So none of the RHCPs plugged in their guitars during the Super Bowl halftime.
Apparently they had no choice in the matter and didn't want to fool the audience. I'm wondering how common this and lip-synching are in major public performances.
I think it is fairly common. Glad the Chili Peppers didn't try that hard to fake it. Not even having a wireless transmitter or something plugged into the instrument. This isn't the first time a band did something like this. Muse had an appearance on an Italian TV show a few years ago and they all switched instruments and roles for the recording. There are even parts where Bellamy has both hands in the air and the drums are still playing.
Nirvana addressed this when they played Top of the Pops in 1991. The producers wanted them to mime their instruments, etc. and this is what happened.
And by no means am I an Eminem fan, but I remember seeing his performance on MTV Video Awards (I think that was it) several years ago and was taken aback by his obvious lip syncing.
Flea posted a response on their website.
A Message from Flea
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.
I always love this one from Iron Maiden, they hated being forced to lip-sync but this one is always the best for me due to Adrian playing it totally straight while the rest is going on
Since Britney Spears has a residence now at Planet Hollywood anything I've read or heard about it is how horribly she lip-syncs to the songs and the show sucks ass.
Haha that guitar player has no idea what to do with his hands after Bruce takes his guitar.
Honestly though this is pretty widespread at tons of levels of music. Studio production has become so easy and portable that a lot of tricks normally associated with recording have made their way into live sound. You'll even see relatively low level touring bands have some vocal effect processing going on. And I'm not talking about obvious like T Pain style autotuning where the effect is intentional, but just general autotune that the audience isn't even aware of. Tons of drummers at that level play to click tracks and in a lot of cases the band's light show and patch changes will be completely synced up to that. This is without question occurring a almost every arena level show you go to and making its way into smaller and smaller shows every day. Now not everyone does it. There are certainly bands and even entire genres opposed to it, but it is becoming common place.
In these huge events, like the Superbowl or performances at the Grammy's, a lot of the time the vocals will be live, but processed, with little else actually happening on the spot. The came about because it's so easy to spot lip syncing and in a place like a football stadium its very difficult to stay on queue with how sound bounces around in a venue that size.
I don't know how this works from artist to artist. I certainly thought it looked like Tom Petty and Prince were actually playing during their respective performances. However, its certainly easy to sing live and fake instruments while making it look real. I just don't think RHCP gave a shit.
It is starting to get commonplace everywhere. When I would play local shitty gigs 4-5 years ago, some sound guys would ask me if I wanted autotune on my vocals. Homey don't play dat.
Glimmering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity.
With a lot of these events being timed precisely it gets harder to blame the bands for using pre-records. Sounds like the peppers did the right thing. Just don't plug in. Any of your diehard fans will notice that this is not a live musical performance, this is a stageshow.
You're slotted for X minutes Y seconds, not a little under cause you rushed through the second verse, not a little over because you extended the bridge. X minutes, Y seconds. It's not like bands at this level are going to trainwreck on stage, but 10 seconds is 10 seconds.
I think Elvis played a guitar with no strings on it when he debuted nationally. It's not like this a super-new thing.
Well its also the fucking superbowl halftime show, any street cred you had is out the window anyway.
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