February 5, 2007 at 7:42 AMSo Super Bowl Sunday went well in the Niles house... the Colts won, a major vindication for my husband, who has suffered 20-some long years as a win-less Colts fan.
Though I was totally impressed with the football, I was much more impressed by something else: the halftime show.
They hired a musician!
Yes, I'm talking about Prince. He sang with his real voice, not souped-up studio effects. He played his guitar. He even invited Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 band to play with him, and they played, too; you could hear them.
Why is this such a big deal?
Because I'm tired of canned music. Canned, fake, studio-driven, dead-on-arrival music. I'm tired of the elevation of lip-syncing posers to the stratospheres of stardom here in the United States, where popular music has been hijacked by Clear Channel Communications and the prevailing attitude is that live music is just too risky to try.
Whatever you think of his style, Prince did it live, for millions of viewers right there and on T.V. He did it in a driving rainstorm, with all kinds of crazy pyrotechnics and more than 100 musicians to coordinate, and he rocked. He sang in tune, he let off his characteristic Prince whoop in tune, he wailed on his guitar, and he did not play it safe.
The fact that it all happened in the moment made all the difference; it was the best halftime show in memory.
Let's hear it for authentic music!
Though I have seen a bit of a trend in the past few years. This year - Prince. Last year - Rolling Stones. Year Before - Paul McCartney. Before that - Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson with Nipplegate.
Since Nipplegate the halftime shows have chosen real musicians who have a track record of producing top quality music and being able to perform live. I am absolutely certain that Justin Timberlake is not a live performer.
Personally, I like it. Let's hope that they continue this trend with getting live musicians who are actually able to play.
As far as "old" versus "new," I suppose we have new mega-star people like John Mayer, "waiting for the world to change."
Waiting for the world to change!
Where is the true "new" artistry, where are the new people who want to rock the world?
But I agree about authentic music. Hurray for authentic music (sorry to have been so disagreeable).
I wonder what kind of electric violin we could fashion with strange shapes?
I know that not everyone likes Prince, or football...I just wanted to point out a rare instance of live music happening in the context of mainstream America!
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