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Let me clarify something right away: the Super Bowl halftime show is called a show, not a halftime concert. The idea behind the entire 12-minute extravaganza was to entertain not only those who attended the big game, but the 111.5 million people who tuned in for Bruno Mars and guest stars Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP).
While the crowd was begging for more Bruno, the RHCP came flying out of a cannon and erupted with heavy head banging, mush-mouth lyrics and funky bass lines. Let’s not forget that two of the members, Anthony Kiedis and Flea, were completely shirtless.
This year’s halftime show may have made the instant jump into the top three half time shows of all-time; however, it will be hard to ever dethrone Beyonce after last year’s performance.
So what’s the big deal?
Rolling Stone magazine published an article earlier this week criticizing the RHCP’s lack of playing or, as they called it, “miming.” The photos show a completely useless electric bass guitar strapped around the jarring neck of 51-year-old Flea.
Where’s the argument against Bruno’s back-up band rocking out in their gold suits pulling dance moves while playing like a high school marching band?
The new king of pop Mars and the funky, punk mash drove home a performance for all ages. They faded off the stage after only three minutes with Mars, and then slipped quietly into the second half.
So if the overall performance was so good, what’s Rolling Stone’s big problem? Yes, it was proven that the RHCP’s music was “faked,” and the vocals were the only live portion of the show, but what does it matter?
It doesn’t.
The band has been around since 1984 and has been tearing up venues ever since. They join a very short list of bands that can stand the test of time without changing their core values and what their music stands for.
Instead of griping over a few pre-recorded chords, we ought to appreciate their ability to rock on into their 50s. Haven’t they proven themselves after 30 years of relevancy in the music industry? We don’t see many bands at this stage of their career taking leaps to play alongside an entirely different genre such as Bruno Mars.
The guys may not have been plugged in, but their pre-recorded funk-rock performance was entertaining, which is exactly the design of a Super Bowl halftime show. We don’t need another Black Eyed Peas train wreck of a performance during such a highly televised event.
In the interview with Rolling Stone, Flea admitted to the mimic job. He defends the band by stating that it wasn’t their choice to pre-record the music.
“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,” he said. “I understand the NFL’s stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there’s 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.”
In light of their great performance, I propose a public apology to the Red Hot Chili Peppers before we “Give It Away” to such harsh judgment.

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