If you grew up a rock music fan in the first decade of the 2000s, as I did, the Red Hot Chili Peppers likely provide much of the soundtrack of your formative years. Songs like “Can’t Stop” and “Dani California” populated your early-generation iPods, and you familiarized yourself with the oldies that stood the test of time: “Give it Away,” “Under the Bridge,” etc. Listening to these songs probably invokes a good deal of nostalgia. They stand the test of time, too; listen through Californication again today, and relish in the tight, emotionally thick beauty of its fifteen tracks.
Given these assumptions, you were probably just as pumped as I was to hear that the Chili Peppers would be joining Bruno Mars for the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime performance. By the time the teams headed to the locker rooms and Seattle had ensured that the game would be akin to watching a monster truck run over the same poor car for three hours, you were probably relieved that some good music would interrupt the tedium. Bruno Mars, sure, cool, but the CHILI PEPPERS!!! I was so excited, I had even set up a betting pool with my family, trying to pick the three songs they would play.