“Even if I voted just based on looks, which I might, I would vote for Bernie because he’s by far the cutest candidate ever,” frontman Anthony Kiedis said early in the show.
Flea, the band’s bassist, was a touch more serious in his support of Sanders, expressing how thrilled he was “to actually hear a guy who’s running for president speak on TV with honesty and empathy and compassion.”
The rock quartet ran through such hits as “Can’t Stop,” “Give It Away,” “By the Way” and “Snow (Hey Oh)” to intense audience enthusiasm. They also covered David Bowie’s “Cracked Actor,” dedicating it to “our beauty in the cosmos,” the late singer. Flea also plucked out phrases from “The Star-Spangled Banner” on his electric bass, channeling Jimi Hendrix’s iconic take on the national anthem.
Sanders appeared in a video message addressed to the event’s audience, during which he thanked the Peppers for donating their time and reiterated his campaign platform. In the lobby, young volunteers were on hand to register voters and explain the tenets of Sanders’ position. One fan brought a sign with Sanders’ face on one side and #RaveForBernie written on the other.
The sold-out concert was attended by fervent Sanders supporters of all ages; the audience was particularly full of young caucasian men (known as “Bernie Bros” in some corners of the Internet). Joaquin Phoenix was spotted among the crowd.
Kiedis closed out the show with a plea for Sanders’ success. “We gotta go get him. We gotta make it happen. Let’s do it.”