01 February, 2009

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band

Well, for the past however many years, it seems, the artists who have performed at the Super Bowl have not failed to impress. I can't remember when the transition occurred. I think that maybe the year that the whole Janet Jackson debacle happened, it was decided that no more bullshit would be thrown up on the stage of the the "World's Greatest Event". From then on, it's been great acts.

Wikipedia tells me that Janet Jackson was in 2004 (along with additional horrible artists, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Simpson).

Since then, we've had: Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and this year, The Boss.

With the exception of the fact that the format obligates abbreviated versions of some songs (e.g. 2nd verse was cut out of Born To Run and Glory Days), these performances have all been fantastic.

I am not a fan of stadium rock, actually. And I am also not a fan of the hype that goes around the commercialism of (corporate) professional sports. But I guess I do feel like if it's going to be such an extravaganza, it should deliver. If you go back through history, some of the Super Bowl acts have not been what I would call super. 

Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera and Toni Braxton in 2000...

New Kids on the Block in 1991...

And if you go back earlier than 1990, it seems like the halftime show was more of a "variety show" than a kick-ass performance. 

The highlight of this year's show was definitely seeing Bruce and "Little Steven" (a.k.a. Silvio from The Sopranos) singing harmonies in the same microphone on Glory Days. Though that's not a Boss "classic", the song certainly brings back MTV memories from high school, and they did a very good job playing it. Bruce's voice is not a heck of a lot worse than it's been over the past 20 years or so. And he was relatively spry for a guy who will be -- get this -- 60 years old!! -- this September.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about these Super Bowl halftime shows is that they have the crew and coordination to assemble and disassemble these ridiculously huge stages in such an amazingly short amount of time. 

To think that "American Ingenuity" can produce arena stages that can be cycled in 20 minutes, but we can't make a car that gets 50 miles per gallon.

(I had to end on a cynical note)

They don't look quite as good as in the Glory Days

1 comment:

  1. She Who Is Right02 February, 2009 18:12

    I was right; an E street band person DID die. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24192346/