

June was the targeted tour launch, “and we felt it would be a big statement to start in Europe and to accomplish that first, so that was a team decision,” Al-joulani says. “CAA played a really big role in how we put this together. I know the word partner is overused, and probably used at times when it’s not as true. I will tell you this tour has been the spirited embodiment of partnership between the promoter, the agent, the manager, and the band.”

Al-joulani stresses the band was highly engaged in the process. “They were very involved in the timeline and venue selection. They were super involved in the Special Guest artists that they’re taking out on tour with them. They really wanted to make sure that we gave the fans a phenomenal show. I give them a ton of credit for wanting to build a big, big, great show, and then for following through and executing.”

Perhaps the biggest decision of all was the venues: the list of bands that will attempt stadiums around the world is a short one, especially in these unprecedented times, and for the first time in America. “The band has consistently been an arena sellout artist, with multiples in a lot of markets,” Al-joulani points out. “And the other thing to keep in mind is this band has been a beloved festival headliner, and we really looked to see where they played festivals and we tried to focus on the markets where we thought we could make the biggest impact and have the most success. Again, that was a collaborative process, where we wound up and what venue, what our venue selection was.”

The RHCP have been a stadium act internationally for many years but, given this would be their first time in U.S. stadiums, they didn’t have to worry about repeats—nor did they have history with any stadiums like you see with bands like U2 and The Rolling Stones. Hence, even the busiest of U.S. stadiums, like Petco Park in San Diego, Calif., would be unplowed ground for the Peppers. “Everything was fresh in the U.S., so we really just made what we thought was the best decision in each market, without having to say, ‘maybe we should change that from last time.’ All the markets were new for the band to be playing stadiums.”
Al-joulani’s optimism seems to be justified. Ticket sales are “incredibly strong,” according to Banks, with many sellouts and others close. So, if the Red Hot Chili Peppers could well be one of the best “impulse buys” on the market for those looking for a raucous Saturday night, this time fans better not wait too long. “In many of the locations, if people are only deciding they want to go a week beforehand, they might actually be disappointed and not be able to get a ticket,” Banks warns.

Stadium shows can have 50,000 or more tickets in the manifest, and production kills are a thing, but “the aim is that we’re going to go into shows that are sold-out or as near as possible before we open the doors,” says Banks. “On a stadium show, there’s so many things that change. While the production team are fantastic at mapping out exactly where they’re going to need delay towers and lights and all the rest of it, actually it’s not until you are physically in the individual stadium or the venue, green field, whatever it might be, and can see where you’ve got restricted views and where actually decent seats may suddenly become available for the 24 hours beforehand. That’s why, of course, you sometimes see those last-minute releases as well, because once we’ve got everything in situ, a ticket that didn’t look like it would be usable suddenly becomes a fantastic seat.”

Al-joulani takes a similar view toward those who may be on the fence. “I don’t know whether we’re going to have any tickets to sell week-of,” he says. “Generally, I would say the sales were really strong on the on-sale, and there’s very limited seats in almost all markets. We have a bunch of shows that are just completely sold-out already [before tour launch]. It really has been a magical time to put this together with them and for it to work itself out the way it did. And then the fans responded with the way that they bought tickets and the velocity of ticket [sales] was great.”

Throughout their various incarnations, with Flea, Kiedis and, since 1988, drummer Chad Smith, being the constants, the prevailing theme for this band is swinging for the fence in live performance, basically leaving it all on stage, every time. Greater than the sum of their parts, the onstage alchemy summoned by this band is simply unlike any other and is at best unexplainable even by the musicians themselves. The chemistry is injected with a new vitality with the return of Frusciante after a 10-year absence, evident in the studio on Unlimited Love and certainly to be transcendent on stage this time around.

“John Frusciante is a phenomenon, and I can tell you what you’re hearing on the record is special and unique and powerful and on the highest level,” Kiedis says of the guitarist, just prior to tour launch. “But, by the way, it’s like that every day at band practice. Every single day we roll into that place to rehearse to get these songs ready for the tour, and I hear him play, and it’s never the same, and it’s always breathtaking. I just look at Chad Smith behind the drums, and we can look over at John, who’s not paying attention to us, and we look at each other like, ‘What the fuck just came out of that amp? John Frusciante is tapped into a higher power, and he has put in the hundred thousand hours to be able to express these things that he’s listening to from outer space. And it is exciting every day.”

“It’s like we each give something completely different,” says Flea. “We each have a different perspective on the world, a different idea of everything.”

The familial relationship is juiced by friendly competition, it seems. “We feel pretty wildly fortunate to have the chemistry that we have; it’s a brotherly chemistry, but it’s also a productive, competitive chemistry,” Kiedis explains. “Flea is such a hard worker, John is such a hard worker, Chad just never stops playing the drums. It’s like he would fade away if he stopped playing the drums. So we have this scenario whereby everybody wants to bring a little something to the party.”

Psychedelicsuperjamfreakout: The great John Frusciante, who first joined the Chili Peppers at the age of 18 and appeared on their 1989 album, Mother’s Milk, is pictured at Barcelona Olympic Stadium of Montjuïc Lluís Companys on June 7, 2022. Photo by Orit Pnini

The sum of the parts, “form a whole that is a cosmic thing,” Flea asserts. “And our new record, everything we’re doing, is a testament to the faith that we have in one another and to the work ethic and the care and the love that we put into it.”

The “brotherly competitiveness” Kiedis describes, “keeps driving us to try to discover something new and bring something better than before,” he says. “As the kind of idiot of the group, I feel thoroughly blessed to have these musicians that offer me a landscape to say something. Every time they pick up their instruments and start playing anything, it makes me want to sing. So, we kind of stumbled into that good chemistry.”

As a lyricist, Kiedis possesses a rhythmic, stream-of-consciousness sort of style that uniquely blends with the band’s musicality, whether it’s melodic ballads or unabashed funk, that transcends language and becomes more about emotion and feeling. That’s not to say there’s not a point to what Kiedis is trying to say. And the songs on Unlimited Love feel very much of our times.

“I just try to write not for myself, but of myself, and not try to recreate all of the other many songs that have been written before, which can be much more literal to express an emotion or an experience,” he says. “And I do go for more of a stream-of-consciousness, but hopefully I end up hitting that human emotional chord somewhere along the way that resonates with people. I have no interest in sitting down and telling the tales that have already been told. I want to honor the weird thoughts that come into my head and find a way to make those sing the truth or sing something that speaks to somebody’s heart.

Because in the end, we listen to music and it makes us feel something, whether it’s light and fluffy and just light on our toes, or sometimes it resonates with that pain inside of us, and we go, ‘Yes, I need to hear this again, because this is speaking my language.’”

This is a language fans understand, as the audience continues to grow worldwide. Asked to describe the relationship between the band and its audience, Flea says, “It’s always been about connecting with this real youthful spirit, this youthful need to uncoil. People have a need. They’re holding shit inside. They need to let that fucking tightly coiled thing unwind, and going to our show, it’s like there’s an opportunity to get completely free and let it out.

“Let it out,” he continues. “Let all the different colors come out.”

The core of Red Hot Chili Peppers can be found with the bond between Flea and Kiedis, who became friends when they were in their early teens. “We met when we were kids, two wild-ass street urchin kids who didn’t grow up with much,” Flea recalls. “It was always survival with us and, ‘how are we going to have fun?’ The stuff that makes us feel magical, the music, the art, things that we see in the world that make us feel like the world is a good place, those things, when you come up with someone, and you have that kind of relationship, it bleeds through everything.”

The band itself has kept Kiedis and Flea close. “I don’t know if we would’ve stayed friends without it,” Flea wonders. “We met in 1977, but all of that coming up together and all that survival shit, all that kid stuff, growing up together, becoming men together, going through ups and downs, it bleeds through everything.”

In the case of the rest of the band, “we found people whose lives revolve around music and who value the strength of the collectives,” Flea says. “John [Frusciante] has left a couple of times because he’s just like, ‘It’s too fucking much.’ I can’t speak for him, but needing to go his own direction, I respect that because he’s being honest with who he is, not sticking around for a paycheck. But we all know that when the four of us are together in a room or on the stage, wherever the fuck we are, and we’re playing music, that the thing that we’re doing could only be made by us four.”

Flea seems amazed at how the Chili Peppers’ audience has grown and evolved over the years. “I look out in the audience, and I see fucking thousands of teenagers… losing their minds, going crazy, rocking with us, together with us, rocking, feeling the fucking untethered animal spirit unleashed, all that shit that, as a kid, it’s important to let that out,” he says. “I see it every time, and they stay with us. The teenagers, they grow up. The early ones are now grandparents, lots of them. I look out there, I see there’s families. There’s grandparents and their kids and their little kids, all of them.”

The band’s trademark sonics, much of it delivered by Flea’s thumping, dexterous bass playing, transcends not only language and culture, but ethnicity and demographics, as well, uniquely positioning them for a global audience. “We get people from all races, all ethnicities, all over the world,” says Flea. “They connect with this thing, and it’s kind of the phenomenon of our band.”

Since their inception nearly 40 years ago, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have become one of the most consistently powerful bands on the road, reporting nearly $400 million in global box-office since 1984 and moving 7 million tickets from 633 shows reported to Pollstar. Obviously, due to inconsistent reporting and RHCP’s status as a global festival headliner, that’s a fraction of the band’s global audience, with the actual figures of the band’s ticket receipts likely approaching $1 billion, and their live audience surely topping 10 million.

“[RHCP] have been a stadium act, historically, in different parts of the world, but the thing we really wanted to accomplish together with them was to make them a global stadium act,” says Al-joulani. “And this was the right time to do it.”
Lost In The Supermarket: Flea, Kiedis, Frusciante and Smith, who are touring behind their 12th studio album, Unlimited Love (Warner Records), which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Charts. Photo by Clara Balzary

Numbers seem to back up that sentiment. RHCP are only getting bigger, with their last tour in support of The Getaway in 2016-’17 launching with a run of Euro fest dates before headlining throughout Europe, UK and North America. Final tally, according to Pollstar,
$115 million gross, 1.4 million tickets sold from 103 shows reported for an average of over $1 million gross and 13,527 tickets per show.

This band’s narrative is not always so glittery. Few would have pegged this crazy collaborative as a future stadium act when they debuted in 1983, and their history of drug abuse, tragedy and revolving guitarists would have derailed many acts decades ago.

As un-serious as they seem in early interviews, Red Hot Chili Peppers have always been pedal-to-the-metal on stage, and their go-for-broke performances every time in large part account for fan loyalty and constantly growing their audience today. The somewhat odd behavior at times (remember the socks, anyone?) probably detracted from critics and perhaps even some fans thinking this was a serious band in the mode of U2.

“I definitely don’t think any of the rock press or the critics took us seriously in any way,” Kiedis recalls of the early days. “And in a certain way, we tried not to take ourselves too seriously, either. But these guys all took their music study and practice very seriously. So, it was kind of this nice balance of young people who had put in the time and the work and the effort to get good at what they wanted to express, but then when it came time to take the stage, we definitely had an air of not taking ourselves too seriously, so it’s that little weird balance that we found.”

In retrospect, it’s a good thing this band adventure worked out, because, even though Kiedis in particular has been described as a good student, early on it appears there was no “Plan B” for the RHCP.

Kiedis chuckles at the thought. “I didn’t even have a ‘Plan A,’” he says. “I was just kind of going with the tide, and life was turning me in all kinds of different directions, from school to work, to street life. And really what we had was a bond of friendship and a love, a serious love for music. That is what made our world tick. And all we did was listen to records all day and dance all day, and then try to write a song at night. When I reflect back on that young era, I realized how huge the load of nonstop music that we listened to was. We were just as penniless as could be, but we had a stereo, a record player, and a wall full of records, and we just immersed ourselves in music to the point where we were rich. We were rich on the inside with all this amazing stuff that was going on, from Talking Heads to Brian Eno, to Defunkt, and we really had no choice but to go find our own voice.”

For Flea, it was Earth Wind & Fire that lit the flame. “Growing up, I went to really diverse schools,” he recalls. “And the Mexican kids liked all this ‘50s music, the white kids liked Zeppelin and KISS, the Black kids liked the funk. But everybody liked Earth Wind & Fire. Old people, young people, Black people, white people, Mexican people: they all loved it. And as a kid, I think one of the reasons I loved them was because I was a trumpet player, and they had great horns, and I saw that, ‘Oh, that’s the way that I could be in the world,’ you know what I mean? It just really hit home with me that the quality of the music and the spirit of the music was something that was for everybody. It transcended all that social shit, all the economics, and so that was always something I liked.”

According to Flea, “That’s why we’ve always been a band that’s never tied down to a sound or to a certain style. We’re always reaching in different directions, different things that get us off, different things that make us feel beautiful.”

Kiedis himself seems to marvel at how it all played out. “Somewhere along the way, we realized that there was something deep happening in that sea of fan love,” he muses. “And it was like, ‘Wait a second. There’s an 8-year-old person with their big sister, who’s with their mom, who’s with their uncle, and they’re all feeling it.’ So, we’ve always been touched. We’ve always been thankful.”

The recent addition of their “star” to the Hollywood Walk of Fame was a nice exclamation point and a “trippy experience,” Kiedis adds. “Now, you think this thing could be a little commercial or a little cheesy or a little promotional, but we grew up in Hollywood, so we accepted with gratitude. We showed up to Hollywood Boulevard to do this ceremony,” he says. “And the entire street was full of fans, and it was fans who had flown in from Europe, all over South America, Central America, North America. That made it all worthwhile. Looking at all these faces that wanted to be a part of whatever it is that we have created together was truly the blessing. So, we can’t wait to go see these people and play music for them.”

For those that have been around the group for a while, any rewards that come their way are deserved and appreciated. “I’m just happy for these guys,” says Oseary. “Beyond being some of the most talented people out there, they’re also some of the nicest people out there. I’ve known them now for three decades, and it’s just really great to see that they’re playing the biggest shows of their careers.”

Four To The Floor: Anthony Kiedis, Flea, John Frusciante and Chad Smith at the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony honoring the Red Hot Chili Peppers on March 31, 2022, in Hollywood, Calif. Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

The success in the early going for the 2022 tour bodes well for the team to extend the cycle well beyond dates currently announced. “We’re deeply looking into ‘23 and the markets globally that we haven’t put on sale yet,” says Al-joulani. “You’ll see more territories go on sale. I think you’ll see some return shows in Europe, and we’re plotting what to do next in North America, so this will go on deep into ‘23 and beyond.”

Basically, the world is their oyster. “They’re truly a global band,” Al-joulani says. “They have an incredible fan base in Australia and South America and Southeast Asia. The band’s been to some of those places before, so it makes sense for us to return, as well as play more shows in other territories.”

For their part, it seems clear that the band will continue doing what they do. Not that there’s a plan. “In terms of longevity, we never set out to do this for a lifetime,” says Kiedis.

“But as each little chapter unfolded, it seemed like it was worth going on to the next. And it wasn’t a grand design, but it felt right along the way. And, at this point, I hope it keeps feeling like that, because, honestly, I love having a place to say something, and without these amazing musical partners of mine, I think I would be a very frustrated individual. So hopefully this river keeps on flowing.”