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Berginski: Respect for RHCP

By Staff | Feb 7, 2014

Anyone who watched the Super Bowl last Sunday saw the Seattle Seahawks utterly, and mercilessly, put the Denver Broncos to shame. Anyone who watched that night saw commercials that were, compared to previous years, mostly boring. (Although compared to angry denizens of Twitter, I actually did kind of like the multi-lingual Coca-Cola ad. That Budweiser salute to a soldier returning from overseas was cool, too.) But there’s something else that night that the audience may not have seen, or did see and not realize it. Something happened during the halftime show that Internet denizens considered fakery of the highest order.

The halftime show featured top-40 sensation Bruno Mars. (I’m not a huge fan of his, considering I’m more into rock, progressive and heavy metal, but at least he can sing.) With a segue, Mars was joined onstage by the Red Hot Chili Peppers for their song “Give it Away”. There was only one thing about it that was live: the vocals. The instruments weren’t plugged into amplification or mic’d at all.

RHCP bassist Flea wrote on the band’s website that they were jamming out to a track they recorded before the performance, and that they were not trying to trick anyone.

The band could have plugged their guitars, microphones and basses into wireless units and did an actual show. If they did it that way, they would still have to do a sound check and tune up instruments-which are time consuming. Heaven forbid an amplifier tube or transistor would blow, a cable give out, mixer malfunction, or wireless units pick up a radio station, as fixing those situations would be time consuming, too. And crews would still have to put the stage on and take it off the field. All that time would cut into Fox’s scheduled programming. If local Fox channels also have news affiliates, the longer halftime show would cut into their broadcasting times, too. Advertisers would also be unhappy, as they’re paying for their commercials to run in slots that have disappeared because the show went long. And all that just to perform one to three songs would be nothing short of ridiculous.

Even though their instruments weren’t plugged in, I don’t believe that took anything away from RHCP’s performance. The fact that the band was up-front and honest about it only makes me respect them more.

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