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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Red Hot Chili Peppers to play in front of the Egyptian pyramids

The rock group will make their Egyptian debut performance in March

US group  Red Hot Chili Peppers will rock out in front of the Egyptian pyramids in March. Matt York / AP
US group  Red Hot Chili Peppers will rock out in front of the Egyptian pyramids in March. Matt York / AP

Get ready for one of the biggest rock shows to hit the region with the Red Hot Chili Peppers announcing a giant outdoor gig at the mouth of Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza.

The legendary funk-rock group announced the occasion, to be held on March 15, on their social media with tickets going on sale on January 18.

The show

The Red Hot Chili Peppers's arrival in Egypt marks another significant moment for the country’s live entertainment industry, which has been severely impacted due to security concerns caused in the wake of the revolution.

The group joins a long list of esteemed western artists who performed on the site over the space of 40 years. One of the first was Frank Sinatra. Ol’ Blue Eyes graced the stage in September 1970 with a classic set list that included Someone to Watch Over Me, I've Got You Under My Skin and Strangers in the Night.

However, the site really took shape as a concert venue from 1999 with French electronic artist Jean-Michel Jarre choosing the spot to ring in the millennium with a massive concert full of his eye-popping lasers.

In 2001, Sting brought his big selling Brand New Day tour to the pyramids, followed by shows by the likes of the metal band Scorpions (2005), Latin pop princess Shakira (2007) and three shows in 2010 – the most the venue had in one year – with singers Mariah Carey, Andrea Bocelli and Kylie Minogue.

The latter show by the Aussie star was held three months before the revolution and marked the last concert at the pyramids for five years. The drought was broken by Greek new age composer Yanni – performing in Abu Dhabi on February 14 – who shot his latest concert film, The Dream Concert: Live from the Great Pyramids of Egypt, at the venue over a space of two nights in October 2015.

To ensure the public’s safety, more than 3,000 police officers were deployed to secure the site. And when it came to the technical aspects of the show, more than 24 search lights were flown in from Germany to light up the pyramids and Sphinx, which was located nearly a kilometre behind the stage.

The Band

The show will mark the end of an epic two-year world tour for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was prompted by the release of their eleventh album The Getaway.

The 2016 song collection finds them taking a stylistic turn and eschewing their trademark all-out funk attack for something more melodic and measured. And true to the view that the group’s international fan-base grew up with them, the album was a commercial success and spawned the US chart-topping single Dark Necessities.

But like most groups who sold more than 80 million albums over the space of 35 years, it is the old classic material fans will be looking forward to the most in Giza.

Tracks like 1991’s Give it Away and 1999’s Scar Tissue are not only rock staples, but they illustrate the revolutionary nature of the band. When the Peppers emerged in 1983, guitar driven music was calcified with various genres stuck in respective silos.

The group broke these barriers with an intoxicating blending of funk, rock, pop and hip-hop. Elements which the group explored to various degrees in several seminal albums over the years, ranging from 1989's funk-tastic Mother's Milk,and the supreme songwriting of 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magic to 1999's stripped back Californication.

Fortunately, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are relatively generous when it comes to delivering the hits. Their rollicking live shows, anchored by the chemistry of iconic front-man Anthony Kiedis and the virtuoso bassist Flea, are slick hit-laden affairs with up to 20 songs played in a space of two hours.

With nearly 180 gigs already played on the tour, the band should be a well-oiled machine when they take the stage behind one of the world’s most breathtaking backdrops.

Red Hot Chili Peppers play at Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, on March 15. Tickets go on sale on January 18 at 5pm Cairo time from www.ticketsmarche.com Ticket prices to be revealed soon.

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Updated: January 17, 2019 08:12 AM

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