Suspicion started when viewers noticed that none of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' instruments were actually plugged in during their frenetic Super Bowl performance last Sunday. Now, the bassist Flea admits in a post on the band's blog they knew their instruments weren't on.
It was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums, and guitar would be pre-recorded. I understand the NFL's stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the t.v. viewers. There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period.
The band's usual policy is no syncing, lip- or otherwise. "We will absolutely not do it," Flea writes. But given that the Super Bowl was a once-in-a-lifetime event, they decided to go for it anyway. The band actually recorded a fresh studio track that they performed with during the event.
The bassist first hinted the less-than-live performance in a cryptic tweet yesterday. "We thought it better to not pretend," he argues in the post. "It seemed like the realest thing to do in the circumstance. It was like making a music video in front of a gazillion people."
The lack of cords probably even helped them jerk around the stage like the adolescent punk band they haven't been for decades. No shirt, no sound, no problem. Watch the band flail in the video below.
The whole thing is reminiscent of the brief blow-up over Beyonce lip-syncing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Obama's inauguration last year. The singer decided it was simply too risky to rely on a live version on Capitol Hill. But do we really expect any enormously public performance to be live anymore?
[Image via AP]