The ‘Top 10 Rewind’ series wraps up with Local Spins’ No. 1 story of 2017: the fun June night when drummer Chad Smith made the rounds downtown, 24 hours before the Peppers’ sold-out Van Andel show.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The “Rewind Top 10” countdown is now complete: Here’s the top Local Spins story of 2017, an entertaining glimpse at the down-to-earth passion of a rock superstar. Drummer Chad Smith, a Michigan native, spent the night before the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ sold-out show at Van Andel Arena making the rounds of bars and venues, performing with other local and national acts, and we caught the action in videos and comments. This story first ran at Local Spins on June 25. Scroll down for the link to the Local Spins review of the Chili Peppers’ concert the following night.
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A few lucky Grand Rapids musicians had the special guest of a lifetime sitting in with them on Saturday night (June 24).
Chad Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers who are playing a sold-out concert at Van Andel Arena on Sunday (June 25), made the rounds Saturday night in downtown Grand Rapids, surprising bands by playing Mojo’s Dueling Piano Bar & Restaurant, then performing next door with Grand Rapids’ BareNaked 90’s at Flanagan’s Irish Pub, and sitting in with Sebastian Bach during a show at 20 Monroe Live.
At Flanagan’s, Smith — who grew up in Bloomfield Hills and is considered one of rock’s pre-eminent drummers — jumped behind a drum kit to play the BareNaked 90’s rendition of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge” to the delight of band members and patrons who cheered and sang along.
“Totally unexpected, and a ton of fun,” band bassist Charlie Hoats told Local Spins. “Someone told us he was in the room, so we pulled out ‘Under The Bridge,’ which we had only rehearsed once previously and had not played before in public. He immediately walked up to the bandstand, and our drummer (Mike Snider) made way for him. What a blast!”
The BareNaked 90’s cover band features Hoats, Chris Psenicka (vocals), Kerry McDonough (guirtar, vocals), Gerald Yott (guitar) and Mike Snider (drums).
“We were just as awe-stricken as the rest of the patrons to see a person of that caliber at a local pub,” added Yott.
“He plays louder and harder than any drummer I have ever played with. To play with someone at that level, and to be playing their song, the entire thing was pretty surreal. … He was a very cool guy lending his talent to a local band working the West Michigan circuit.”
VIDEOS: Chad Smith with BareNaked 90’s at Flanagan’s
Video by GRVideoFiend
Check out another video snippet here on band member Gerald Yott’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gerald.yott
A video snippet from Smith’s appearance at Mojo’s on Matthew Perlman’s Facebook page:
The gregarious Smith, wearing a classic KISS world tour T-shirt, also strolled a couple blocks down the street to 20 Monroe Live where ’90s rocker Sebastian Bach and his band were making a Grand Rapids tour stop.
Bach recalled times spent living in Michigan before performing Skid Row’s power ballad “18 and Life.” Bach recounted more stories of his time spent in Michigan throughout the set.
Bach paid homage to some of the fallen musicians over the last few weeks, most notably Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell (who passed away after their show in Detroit) and Greg Allman, culminating in the band playing another Skid Row classic, “Monkey Business”, wherein they segued into the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post,” which saw Smith come out to a raucous roar as he jammed along with the band to finish the song. (See video below.)
A few lucky fans were able to get some photos with the drummer before he headed out into the crisp summer night.
Smith and the rest of his band — featuring Grand Rapids native and band frontman Anthony Kiedis — will be performing at Van Andel Arena (June 25) supporting the band’s latest album, “The Getaway.” Check out a review and photo gallery from Sunday night’s show here.
VIDEO: Chad Smith with Sebastian Bach at 20 Monroe Live
Video by Jonathan Beatty
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