OMG you guys, did you hear about the Red Hot Chili Peppers? They totally just admitted that their Super Bowl XLVIII halftime performance was FAKE. As in, their guitars weren't even plugged IN. I can't believe it! Is nothing sacred? What gives these so-called "musicians" the right to play in front of a record 115.3 million viewers when all they're doing is PRETENDING? This is the worst news I've heard since Hostess announced their bankruptcy! I DEMAND PREDICTABILITY IN LIFE AND THAT INCLUDES LIVE PERFORMANCES AND A PLENTIFUL SUPPLY OF TWINKIES.
Okay, I'm kidding. I truly couldn't care less that the Red Hot Chili Peppers' performance was pre-recorded, particularly when 1) you read their actual statement about the band's decision, and 2) you consider the FAR more egregious acts of lip-syncing that have gone down elsewhere in entertainment history.
Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed that the Red Hot Chili Peppers' instruments weren't actually connected to anything during their performance, a fact which was pointed out on Twitter by a former Living Color guitarist with the following criticism:
That guitar is plugged into NOTHING. It's a flaw in the illusion. They slipped up by not covering that for camera.
Even Axl Rose chimed in with an amusing theory involving a futuristic butt-implant:
Consider that maybe sometime before their actual performance that rather than use a guitar cord or standard wireless, that in the name of science and for all mankind Flea courageously had a newly invented breakthrough in microchip technology installed in his ass that picked up the frequencies of his bass and transmitted them to his amplifier.
Flea has since posted a lengthy update on the band's website, and you know what? It's a GREAT explanation. Here are a few excerpts:
When we were asked by the NFL and Bruno to play our song "Give It Away" at the Super Bowl, 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. (...) We decided that, with Anthony singing live, that we could still bring the spirit and freedom of what we do into the performance, and of course we played every note in the recording specially for the gig.
(...) For the actual performance, Josh, Chad, and I were playing along with the pre recorded track so there was no need to plug in our guitars, so we did not. Could we have plugged them in and avoided bumming people out who have expressed disappointment that the instrumental track was pre recorded? Of course easily we could have and this would be a non-issue. We thought it better to not pretend. It 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. Our only thought was to bring the spirit of who we are to the people.
I completely understand where he's coming from, and the fact that they were so up front about miming the instrumentals -- and that Keidis was singing live -- made their show a LOT more honest than some of the more scandalous pre-recorded performances.
I mean, remember Ashlee Simpson's disastrous SNL gig, when her recorded voice started playing to the wrong "live" song, and she reacted by doing a weird Hee-Haw-style dance before walking offstage?
Or how about Beyonce lip-syncing the National Anthem on Inauguration Day, complete with removing her earpiece mid-song to make it look more authentic?
Or Britney's 2007 VMA "performance," which was HORRIBLY lip-synced. But then again, who could notice that when we were so mesmerized by her tragic dancing?
Even Mariah Carey made headlines for a 2008 appearance on Good Morning America, after her performance of "Touch My Body" wasn't on track with the background track. (She "covered it up" by scolding a backup singer.)
And let's not forget Milli Vanilli, most infamous fake-singers of all time. As they performed onstage live in 1989, the recording of the song "Girl You Know It's True" began to skip, repeating the partial line "Girl, you know it's ..." over and over. CRINGE.
In my opinion, what the Red Hot Chili Peppers did wasn't deceitful at all, and in fact, given the requirements they were working with, I think their choice of playing unplugged to a recorded track was perfectly fine. If viewers are going to get fired up at anyone, it should be the NFL -- at this point, it seems like a giant no-duh that the halftime show isn't exactly 100 percent live.
What do you think about the Chili Peppers' explanation for their unplugged instruments?
Image via CNN