Watch Red Hot Chili Peppers’ rendition of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit

What an epic rock crossover.

Nirvana Kurt Cobain and Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante

Image: Pictorial Press Ltd / ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

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Footage has emerged of the Red Hot Chili Peppers paying tribute to the Nirvana classic Smells Like Teen Spirit in a recent concert.

The Chilis were playing at a benefit show for the Silverlake Observatory Of Music in California Saturday Night (29 October) when they surprised fans with a 90-second rendition of the iconic grunge anthem.

The band closed the set by performing the first verse and chorus of Smells Like Teen Spirit, with Anthony Kiedis singing the verse and bridge (with a neon shirt over his head), and guitarist John Frusciante taking on the chorus.

While the two groups have toured together back in 1991, it is the first time the Chilis Peppers are covering the Nirvana anthem.

Recalling the tour in a recent interview on The Howard Stern Show, bassist Flea said: “I remember just feeling like, you know, they’re good bands, but Nirvana, they were really carrying a heavy magic with them, just this feeling like they are a powerful entity to be respected.”

Kiedis added, “It was just natural … to have an energy, to have a passion, to have a live-or-die aesthetic to everything we did. But I feel like Nirvana had that naturally as well. They were certainly good at their instruments and songwriting and chemistry and all that, but then they also just had a combustibility that came with birth or came from god or came from the planets or something.”

In other news, the Red Hot Chili Peppers recently released their thirteenth studio album and second full-length album of the year, Return of the Dream Canteen.

Of the Rick Rubin-produced record, the band said, “We went in search of ourselves as the band that we have somehow always been. Just for the fun of it we jammed and learned some old songs. Before long we started the mysterious process of building new songs. A beautiful bit of chemistry meddling that had befriended us hundreds of times along the way.


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