Red Hot Chili Peppers Rock Out at Flea’s Birthday Bash Fundraiser in His Backyard
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea made sure that his 50th birthday would be one that he and all of his guests would remember as he opened up his backyard for a concert-fundraiser to benefit his Silver Lake Conservatory music school.
Flea told Rolling Stone prior to the performance, "For this to happen on my 50th birthday is the best gift I could ever hope to receive." Flea joined his Red Hot Chili Peppers bandmates for a set that headlined the night, while he called upon his old friends in Rancid to serve as the opening act.
The selection of Rancid to play the backyard fundraiser was no coincidence, as singer singer-guitarist Tim Armstrong has a history with the Silver Lake Conservatory. Flea explained, "Tim studied there. He took lessons there - he was taking flamenco or something. Tim's cool and those guys showed up. They played for us before, paid for everything, gave us all the merch, everything. Those guys are so generous - they're like walking the walk, dude."
Ben Harper also made a surprise appearance during the evening, altering his cover of 'Hallelujah' to 'Happy Birthday' while a giant birthday cake in the form of a stand-up bass was presented to Flea.
The bassist was overwhelmed not only from the birthday wishes, but for the support shown his school. He explained, "A big part of my life is music education because it changed my life -- but arts, academics and athletics should all be equally treated in schools. There are different kinds of kids and those three things are vital towards the next generation of kids coming up to be happy, productive good citizens."
Finishing out the evening, Red Hot Chili Peppers took the stage for a nine-song set that began with 'Can't Stop' and wrapped up with 'By the Way.' A cover of Neil Young's 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere' also found its way into the performance. The bassist stated before the final track, "It's been kind of an overwhelming experience for me. It feels really meaningful and poignant to have everybody come out and support."
Red Hot Chili Peppers Flea's 50th Birthday Bash Setlist:
'Snow (Hey Oh)'
'Monarchy of Roses'
'Soul to Squeeze'
'The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie'
'Right on Time'
'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere'
'Give It Away'
'By the Way'