Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl and the Halftime Show a Pop Culture Experience

At tonight's game after the New York Giants and the New England Patriots finish the first half there will be commentary from former football legends, and the a halftime show with Madonna.  Radio stations, and advertisers are pulling out the big bucks to promote her new bland single "Gimme All Your Luvin"and get people on board with her performance.  

As the game draws nearer and as Packers fan I honestly do not care who wins, I guess as a New Yorker I am going to root for the Giants.  The other thought/question that went through my mind was when did the halftime show become such a huge production?  In looking at the history of the Super Bowl the half time show did not have a major pop act until 1991 with New Kids on the Block.  Prior to 1991 the half time show was performed by a college marching band, and it may have included a big named variety star from the past like George Burns.

After 1991 the half time appears to have become a much bigger production.  In 1992 Gloria Estefan did a performance which centered around the Olympics that year.  1993 may have been the biggest of the early years with Michael Jackson.  1994 went the country route, and 1995 and 1996 went way old school with the likes of Patti Labelle, Tony Bennett (1995), and Diana Ross (96).

The show started to evolve into this megamix of performances and really took off in 2001 with the most meorable halftime (without a nipple) when Aerosmith, N'Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly performed.  This was a great combination of an eclectic variety of music that worked.  2002 was also great with U2. 2003 was an odd mix of Shania Twain, No Doubt, and Sting.  Then all this youthful momentum was burst, when in 2004 they got Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P.Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock.  They all sang songs that were old, and not relevant to the time.  Yet the worst part was when Justin Timberlake created the wardrobe malfunction that got right wing America in a tizzy, and  while many should have blamed Timberlake people seemed to put the blame on Ms. Jackson.  This not only changed the look and feel of the Super Bowl half time show, but it made the FCC take a stronger stance on stupid issues.

After 2004 the Super Bowl went back an older demographic with Paul McCartney in 2005, The Rolling Stones in 2006, Prince in 2007, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2008, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in 2009, and The Who is 2010.

2011 and 2012 have proved to be another changing direction.  With one of the worst half time shows ever in 2011 The Black Eyed Peas moved toward pulling in the younger demographic, but gave one of the worst performances ever.  This year the Queen of Pop Madonna is going to give us all her loving, and will hopefully give a good performance that makes me forget about some of the boring and awful years past.

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