Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith Plays Hometown Show
Smith and company played before a full complement of the drummer's family -- including his mother Joan Smith, seated side-stage, and older brother Brad -- as the Chili Peppers resumed the North American leg of their The Getaway World Tour after a 10-day break. Besides the good company, it also gave Smith, who was raised in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, one last chance to play at Detroit's venerable Joe Louis Arena, which is closing in late summer after 38 years and will be replaced by the new Little Caesars Arena.
Smith, in fact, tells Billboard he insisted that the Chili Peppers play at Joe Louis when the tour was being booked. "Our agents said, 'Oh, you're getting a better offer from the Palace (of Auburn Hills), blah, blah, blah,' and I'm like, 'I don't care about the money. It's got to be Joe Louis.' And they said, 'OK,'" says Smith, who brought just-retired Red Wings captain Niklas Lidstrom onstage at the end of the Chili Peppers' June 1, 2012 show at Joe Louis. "It's a great, obviously storied place. As a kid I went to so many concerts and so many hockey games there. It means a lot to me. I'll be very happy to do one last show in that place."
Smith celebrated by sporting a Red Wings baseball cap, backwards, and the team's winged wheel logo on the back of his red tunic top. (Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer sported a Red Wings T-shirt as well). The group displayed the Joe Louis final-season logo on the video screen behind Smith's drums during the encore break. The Chili Peppers also nodded to a bit of Detroit rock heritage with a cover of Iggy Pop and the Stooges' "Search And Destroy," and -- unsurprisingly -- included the Getaway track "Detroit" during the show.
Smith -- who blew a kiss and expressed his love to his mother at the end of the show -- finished the night addressing the sold-out crowd, declaring, "This is a dream come true for a kid from Detroit, to play one last show here at Joe Louis Arena. I'm humbled, privileged... I go to a lot of places, and I'm so proud to say I'm from motherf--king Detroit, Michigan. You guys are the best."
The Chili Peppers play Saturday in Toronto, while the Getaway tour currently has dates booked into September.