Sure it seems amazing. But I have a great reason you'll never want to do this. About 15 years ago I got very close to a lion at a circus where I was a guest ringmaster. There was a group of lions in cages about 15 feet from me. What I learned that day is that lions can pee or perhaps spray, up to about 10 or 12 feet with pinpoint accuracy. They missed me. But the smell was overwhelming. I will not be giving any lion a second chance mark his territory on me.
MARK ANDREW’S TOP 10 TEN SUPERBOWL HALFTIME SHOWS OF THE LAST 10 YEARS
We’ve come a long way since the University of Arizona and Grambling State University did the first one in 1967. It took the NFL until 1991 to understand the show didn’t need to be a marching band or Up With People. Ugh! 1991 is when New Kids On The Block played and although that drew some ire, the show began to go in a direction more of America could digest. It peaked in 2002 with U2’s rousing salute to America. Aerosmith with Britney, ‘N Sync, Mary J Blige and Nelly in 2003 were also excellent. Then came the oops. Janet. What followed was a firestorm of criticism towards the NFL, Janet herself and the producers of the show. Heads rolled. There were fines for Viacom, CBS, Clear Channel, MTV, Infinity Broadcasting. Even us radio people were asked to undergo new indecency training! It was a response the FCC chairman at the time now admits was overblown. Janet got the worst of it, being blacklisted from the radio for a time. That was the real shame.
Then the shows suddenly got way better. (An occasional over-emphasis on having old men headline the show notwithstanding.) So now I give you my top 10 Superbowl Halftime Shows of the last 10 years. Feel free to comment and agree or disagree. That’s the beauty of music and art.
None of us perceive it the same way.
But I’m right!
10. The Who – 2010 – Miami, Florida – What I just said about too many old acts comes in to play here. Not that this show didn’t have its moments. They sounded pretty good. Roger Daltrey didn’t disappoint with the scream and Pete Townsend had the windmill going. But someone had to be 10th on my list and it’s The Who. Wouldn’t this have been a better halftime show in 1975 than Mercer Ellington?
9. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – 2008 – Glendale, Arizona – Don’t get me wrong, this was a great halftime show and Tom Petty is amazing. But in a field crowded with old white guys, he finishes 9th. Honorable mention for actually singing and playing their instruments. Tom Petty rocks.
8. Black Eyed Peas – 2011 – Dallas, Texas – B.E.P. got the nod after growing criticism about the Jurassic rock element in the previous years. Opening their set with their biggest hit “I Gotta Feeling” was gutsy move and it was impressive that they fit 8 songs in their set. Usher’s cameo was a nice touch. But there was no buzz beyond Sunday. Solid, not great.
7. Rolling Stones – 2006 – Detroit, Michigan – This is the one show of the last ten years that was slightly below expectations. They weren’t bad, but they just didn’t jump off the screen. And they only fit three songs in their set: Start Me Up, Rough Justice (Huh??) and Satisfaction. The Stones don’t often disappoint, but something was lacking here.
6. Paul McCartney – 2005 – Jacksonville, Florida – This was first show after the “wardrobe malfunction” and marked a back to basics approach for the NFL in the halftime show. And it worked! One unique quality to this performance: no cameos. But Sir Paul is the last guy who needs any help on the world’s biggest stage. Highlight: ending the performance with “Hey Jude.” I was in a bar where everyone in the room had their hands in the air swaying back and forth singing “Nah nah nah ni-na-ni-na nah!” I still get chills remembering that. Fantastic!
5. Prince – 2007 – Miami, Florida – There was huge buzz on this show in the days leading up. Great call having him perform. His song choices were near perfect with a few surprises thrown in. Despite the rain, he and his dancers tore it up on stage and didn’t appear to hold anything back for fear of a slip and fall. They just danced. The only bummer about the show was that it was pouring rain. But we can’t blame Prince for that. Or can we?
(video not surprisingly unavailable)
4. Beyonce – 2013 – New Orleans, Louisiana – Over the top visuals in this show nearly took away from the performance, but in the end they didn’t. Mrs. Carter rocked it, looked stunning and sang great. At least I think she was singing. She fit the most number of songs into her set than any other show on the list with 9 in all. Almost too many.
3. Bruce Springsteen – 2009 – Tampa, Florida – Met with a healthy amount of skepticism about his age in the days and weeks before, the Boss took the stage with a chip on his shoulder as if he had something to prove. And he did! He was all over that stage running and sliding around like a 19 year old tearing up a Jersey rock club. There were only 4 songs in his set with “Born in the U.S.A.” noticeably absent, but so what? Bruce silenced a lot of naysayers with this off the hook show.
2. Madonna – 2012 - Indianapolis, Indiana – Without a doubt the most anticipated Superbowl halftime show of all time. Most of the country watched hoping to see her fall on her face. But she didn’t. She had by far the best entrance of any halftime show ever as she was towed in by hundreds of gladiators while the intro of Vogue emanated. Staunch Madonna haters around the world had to slap themselves in the face for loving that moment! What followed was a perfectly chosen set list and great cameos by LMFAO, Nicki Minaj and Cee Lo Green. M.I.A. took a little shine off the night with her antics. And there was some criticism about lip-syncing, but if anyone gets a pass on that, it’s Madge. One of the best halftime shows ever.
1. Bruno Mars – 2014 – East Rutherford, New Jersey – Extreme condolences to anyone who ever has to perform a Superbowl halftime show ever again after Bruno. After a child chorus warmed up the air to a nice visual effect, Bruno attacked with a drum solo that had America’s jaw in its collective lap, followed by an absolute knockout punch of a segue in to “Locked Out Of Heaven.” His singing and his band were unmistakably live. Then there was his dance choreography with the band and his wicked solo moves. Bruno was owning it! The Red Hot Chili Peppers came on and were a perfect fit. And lastly you had a video montage of overseas soldiers greeting their loved ones back home woven seamlessly into the finale of “Just The Way You Are.” My heart was in my throat. Watch the whole thing again. Yours will be too. Some day years or decades from now, some artist may top this halftime show. I just can’t possibly imagine how.
Tom Petty’s statement today about Sam Smith was incredibly refreshing.
About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by. Sam's people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement. The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention. And no more was to be said about it. How it got out to the press is beyond Sam or myself. Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this. A musical accident no more no less. In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all.
Why can’t we have more of this? When the story broke yesterday, some of the reports tried to make it seem as if there were some greater drama than there actually is. The Hollywood trash media are probably deeply disappointed there is none. Celebrity feuds a great guilty pleasure for readers, but become tiresome at some point. And isn’t it great when you see an artist pay a little respect and courtesy to another artist? And I’m wondering (or maybe hoping) is this is a new trend in celebrity good behavior? Heck, even Justin Bieber struck a conciliatory tone, in this video this week after his appearance on Ellen:
Really Biebs? Has he turned over a new leaf? Or is he fresh off a lecture from label management before releasing a new single? Time will tell.
In the meantime I’ll just look forward to Katy Perry’s halftime performance at the Superbowl. I’m sure that’s going to be amazing. Unless, as some have speculated, she disses Taylor Swift during the show. That’s the only thing that would ruin it for me.
I wish Budweiser wouldn't reveal their new superbowl commercial before game day. I'd rather see it for the first time on the big day. But it came across my screen and I couldn't help it. I clicked it. And it absolutely DESTROYED me. It's so great!!
Here it is if you want to check it out early. I don't mind saying it made me tear up!
I know a lot of hipsters who are going to be jealous of this guy. Meet Bernas, the new orangutan at the Denver Zoo. He's from Atlanta but moved here to take advantage of the the mile high city's blossoming hipster scene. I can totally see this guy chilling at the Meadowlark or Sputnik. We've got to get him a weekend pass. Read more about Bernas here:
10. Bull Riding – I went to a rodeo last year. It was my first time. Pretty cool! Nobody is tougher than these guys.
9. Barbeque Competition – It’s the first year for this! Nice addition Stock Show. Call me if you need a judge!
8. People Watching – The Stock Show draws such an eclectic crowd from rural ranchers from places like Idaho to city rats like me who are nervous even getting near a horse. It’s really cool to see them all in one place and intermingling. Last year I saw a goth kid almost bump into a cowboy. The looks on their faces was priceless.
7. Selfies With Baby Steers – Oh stop it. I know they’re called calves. But they’re so dang cute my wife and I call them babies. So that’s what they are. Go walk around the stables out back by the railroad tracks. You’ll see some. This year I’m going to try to get a selfie with one.
6. Rodeo Queens - This probably falls under people watching.
5. Meeting People Not From Here – Talk to the vendors and ask them where they’re from. You will always get an interesting story.
4. Free Parking!
3. Mutton Busting – Kids riding sheep. I could not stop laughing the first time I saw this.
2. Food – This was almost #1. Every year I love getting an ice cold draft beer and a giant burger! It’s cheat day.
1. The Shopping - A few years ago I found this beaver hat at the Stock Show. Insert joke. This hat is so incredibly warm and awesome looking! I was going to get it but it was $250. If it’s still there I might haggle for a lower price. Shopping tip: if you’re there on the last weekend of the show, they sometimes lower their prices!
The news is slow this week. That may explain why Good Morning America spent a chunk of their show on Monday breaking the news about the new Girl Scout Cookie flavors for 2015. Not that this isn’t important. But before anybody gets too excited about new ways to indulge on sweets for a great cause, you should be warned that two of the flavors are gluten-free and one is oatmeal and raisins with chunks of Greek yogurt. What’s going on here? Oh yeah, there is a movement towards eating more healthy in America. I’m actually good with that. However, the best way to eat healthy, in my view, is to cut out desert all together rather than ruin it. But this ignores the fact the the Girl Scouts for more than 100 years have been empowering girls, giving them courage, teaching team building, self-esteem, leadership skills and trying to make the world a better place. Who am I to interfere with that? So next time I see them out in front of the grocery store I’ll sample the gluten free cookie. But it’s going to take a lot to get me off of 45 years of eating thin mints!
Buy some Girl Scout cookies.