Watch Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith cover AC/DC classics in an Australian pub for an audience of just 17 people

Chad Smith plays Melbourne pub
(Image credit: Seth O’Donnell instagram)

Red Hot Chili Peppers are currently in Australia to play a clutch of stadium shows, but ahead of the LA band's scheduled second show tonight (February 9) at Melbourne's 53,000-capacity Marvel Stadium, drummer Chad Smith performed for a more modest crowd in rather more intimate surroundings, covering a couple of AC/DC classics with a bar band in front of just 17 people at an open mic night in a central Melbourne pub.

Down-to-earth drummer Smith was hailed as "a legend" by Cherry Bar manager James Young for his impromptu performance, as he sat in with local musicians AC Dan and Josh May to cover AC/DC classics If You Want Blood (You've Got It) from the band's breakthrough record Highway to Hell and Up to My Neck in You, from 1978's Powerage album. At the time, there were reported to be just 17 people in the bar to witness Smith's surprise cameo.

Remarkably, Smith isn't the first superstar musician to have graced the Cherry Bar's stage, as Lady Gaga, Arctic Monkeys, and, in 2017, Axl Rose have also dropped by.

According to a report in the Herald Sun newspaper, man-of-the-people Smith stuck around to watch other performances on the night, including a turn from young drummer Seth O’Donnell, whose sticks he borrowed.

“Words can’t describe this,” O’Donnell later on Instagram, alongside a photo with Smith. “Got to play drums in front of my idol…. then he played them with my sticks (and broke them), and then I got to hang with him.” His post also included footage of Smith jamming on If You Want Blood.

Watch fan-filmed footage of Smith's performance below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.