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It Looks Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers Weren't Playing Live During the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Getty Images)more pics »It's a bit of a surprise to those of us who firmly believe that Beyoncé wins at everything, but Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' epic performance for the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday evening was the most watched in history, drawing an estimated 115.3 million viewers. While most critics agree that Mars more than pulled his weight, the show was not without controversy. A couple of eagle-eyed viewers noticed there was something awfully strange about Flea's bass guitar during the show.

"That guitar is plugged into NOTHING," tweeted Living Colour's Vernon Reed (via Vulture). And he was correct: There weren't even any short wireless plugs. Nothing. Nope.


(Getty Images)Given the size and scope of the performance, it's not a complete shocker that the Peppers weren't plugged in — more of a surprise that they chose not to even give the appearance of being plugged in. It's probably a complete nightmare to work out the sound for a stadium that big, and a lot of performers prefer not to risk technical difficulties when they're before an audience of millions (just ask Beyoncé). Even Whitney Houston's famous delivery of the 1991 national anthem at the big game was pre-recorded.

Flea appeared to confirm the rumors with a tweet late Monday night:

What he seems to be saying is that the band had no other options than to play unplugged — and that they didn't deceive their fans by pretending otherwise. And we all know Flea is more than capable of laying down those bass lines any day of the week, so that's a non-issue.

Still — do you feel deceived?

UPDATE: Flea posted a lengthy explanation on the band's official website confirming that he, Josh, and drummer Chad Smith were not playing live. 

More pictures from the Super Bowl Halftime Show:
  • Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
  • Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
  • Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
  • Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
  • Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
  • Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
  • Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
  • Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
View Anthony Kiedis Pictures »
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