[Ed. note: This story first appeared on Two Rivers Tribune here.]
If the chili harvest isn’t what you had hoped for this year, don’t worry, a bumper crop is about to come, and it’s red hot!
Rumors that rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, will be holding a surprise free concert at Hoopa were confirmed last Friday when the band’s stage staff began preparing at Hoopa Valley High School.
Longtime tour director Gage Freeman said the band was interested in playing the Native American community. “It’s something they’ve never done before,” Freeman said. “There aren’t a lot of big rock bands rolling in here, right? It’s a unique place in California and I have a connection to Humboldt. I thought Hoopa was the place to do it, so we’re making it.”
Freeman, a Los Angeles native who came to Humboldt State in the 1980s and promoted punk performances here throughout the 1990s, reached out to school principals last spring to start planning. His love for the area eventually led him to buy a vacation home in Humboldt.
Maggie Peters, Principal of Hoopa High School, announced Monday the closed concert for students during the Aboriginal Day gathering. Permission slips were returned home with each student and ground rules were discussed. If they want to taste Red Hot Chili Peppers, they have to go to school and return their pot on time and refrain from commenting.
“We are very fortunate to have a high-profile, multi-platinum rock band, whose lead singer also happens to be Native American, and wants to come and perform for our school and community,” Peters said during the gathering. “That’s really cool.” The crowd cheered and thanked all the principals, past and present, who made the event possible.
The permission slip expressed the peculiarity of the event. “No additional bracelets are available for friends and family to attend the event,” she said. Due to the closed nature of the event, TRT will not publish the date and time specified here until the event begins. Of the 900 bracelets distributed to the community, just under half were reserved for students and faculty.
The permission slip also states that teachers and other faculty members present at the school are not responsible for accompanying students. Juvenile Security and Law Enforcement will be present to perform these duties. Students should also arrange a trip home immediately after the event.
The concert at Hoopa takes place between two much larger concerts for the Red Hot Chili Peppers as they complete their 2022 World Stadium Tour. At the same time as the band’s crew prepared for the concert at Hoopa, the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Austin, Texas were preparing to party there. After playing at Hoopa, they will return to Texas to headline Austin City Limits on October 16. After a short hiatus from the tour, they play in Auckland, New Zealand on January 21, 2023.
The film crew traveling with the band told the Two Rivers Tribune that they will be shooting a short documentary and interviewing different people in the Hoopa Valley over the next several days as well as participating in cultural exchanges.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have held small surprise concerts like this at other schools in the past, such as a Halloween 2018 performance at a school in Calabasas, California. Band member Flea also received national media attention in 2021 when he attended a wedding and a captivating hit at Fort Berthold Reservation, home of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arika Nation, in New Town, North Dakota.
As for Humboldt’s gigs, they’ve come a long way since they played the sound of early evil funk wearing only their socks in Mattel Community Center on Redway in the 1980s. Fans watched the group struggle through addiction in their earlier years. Many of their songs were inspired by this struggle and the redemption that would follow. Freeman said they take their message of resilience and overcoming addiction with them to Hoopa, as they do everywhere they go.
“I get excited just thinking about it,” Freeman said.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers scored more than double their audience on Hoopa High alive – around 39 years old. They are the most successful band in alternative rock history with over 120 million records sold worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and have won six Grammy Awards. The group also released their #1 album in April Unlimited love They are releasing their second album this year on October 14th The return of the canteen of dreams. For the handful of students who may not know who the Red Hot Chili Peppers are, a deep dive into the history of the band will likely take place in the school curriculum on Wednesday.
“Start by Google lyrics and learn some lyrics,” Peters said. “[The day of the concert] Knowledge Day will be Red Hot Chili Peppers. Start learning some songs! “
Posting about Red Hot Chili Peppers on social media? Be sure to use the hashtags #RedHotChiliPeppersHoopa and #RHCPHoopa
Here they are in the 80s playing at Mattel on Redway, only wearing socks
The Chili Peppers are currently on tour to support their soon-to-be album The return of the canteen of dreamsTheir second new release this year only. The album contains the first single “Tippa My Tongue”, which you can watch below.