Black Eyed Failure at the Super Bowl
I’d rather use this blog to share my opinions, rather than boasting about them… However I need not remind people of how right I was, in stating last week that the band would ruin a potentially epic Super Bowl halftime show in Dallas.
Then again, I only need the Peas themselves, on stage, to make that point. After all, I’m glad somebody agrees with me.
The entrance was a stylish, but not unique descent from the rafters, lowered onto a green-lit stage by high wires. “I Gotta Feeling,” one of their greatest singles, which surely gave you repetition headaches this past summer, welcomed the Peas’ stage landing.
What bothered me the most, was the lone, egotistical approach to it all. After landing on a gigantic neon “P” built to hold perhaps hundreds of people at once, the group stood alone; no backing band, stage dancers, nothing.
Granted, the light-up dancers surrounding the stage provided excellent choreography and action to the performance, they were dejected to the hash marks.
With the focus squarely on the foursome, technical difficulties struck with an unmistakable force. Fergie’s mic had a terribly timed switchover, exposing not only her opening lip syncing, but highlighted her own miscalculated timing.
“Boom Boom Pow” followed, guiding your brain through a flashback of brain numbing, radio power play songs that won’t fade without dementia or half-centuries. The song concluded with their show’s first cameo, former lead guitarist of rock troupe Guns n’ Roses, Slash.
I admit, I was surprised Slash was convinced to join this charade, however it is the Super Bowl and artists will take just about any chance they get to relay their past hits. Slash appropriately led into the lead guitar of the Roses’ classic, “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
Then, as if you weren’t already depressed by this comparison of music ages, Fergie leaped into the past by butchering the lyrics to the tune, all the while providing a sultry strut around Slash. Maybe she was worried he’d rip her top off, I don’t know.
After a quick run of another two songs from the Peas’ library, Usher dropped in from above to perform his former number-one hit “OMG,” with backing vocals by co-writer will.i.am.
This was enough to convince me that even the top members of this planning committee couldn’t fully entrust the entire performance to the Peas. Two cameos is always cool in an act of this magnitude, however former halftime show performers, a.k.a. Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones or Bruce Springsteen, didn’t need any help. They owned every inch of that stage.
The set was concluded with the Peas’ newest single, “The Time (Dirty Bit),” off their upcoming album The Beginning.
The advertisements leading up to this halftime show performance always included mentions of “The Beginning,” which while it serves as an excellent marketing tool, seems kind of annoying. I just don’t like the idea of my Super Bowl XLV halftime jester to care as much about hyping their next album as hyping what’s in front of them at the moment. Hell, I know the Stones and Prince and Paul McCartney are old, but you didn’t have to hear them touting their upcoming albums after splitting the stage in half with their music.
Call me a traditionalist, or even anti-modernist music fan, but I believe the Super Bowl has gone the wrong route by searching for today’s greatest artists to fill the slot on Super Bowl Sunday.
It’s not like you can’t find an top-notch, young performer to take this responsibility, but it is harder to choose from artists with such shorter resumes.
Personally, I thought Jay-Z and Beyonce would have been an excellent choice for this year. Something for the guys, something for the girls, excellent, chart-topping music across the board.
But hey, they can always save that for the 2014 Super Bowl in New York’s Meadowlands.