The Super Bowl halftime show, if you are a member of the 2% of Americans that is unaware, had Madonna as the headlining act with Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee-Lo Green, and LMFAO supporting her. Madonna did pretty well solo, until her modern-day cronies, Nicki and M.I.A., took the stage. Nicki was doing her thing until she came to her inevitable wide-eyed yelling state (which gave me nightmares for the two nights following the performance). M.I.A., on the other hand, has not done anything for years, and most people spent time trying to figure out who she was rather than viewing her actual performance, which was bad. The next week, the Grammys were par at best, aside from Nicki Minaj’s cult-like exorcism performance. If you are that curious, look it up on YouTube, but consider yourself warned.
Fast-forward to last weekend’s NBA All Star Game. Pitbull was the main performer and quite possibly the worst live performer I have seen in a while. All he does for performances is get on stage, jump up once or twice, mutter something unintelligible in Spanish, and then repeat.
What happened to the amazing performances of yesteryear? In 2001, the Super Bowl had Aerosmith, N’Sync, Britney Spears, Nelly, and Mary J. Blige. Then, in 2002, they had U2. All of these artists were in their prime and attracted tons of attention.
In 2004, everything would change. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson had the notorious “wardrobe malfunction” which led to the Super Bowl having to pick somewhat conservatively over the next few years. As a result, 2005 saw Paul McCartney who, though classic, was almost too classic. I am just going to come out and say it, the dude is old. The subsequent years had the Rolling Stones, Prince, and Tom Petty – all people whose heyday was at least one decade prior.
Did JT and Janet Jackson ruin the future of halftime shows? Quite possibly, especially considering the high enthusiasm artists littering the top 40 today like Flo Rida and Rihanna. Even Adele, who many regard as having the best performance at the Grammys, failed to inspire me. We need to bring back the fun in halftime and awards show performances. It is time for out with the old and in with the (quality) new.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what grinds my gears.