I hate American football,… let me rephrase this, I don’t care at all for football, but, on Sunday afternoon, I turned the TV on just to see the halftime show. Not that I like it either, it’s simply too big, too pompous, too extravaganza for me, but I was curious. As everyone knows, Bruno Mars was joined on stage by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was a bit weird, it would be like coupling Lou Reed and Metallica,… wait, it happened! If I had been Mars I would have been a bit offended, did the organizers think he was not big enough, or not credible enough that some big rock band was needed to pump up the show? Anyway, this is really not the point, the point being that these shows are always too big to be real, and there was a question on many lips… were the Red Hot Chili Peppers really playing or were they faking it?
A few blogs here and here have commented on the fact that Flea’s bass and Josh Klinghoffer’s guitar didn’t even have a cord, and it was enough to start the controversy. I am certainly not a technically savvy person at all, but I was told that guitars can be unplugged and work like a wireless mic: you just have to use a wireless pack, but the cordless device still has to plug into the jack output of the instrument. People have dissected Flea’s bass on line with magnified pictures like this one and it seems that there is absolutely no plugging at all. As Vulture noticed, Vernon Reid, of the band Living Colour and apparently an expert on the subject, tweeted ‘That guitar is plugged into NOTHING’ then later ‘There were NO wireless packs (which would be a nightmare given the huge amount of wireless channels). They leave NOTHING to chance’
To me it makes sense, there is clearly nothing plugged into the jack output of Flea’s bass, you can look at the close-up of the picture above. But it’s even weirder, Business Insider has posted a few pictures of their performance and there is a picture (below) that shows some kind of device attached to Flea’s back and something plugged into his bass, but it obviously isn’t a picture of the Super Bowl: you can see that Keidis is wearing white socks and not these crazy leggings! So what is this picture doing in the middle of the Super Bowl pics? Was it some honest mistake or some trick to mislead us and make us believe it was in fact a real performance?
At the end, that doesn’t surprise me, these types of performances are always pre-recorded, but what does it mean for the RHCP? They have sold this image of authentic rockers but they are in fact no different from Beyoncé and Britney Spears? Let’s be reassured, everybody really everybody does it! Hank Neuberger, a supervisor of the broadcast audio for the Grammy Awards telecast, told MTV in 2009: ‘The Super Bowl performances are all on tape. There is no way you can set up a full band in five minutes with microphones, get all the settings right, and expect to get quality sound. The Super Bowl has been doing that for years with virtually all the bands’. I guess it’s the end of the discussion.
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