Red Hot Chili Peppers staged their first performance of 2016 Friday night at Los Angeles’ Ace Hotel at the #FeelTheBern benefit concert for Bernie Sanders, who has gained the support of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band. During the Peppers’ career-spanning set, the band also remembered David Bowie with a rendition of the rock legend’s Aladdin Sane cut “Cracked Actor”:
This isn’t the first time Red Hot Chili Peppers have paid tribute to Bowie: Soon after the singer’s death on January 10th, Flea was inked with a “Bowie” tattoo. For the benefit concert, Smith also adorned his drum kit with an image of Sanders meshed with Bowie’s Aladdin Sane.
— Chad Smith (@RHCPchad) February 5, 2016
The Peppers’ 12-song set ranged from “Police Helicopter” off their 1984 self-titled debut LP to “Factory of Fear,” a cut from the band’s most recent album, 2011’s I’m With You.
In the weeks prior to the Sanders fundraiser, both Flea and drummer Chad Smith have been vocal in their support of the Vermont senator. “I’m for Bernie Sanders all the way,” Flea wrote in a Rolling Stone op-ed. “I believe in him; I believe in what he says. I relate to people who realize that we’re all connected, and who realize that we have to look out for each other and love each other. And that’s what Bernie’s about.”
The cost to book the fundraising event at the Ace Hotel was roughly $30,000, a fee the Peppers offered to pay themselves. However, the Sanders campaign refused their assistance. “We said, ‘Oh, we’ll pay for the cost of the venue rental.’ And [Sanders] wouldn’t accept it,” Flea added. “He said, ‘We can’t accept you guys; you’re a group — you’re incorporated — so I can’t accept that money.’ He can accept the ticket cost because each one is a small donation, but the 30 grand? ‘No, I don’t accept money like that.'”
Smith also lobbied for Sanders at an event at Las Vegas’ Tropicana on January 6th.