PREPARATIONS are now in full swing to turn the Stadium of Light around in time for Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The four-piece U.S. rock band will take to the stage tomorrow, bringing to a close this year’s summer of gigs at the Black Cats’ ground.
Coldplay and Springsteen have already played to 100,000 excited gig goers, ploughing millions into the economy. The Chilis are on course to play to about another 50,000 music fans.
There will be more of a festival vibe to this gig with three support acts – The Wombats, The Futureheads and Reverend and the Makers – performing ahead of the headliners.
The show will last nearly six hours with the first support act, indie rockers Reverend and the Makers, led by charismatic frontman Jon McClure, on stage from 5pm.
Ticket holders are being advised to arrive as early as possible to catch the Reverend in action, with Sunderland’s famous sons The Futureheads performing shortly afterwards in a scheduled slot of 6.05pm.
Liverpool’s The Wombats – the dynamic trio behind hits including Moving to New York and Kill the Director – occupy the final support slot from 7.20pm.
And then it’s the main event, with Chilis’ frontman Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer set to emerge from backstage at 8.50pm to unleash their unique brand of funk-laced rock on ticket holders.
Gary Hutchinson, Sunderland AFC’s commercial director, said: “It’s rare to secure such a star-studded line-up of bands on one bill so I’d encourage people to get here as early as they can to enjoy it all.
“Those who came to the Oasis show will be familiar with Reverend and the Makers from their brilliant set here in 2009, while The Wombats have enjoyed excellent chart success in recent years.
“In particular, I think everyone in the region shares my excitement at seeing The Futureheads back here on home turf too. We know it means an awful lot to the band and it will be really special for us all to see them up on stage performing to so many people in their home city.
“It sets up what I think will be one of the best shows we will have seen here. Anyone who has seen the Red Hot Chili Peppers before will know just what they bring to their live performances and with so many iconic albums to their name, it promises to be an outstanding night.”
The Stadium of Light performance will be the last of just two UK dates that the Red Hot Chili Peppers will play this year, with the band’s tour rolling on to prestigious arenas across Europe and the U.S.