WHEN bands have been together long enough they become ‘telepathic’.

Hand gestures or little nods are all it takes for there to be an unspoken understanding between the musicians when performing live.

That was clearly the case for Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) as drummer Chad Smith, bassist Flea and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer leapt on stage for an incredible jamming session before Anthony Kiedis joined them for Can’t Stop to huge applause.

The musicianship was the tight, the stagecraft honed to perfection – but what else would you expect from a band who have been doing this for more than three decades?

The crowd sang back every word of Can’t Stop and that was just the start. By the time the LA four-piece had played Dani California and Scar Tissue the audience had been completely won over.

This was the second night of RHCP’s Manchester leg of their world tour at the arena.

It was the first time they had performed in the city in five years and proved to be a hugely energetic gig.

Flea, in particular, was strutting and bouncing around from one side of the stage to the other, working the enthusiastic crowd.

Much was made of John Frusciante leaving the band in 2009 but RHCP’s current guitarist Klinghoffer was exceptional, belting out outstanding solos with a quiet confidence.

The stage itself was something to behold too with a video backdrop and rows of colour changing lights that continued to rise and fall like inverted waves.

The only two things that let the gig down were the absence of one of their most popular songs, Californication, and the band’s short time on stage.

Given their back catalogue to draw on and how long Manchester had waited to see them, it would have been good to get more than 90 minutes out of them.

Highlights included the catchy Parallel Universe, the poignant Under The Bridge and funky show closer, Give It Away.

Their new single Go Robot also sounded much better live, with a jam session giving the song the ending it always deserved.