EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Was it okay for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to play unplugged guitars at the Super Bowl last Sunday?
When viewers -- most notably, Living Colour's Vernon Reid -- noticed that bassist Flea and Josh Klinghoffer seemed to be running around the stage without their guitars plugged in, they launched into debate about whether the technical difficulties of stage management during an event of that size necessitate pre-recorded tracks.
Flea responded to questions about their performance on Tuesday, telling fans that Super Bowl organizers wanted them to play to pre-recorded tracks, despite the band's general objection to faking it.
@TallGrrl Exactly. If there's ANY place for SPECTACLE writ large, the SuperBowl Halftime show is IT. Coordinated to Meta-Perfection (OOPS!)— Vernon Reid (@vurnt22) February 3, 2014
"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," the 51-year-old musician wrote in a post to the band's website. "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 Red Hot Chili Peppers stance on any sort of miming has been that we will absolutely not do it," Flea said. But the band decided to go ahead with the performance -- on the assurance that Anthony Kiedis' vocals would be live -- because they were so excited about the gig.
"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," he added.
[New York Daily News, EW]