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Red Hot Chili Peppers Salute Retiring Red Wings Defenseman Niklas Lidstrom During Detroit Stop

Red Hot Chili Peppers Chad Smith
Tim Whitby, Getty Images

There are certain stops for musicians that stand out, and playing close to home is always something special. On Friday (June 1), that meant that Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith was in for a memorable evening.

But as big of a night as it was for Smith, it was also pretty huge for one special fan in attendance – Niklas Lidstrom. The surefire future NHL Hall of Famer officially announced his retirement last week and was in attendance during the Chili Peppers show at Joe Louis Arena where he played many a game in his career.

Toward the end of the band’s set, Smith coaxed Lidstrom out to the stage where he received a standing ovation from the 15,000-strong audience. He told the crowd, “This tops it all. This is another great memory for me. It’s hard to imagine. I came here 20 years ago … and 20 years later, getting this kind of ovation … I love you guys.”

Smith, meanwhile, got to live out his own dreams. Billboard reports that the drummer played throughout the show with a Red Wings logo on his bass drum, and then had Lidstrom hang out with his mother offstage while finishing out the set. The drummer recalled seeing his first concert at Joe Louis Arena when he was 8. That was a Rush show. In the years following, he’d see many a concert and hockey game at the venue.

In addition to Smith’s visible show of support, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer wore a Lidstrom jersey for the band’s three-song encore just to keep the good vibes going.

The Chili Peppers will keep on rocking on the road throughout the remainder of the year, and recently revealed that there’ll be a number of new songs to surface in the coming months just to keep things fresh.

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