February 5, 2014

If you were wondering if there was any lip syncing going on during this year's Super Bowl halftime show, well the answer is no. However, during the Red Hot Chili Peppers brief interlude on stage with Bruno Mars, bassist Flea admitted that there was instead, instrument-syncing going on.

In their appearance at the half-time show, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were billed as special guests of the headlining act, Bruno Mars. When the band joined Mr. Mars to play “Give It Away,” many of the more than 115 million viewers who tuned in for the set noticed that their instruments were not plugged into anything and did not appear to be configured for wireless performance.

Flea, the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, wrote in a post on the band’s website that prior to the halftime show, “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,” Flea continued, “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 TV 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.”

Flea wrote that “miming” along with the pre-recorded music seemed like “the realest thing to do in the circumstance.”

“It was like making a music video in front of a gazillion people, except with live vocals, and only one chance to rock it,” he wrote. “Our only thought was to bring the spirit of who we are to the people.”

A spokeswoman for the National Football League declined to comment on Tuesday night.

No matter what, the NFL can always screw it up. Listen, I don't blame the RHCP for agreeing to this since it was supposed to be freezing during the game and I imagine the NFL paid them a lot of cash for a few minutes of music, but WTF does the NFL know about live music? They were afraid they couldn't get a bass guitar and lead guitar to work during the show? Are they kidding me?

I hung out with Moby during a show I played with Duran in Atlantic City a bunch of years ago and we chatted about his appearance on the Grammy Awards with Jill Scott and the Blue Man Band. I was there in 2001 and he told me that they had roughly 96 mics set up (If I'm remembering correctly) for the entire song and when they rehearsed it, no sound came out. But, after a few minutes they resolved the technical issue and during the live broadcast they rocked the house down.

If the Grammy Awards can pull off a set like this, theatrics and all to millions of people without a glitch, surely with the NFL's money they could get a couple of instruments working for the RD Chili Peppers.

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