The Red Hot Chili Peppers faking it at an event like the Super Bowl isn't that shocking, is it?

Categories: Commentary

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Debate over the Red Hot Chili Peppers "unplugged" controversy has been simmering for the past few days following the Super Bowl. It intensified when Flea confirmed that only the band's vocals were performed live, and the rest was pre-recorded. Folks were understandably upset, but when it comes to events like this, can you really expect anything authentic about the music?

See also: The five greatest Super Bowl halftime shows of all time

After all, the halftime show is meant to be a spectacle, an extravagant performance piece designed to appeal to the most people, offend the fewest and last less than fifteen minutes. There is no time for a sound check. It is tightly controlled both to ensure a speedy, flawless performance and to prevent any, uh, wardrobe malfunctions. Given that, you should just assume that even vocals are pre-recorded.

Regardless, if the Peppers could have played the entire halftime show live, non-conventional settings like the Super Bowl -- or even awards shows -- aren't always conducive to great live performance. Take the 1995 VMAs, for example, where a winded Rob Zombie, whose vocals were live, could barely keep up with his band, which was presumably playing live -- not that White Zombie would ever be chosen to play at a Super Bowl halftime show.



In reality, this event is clearly made to appeal to fans of mega-popular artists who likely lip synch or otherwise fake their live performances. Anyone who is disillusioned by the fact that Flea was not actually plugged in should reevaluate their expectations.

In his response to fan criticism, Flea emphasizes that "The Red Hot Chili Peppers stance on any sort of miming has been that we will absolutely not do it," but he justifies a Super Bowl exception with live vocals: "It seemed like the realest thing to do in the circumstance. It was like making a music video in front of a gazillion people."

Given that sort of logic, that must mean that world air guitar champions should probably be considered among the "realest" musicians on earth. Flea and the Peppers -- a band that once declined to license its music to Glee -- would have been better off simply saying, "We wanted to play the Super Bowl. Fuck off," don't you think?

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70 comments
Steve Pfefferle
Steve Pfefferle

Any instrumental performance at the Super Bowl is faked. They didn't plug in on purpose, so people would know the halftime show is a big shame.

Robbie Linder
Robbie Linder

Good No one should have Bruno play after RHCP!!

woodwardc
woodwardc

The problem with these huge corporate events is the fact they use and require lip-synch fakers in the first place and making bands mime. This is not a RHCP issue, and I give them props for at least admitting to the fakery. I haven't heard Bruno Mars admit that he and his musicians were also faking it. There are a bunch of people saying "Who cares?" Real artists and fans of real LIVE music care, especially when you see a bunch of posts by how much artists "rocked" when they were simply miming or lip-synching to a track. You can't "ROCK" if you are miming. End of story.  The music biz has been corrupted by a massive slew of lip synch/mime fakers primarily in pop music mostly due to the big corporate machine requiring "perfect" performances. This type of entertainment is cheating, and is no different than athletes who cheat with performance enhancing drugs or models in magazines being airbrushed and Photo-shopped to a give fake, false sense of reality. WAKE UP PEOPLE! DEMAND MORE FROM YOUR AMERICAN CULTURE than fake reality.

Kirby Shane Simmons
Kirby Shane Simmons

in my opinion they suck. they havent evolved at all really. i think they suck. alot.

Charlie Campbell
Charlie Campbell

RHCP don't suck, they've been at it for over 30 years and still sell out arenas. They also recieve mostly positive album reviews from mainstream and indie critics alike. That's pretty much the definition of not sucking as a band

Daniel Martinez
Daniel Martinez

I think all the performers faked it..... ALL of them !!

Adam Aedro Drotar
Adam Aedro Drotar

I was more surprised that the nursing home let them out that late on a Bingo night.

John Dalby
John Dalby

The Peppers are not even relevant to good music. This is not the early 1990's, people...

Collin Bahr
Collin Bahr

The NFL required them to, this is a non-story

Dan Brown
Dan Brown

That was not the worst thing the NFL did to us that night. The Chili peppers are amazing and they showed it that night.

Eric Luvender
Eric Luvender

didn't they play for free? like many before them

James Gold
James Gold

You're just a little late, Westword. This has already been beaten into the ground.

Kirk Gruber
Kirk Gruber

Anthony's vocals were live and the track that was played was made by the band specifically for the event. I think its admirable that they didn't plug in so that it was obvious it wasn't live. If you're interested in how they sound live and the crazy improvisation they are capable of buy a ticket to a real RHCP show.

Candie Bernard
Candie Bernard

Just saw them in concert a couple years ago and they put on a great show.

Charles Greenberg
Charles Greenberg

I remember on American Bandstand, they would do it all the time

LindaLee Law
LindaLee Law

THEY COULDNT GONAKED this is what happens when ya stray from rockers from the 60s and70s

Robert Goose Guzmán
Robert Goose Guzmán

Who the Hell still is agonizing over this ridiculous nonsense? Oh, that's right... the useless media. Cheers

Bradley Langston
Bradley Langston

I just always assume that anything like that at a large event is taped.

Michael Stoddard
Michael Stoddard

Why is there so much controversy over this? They literally have minutes to setup a stage and theres so many things that could go wrong. The NFL isnt gonna have their show botched from crappy sound. Get over it idiots rhcp still kills it and its a monumental achievement and honor to be asked to play the super bowl. Yall would do the same thing, dont even trip

Joshua David
Joshua David

"So was Bruno mars except the drum solo and his singing" So be was pretending to dance, smile and point at people? "It's the nfl policy" Must be a really new policy then. Tom Petty certainly was playing live, as was his band, for example

Tom Davis
Tom Davis

I would say it's inaccurate to say they faked anything. This was an NFL mandate. They cashed in like many before them. "Give it away" Rodger Goodell..

Joe Perez
Joe Perez

So was bruno mars except the drum solo and his singing.nothing new.its the nfl policy.

Adriel Galvez
Adriel Galvez

Yea FUCK the NIL for making them do that so fake and messed up but im sure the peppers already signed something and would of had to pay some big ass fine!!!

Billy BlackFeather Drexx
Billy BlackFeather Drexx

yeah, itz more important to be the band that didnt really play in the halftime show than be a band w/ the kind of integrity to just say No Thnk You. just cements My already low opinion of this over-rated band. FAIL!

Mary Manning Schumacher
Mary Manning Schumacher

What's the big deal? The main event is a football game. If you want to see a concert go to one.

Mitch Jones
Mitch Jones

They were in proximity to Bruno Mars... so basically they were guilty by association.

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