Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sound & Groove, Episode 64: "The Halftime Superstars of the Super Bowl"

Prince rocked the halftime show of Super Bowl XLII (42) in Miami, Florida's Pro Player Stadium on February 4, 2007. With his usual dazzling musical display mixed with arresting visuals and funky looking clothes and guitars, Prince had one of the more memorable performances in the format's history. What especially helped it stand out was a rendition of "Purple Rain" where his presence was enhanced by purple-silhouetted rain falling around him. It was no special effect or cloud-seeding as a front of precipitation that came into the South Florida area consistently poured on the field all night long, allowing the purple lighting of the stage to give it that true purple rain look. While the wet weather caused a sloppy, turnover-filled game, it did allow for a commanding halftime show appearance as it perfectly cooperated with Prince's show, namely his signature opus composition. Other than this one, almost no halftime shows have ever used field conditions to their benefit!

The Super Bowl came and went for another year. The 50th edition of America's football championship- arguably one of the world's most hyped, covered and celebrated sporting events- featured the usual storylines relating to the game but for many non-football fans, the halftime show is as much a talking point as anything. Once merely a part of the event that was closely tied to football traditions of marching bands, dancers, cheerleaders and/or spirit squads, the Super Bowl Halftime show eventually grew to be a themed extravaganza drawing from big names in all sorts of entertainment fields. 

In recent years, the use of marching bands, actors and non-musical performers of many kinds has been scaled back to deliver true superstar names to the forefront. From humble beginnings of the Grambling State marching band in the inaugural game of 1967 to Al Hirt to Louis Armstrong to the influx of the musical megastar marquee attraction- kick started in 1993 by Michael Jackson- halftime of America's big game has proven a forum for expensive productions, elaborate crowd involvement, detailed choreography and glitzy effects. Here are some great tunes from the greatest names to grace the stage of a part of the Super Bowl that's nearly as closely watched by its TV audience as the game itself. 

I really only cover the past 2 decades because most of the performers before then don't actually have much of a back catalogue of records (Up with People? Marching bands? No thanks, not gonna do an episode of just THAT stuff!). This here is the 11th episode of 2015 for the Sound & Groove Podcast (that's right, there is one more overdue 2015 edition after this!). So sit back and soak in another  musical journey through yet another themed podcast for your listening enjoyment, the 63rd time I've unleashed this podcast on an unsuspecting public. 

If you have been keeping up with S&G on Music of Evan's Mind, there is now a new host for this podcast on And if you're new to this podcast, here's the breakdown: Every month there will be a theme that the selection of music is centered around. It will be jam packed with my analysis, synopsis, anecdotes and other witticisms you might enjoy while I play edited versions of each tune (to make room for talk and for a good 7-9 songs per 45 minute episode). And not to worry, each month will contain a different theme than the last. Got it? Get it? Good. Happy listening to you all!
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Track Listing (Super Bowl info, learn your roman numerals!):
1. Love Hangover- Diana Ross (1976): Super Bowl XXX (Tempe, AZ- 1996)
2. Bolic- Ike & Tina Turner (1972): Tina, SB XXXIV (Atlanta, GA- 2000) 
3. Sick As a Dog- Aerosmith (1976): SB XXXV (Tampa, FL- 2001)
4. No Use In Crying- The Rolling Stones (1981): SB XL (Detroit, MI- 2006)
5. Controversy- Prince (1981): SB XLI (Miami Gardens, FL- 2007)
6. Here Comes My Girl- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (1976): SB XLII (Glendale, AZ- 2008)
7. What Goes Around Comes Around- Lenny Kravitz (1991): SB XLIX (Glendale, AZ- 2015)

Info of note:
Intro- "I'll Do Anything" by Marshall Crenshaw (1982)
Outro- "She Can't Dance" by Marshall Crenshaw (1982)
All comments, questions and feedback are greatly welcomed and appreciated! I encourage participation. Even though I drain an hour off your life by listening to the podcast then checking through the links, at least you don't have to fork over your money to me... though if you feel like, you know... But in all seriousness, let me now what you'd like to hear or see and I'll consider it. Popular approval doesn't always sway me but having fans or listeners get their input would be just grand!

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