Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea Performs Bass-Only Rendition of National Anthem at Kobe Bryant’s Final NBA Game
It was time for Kobe Bryant to step onto the hardwood for his final NBA game last night (April 14) after enjoying a lavish and successful career with the Los Angeles Lakers. In a tribute, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, a diehard Lakers fan, was invited to perform a special sendoff. Decked out in Lakers attire, the rock icon took the spotlight to perform the National Anthem on the bass.
The performance was certainly unique as Flea puts his own spin on the Francis Scott Key anthem. His fingers dance around the fretboard, loosely adding depth and texture to the song, though the take may have been mired from sound issues. The noticeable lack of sustain is puzzling and the pedal on the floor is inconsistent, sometimes seemingly acting more like a kill switch than the expected wah. The sound is wildly inconsistent, dropping out almost completely and experiencing shaky distortion with bits that align themselves more with bass drops heard in contemporary dubstep. TMZ caught up with the legend after the show where he gave a quick anecdote about his performance, stating, "I rocked that s--t!" As for Kobe Bryant, he scored 60 points in his final game.
According to the New York Daily News, Flea drew some harsh criticism for the unconventional rendition of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' on social media, but this is not the first time the bassist has come under fire after being in a nationally televised spotlight. When the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at Super Bowl XLVIII, fans swarmed the Internet pointing out Flea had been playing with his bass unabashedly unplugged. Of course, acts playing along to a backing tape is no secret for Super Bowl halftime shows due to the short set up and tear down time as well as the stadium being set up for a game rather than for a concert specifically. The live sync also helps prevent any audio snafus from occurring.
Red Hot Chili Peppers have been working on the successor to 2011's I'm With You. In October of last year, singer Anthony Kiedis stated the group has been working on new material for over a year and that some tracks "are as good as any songs we’ve ever written." No timeline on the album's release has been made available.
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