Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers put on a stellar halftime show during an otherwise tedious Super Bowl, but were RHCP performing live? According to some noted guitar experts, the answer is a solid no.
Despite some initial hesitation, the world seemed to thoroughly embrace Bruno Mars‘ Super Bowl halftime performance on Feb. 2. However, some very observant Twitter users put a dent in the Red Hot Chili Peppers portion of the performance when they noticed that Flea‘s bass guitar wasn’t even plugged in. Yikes.
Hat tip to Vulture, who picked up on Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid‘s Tweet about Flea not playing live. “That guitar is plugged into NOTHING,” he wrote, as the band took the stage with Mars for a rousing rendition of “Give It Away.”
Reid, who was listed at #66 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, noticed that there was no cable connected to the input jack of Flea’s bass guitar to an amplifying device, speaker, wireless pack, or anything else that could adequately project the sounds of Flea’s sick bass playing to the thousands upon thousands of screaming people at the Meadowlands. So basically, all of that shirtless jumping around and slapping the bass was all for show.
Now, of course we cannot confirm whether or not the other members of the band were playing live — maybe Flea was feeling under the weather or something — but the famous bassist’s obvious gaffe was still pretty embarrassing:
It’s especially bad given the dynamic, undeniably live performance by Mars, who definitely earned some new fans last night in one of the best Super Bowl performances we’ve seen in years.