Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith played an emotional homecoming gig last night (February 2) in Detroit, praising the city’s Chilis fans as “the best.”
The four-piece stopped in the Michigan city as part of their current world tour in support of last year’s ‘The Getaway’, their eleventh studio album. Smith grew up in the Bloomfield Hills suburb of Detroit.
Smith was the driving force in choosing the venue for last night’s show, picking the Joe Louis Arena – which is the current home of the NHL team the Detroit Red Wings. The drummer told Billboard that he went against their promoter’s advice in booking the show at the soon-to-be-closed arena, as the sentimental nature of playing in that particular venue was too great for him to ignore.
“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,'” Smith revealed. “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.”
At the end of the gig, Smith – who was wearing a Red Wings baseball cap during the gig – addressed the crowd. “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 motherfucking Detroit, Michigan. You guys are the best.”
The Red Hot Chili Peppers will join the European festival circuit this summer – including a live fixture at the first ever first Lollapalooza Paris in July.