Anthony Kiedis was rushed to the hospital shortly before his band was scheduled to headline the KROQ Weenie Roast festival in Irvine, California.
Flea, the singer's fellow Red Hot Chili Peppers cofounder, made the announcement from the stage.
“Anthony is on his way to the hospital right now and we're unable to play for you this evening,” the bassist can be heard saying in fan-filmed videos making the rounds on social media. “We are devastated about it. We’re really sad, we love you so much. We live to rock. We live to fucking dig deep into the depths of our heart and rock. But unfortunately, there’s a medical thing that happened and he needed to deal with it.”
Kiedis was said to be suffering from extreme stomach pain just a couple of hours before they were set to go on, according to reports. He was rushed to a local hopsital.
At the radio station's annual event, held at Irvine Meadows Ampitheatre, Weezer performed an extended set in the Chili Peppers absence. Other performers throughout the day included Panic! At The Disco, Garbage and Empire Of The Sun. The current lineup of Blink-182, featuring singer/guitarist Matt Skiba, performed a surprise set. Around 11pm Pacific Time, drummer Chad Smith Tweeted, “NO one's more disappointed than us that we couldn't perform tonight. Sending love and a speedy recover to my brother Anthony.”
NO one's more disappointed than us that we couldn't perform tonight. Sending love and a speedy recovery to my brother Anthony.
— Chad Smith (@RHCPchad) May 15, 2016
— Ted Stryker (@TedStryker) May 15, 2016
Red Hot Chili Peppers were formed in 1983 by Keidis, Flea, guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons (later a member of Pearl Jam from 1994 to 1998).
Slovak passed away from a heroin overdose in 1988. Two of the band's other guitarists, John Frusciante and Jane's Addiction's Dave Navarro, both famously struggled with heroin. Kiedis wrote extensively about his own battle with drug addiction in his 2004 memoir, Scar Tissue, which takes its title from the RHCP hit of the same name. Chili Peppers hits like “Give It Away,” “Under The Bridge,” “By The Way,” “Californication,” “My Friends” and their cover of Steve Wonder's “Higher Ground” remain rock radio staples.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, rounded out by guitarist Josh Klinghoffer (since 2007), were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012. Kiedis is 53.
The Getaway, the band's eleventh studio album and first in five years, is set for release June 17. The band is next scheduled to perfom May 17 in Burbank, California.
KROQ on-air personality Kat Corbett spoke with Smith and Flea earlier Saturday evening (video below).