Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea played air bass, was unplugged (Photo)

Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Red Hot Chili Peppers vocalist Anthony Kiedis perform during the Super Bowl XLVIII half time show at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Hot Chili Peppers joined Bruno Mars on stage during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVIII performing their hit single “Give It Away.” While we’ve seen live singers at televised events “lip sync” it is generally believed that musicians are actually playing their instruments. RHCP bass player Michael “Flea” Balzary was “playing bass” during the show even though his guitar wasn’t even plugged in. The other guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer, didn’t appear to have his instrument plugged in either.

flea bass

For those questioning whether it was a built in wireless transmitter, here is Flea playing the same guitar less than a month ago. Flea was playing the National Anthem at a UCLA Bruins basketball game and as you can see, the guitar is plugged in.

Jan 9, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea plays the National Anthem before the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Arizona Wildcats at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Below you can see guitarist Klinghoffer’s guitar. This is the best angle our database has, but here is a close up.

Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Recording artist Bruno Mars performs with the Red Hot Chili Peppers during the during the half time show in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

[UPDATE:] An article from Firago Music pointed out this interaction between a fan and Flea:


[UPDATE:] Flea confirms Red Hot Chili Peppers didn’t have guitars plugged in at Super Bowl halftime show in letter to fans