Red Hot Chili Peppers Welcome Family, Dish the Hits at ‘Emotional’ Detroit Concert

Red Hot Chili Peppers Welcome Family, Dish the Hits at ‘Emotional’ Detroit Concert thumbnail

It was a special family and friends night — with a guest appearance onstage by drummer Chad Smith’s mother — when the Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ played Detroit’s Comerica Park on Sunday night (Aug. 14).

Smith hails from the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, while frontman Anthony Kiedis was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich. Both of their mothers, Joan and Peggy, respectively, attended the show, along with other members of their families.

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After finishing the show with “By the Way,” Smith — who sported an olde English D, the Detroit Tigers’ logo, on his bass drum head — addressed the crowd of about 33,000, telling fans that “it means the world to us that you’ve supported us all these years, and it means the world to a little kid growing up not too far from here to come play this amazing stadium. I can’t fing believe it. It’s a dream come true, really is.”

Smith then pointed to his mother, sitting on the side of the stage, calling her “a 95-year-old all-time fing rocker! Can you see her over there? Can she come out and say hi.” He also identified Kiedis’ mom, who he called “another all-time fing rocker” before bringing his own mother onstage in a wheelchair, sporting her trademark chili pepper earrings and receiving a massive ovation from the crowd.

Earlier in the show, bassist Flea issued a quick, “Thank you, Michigan. Thank you for Chad and Anthony. Kiedis later told a story about the band playing Detroit’s Latin Quarter theater during November of 1989, when he tried to burn a Detroit Pistons jersey on stage in retaliation for the team beating the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA championship that year. “(Smith) beat my ass — on stage,” Kiedis recalled.

Prior to Sunday’s show, Smith told Billboard that the Chili Peppers’ biggest show ever in his home town was going to be very special. “It is emotional. To play where the Tigers play is just so cool, and to walk around and look at all the (Al) Kalines and Willie Hortons and all that hanging on the wall, the Mark ‘The Bird’ Fidrych. I remember all that stuff. “It’s very sentimental for me now. I sound like an old fart, but it does have a good, warm feeling. And I think of my (late) dad, who would take us to games and he would just love this. He wouldn’t believe it.”

The next stop on the Chili Peppers’ Global Stadium Tour is Wednesday, Aug. 17 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The North American leg runs through Oct. 16 at the Austin City Limits Festival in Austin, Texas, and the group tours Australia and New Zealand starting Jan. 21, 2023.

The Chili Peppers are also preparing for the Oct. 14 release of Return of the Dream Canteen, the band’s second album of the year; the first, gold-certified Unlimited Love, came out on April 1 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

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