No good bands play DeKalb


(From left) Josh Klinghoffer (guitar), Anthony Kiedis (vocals), Michael “Flea” Balzary (bass) and Chad Smith (drums) make up Red Hot Chili Peppers, the rock legends who toured their album Blood Sugar Sex Magik through the Duke Ellington Ballroom before it went multi-platinum. Oh, and Peal Jam and Smashing Pumkins opened the show.

By Alex Fiore

These days, even Lollapalooza would be lucky to get Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers on the same bill.

Twenty years and one day ago, NIU did just that.

On Oct. 17, 1991, those three future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame groups performed at the Duke Ellington Ballroom.

Yes, you read that correctly.

That concert found those three groups at interesting points in their careers.

Headliner Red Hot Chili Peppers had released its seminal record Blood Sugar Sex Magik just three weeks prior to the show. The Chili Peppers’ setlist relied heavily on those songs including one of its first-ever performances of the classic ballad “Under

the Bridge.”

Pearl Jam was touring on the release of its masterful debut album Ten and played early versions of excellent songs like “Even Flow” and “Jeremy.”

The least-well-known group on the bill was Chicago rockers the Smashing Pumpkins, promoting its debut album Gish. Still, the Pumpkins played crowd favorites like “STP” and “Siva” before yielding the stage to the (slightly) more

senior bands.

So what happened after

that show?

Well, Gish went platinum, Blood Sugar Sex Magick went multi-platinum, Ten went diamond and the latter two albums were named to Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

Two years after that show, those three bands were three of the biggest rock acts around, selling out arenas and amphitheatres across the country.

So is the show at NIU the reason these groups got so big? Definitely not, but we can at least pretend.

Enough about the Huskie Bus system; these are the kind of things we should be telling prospective students on the tour.