Monday, February 2, 2009

Diva Devastation

The Super bowl was yesterday.

As if you didn't know.

I was going to use my time and energy to write about Bruce Springsteen and the sellout that he's become. I didn't really want to touch this subject, and I was actually feeling bad about writing something like that. I love the Boss. I always have and always will. Just like another hero of mine, Bob Dylan, Springsteen is the epitome of words and music put together. But he sold out. Turns out Dylan did too (the Pepsi commercial with his song "Forever Young", y'all). Come to find out that Faith Hill and Jennifer Hudson are also in this club.

They did? (gasp)

In the Associated Press, it was reported that a producer for the pre-game show, Rickey Minor, had said that the performances were lip-synched to pre-recorded tracks that were submitted to the NFL a week ago. “That’s the right way to do it,” Mr. Minor said, according to The A.P. “There’s too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance."

But isn't that the point of getting a gig at the Super bowl? You want to perform in front of the largest audience that you can have, essentially. I was going to talk about why these aging rockers do it year after year: the Stones, Prince, Tom Petty. None of them need to do it. Not really, anyways. Let's face it, these acts are going to sell albums no matter what. They have that kind of street cred. But at least they did their show. The "variables" of going live don't matter. The E Street Band was live and very much on top of their game. Plus, there was an entire horn section from the Seeger Sessions band, and a gospel choir. Talk about adding variables to your variables. When Prince did his thing, it was pouring rain. Remember that one? He was smokin' too. And doing it live.

The renditions that Ms. Hill and Ms. Hudson sang of their respective songs were very nice. I can't say they were great. I'm not even sure they were good. Last week they were great, as you heard, but so what? It. Was. Last. Week. I, for one, feel cheated. And I'm not even a fan of these two ladies. But I did want to hear them sing.

So I'm not gonna rail on Bruce. Sure, his set was very cheesy. Talking to the camera, sliding into the camera, making Clarence play cowbell instead of sax, all cheese. The referee throwing a flag for delay of "Boss Time"? Super-stinky cheese.

Really, though, what was I expecting? What were YOU expecting? It wasn't really a Springsteen concert. It wasn't even sort of a Springsteen concert. Wasn't supposed to be. It’s the Super Bowl. The ultimate stage to sell your stuff. He had twelve minutes to deliver the goods that span a career of almost 40 years. All to promote a new album, which he actually played a song from. If it were a commercial, it would have cost him upwards of $36 million. Instead, he GOT paid, and played, and is still the Boss.

So I guess the only thing I expected was Springsteen to perform, which he did. For that, I can't really complain. The divas? They did not perform, and so I say the NFL took us for a fool so as not to "devastate" the performance.

So it goes...

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