I was pretty excited to see one of the top live performers of all time, Bruce Springsteen a.k.a. The Boss play the Halftime show at Superbowl 34. I was prepared for the game with loads of delicious junk food and all the anticipation that comes with an expected win by the Pittsburgh Steelers. I sure didn’t think the Cardinals were going to prove to be much of a challenge for the Steelers but it turned out to be a pretty exciting game. You gotta love it when the win comes in the last two minutes of the game. But we’re here to talk about the music and The Boss’s live Halftime performance.
If you were watching the pre-game show you may have seen the Bob Costas interview with Bruce Springsteen. He asked Bruce all the right questions and didn’t really throw him any hard ball questions. He did make a big deal about the fact the Bruce is almost 60 years old which I don’t think Bruce really enjoyed. It was pretty funny when Bob said something to the effect of “You can’t really climb on pianos anymore.” to which Bruce replied “You wanna bet!”. It kind of felt like a setup because during the performance Bruce did indeed climb on the piano and jump down. You know, for a near 60 year old Bruce really did get around on stage well. He must do Yoga or something to stay so limber. I could totally relate when Bruce told Bob Costas that while he’s onstage he’s completely lost in the moment. That’s what makes playing live so great and so much better than playing in the studio.
I think what impressed me the most about Springsteen’s performance is that it really was live. Ever since the Janet Jackson breast debacle ended the MTV canned music halftime shows, the shows have been so much better. If there’s one thing I hate it’s seeing lip syncing going on at live events and the MTV produces shows were so canned and plastic wrapped it was just sickening. But last year when Prince just rocked it with his killer guitar solos it was fantastic and this year the E-Street Band just nailed it as well. Seeing Max Weinberg and La Bamba of Conan O’Brian’s house band was pretty cool too. Max does a great job with the drums on Bruce Springsteens songs. Watching the interplay between Bruce and the E-Street band is really great to watch as well. It all just goes to show you how important everyone is in making a good live show happen.
The only thing I wish is that Bruce would have played Born In The USA. I thought that was a surprising omission. The music industry marketing machine was running on all cylinders for Bruce. He has created the perfect marketing storm with his Golden Globe award for Best Original Song on his song ‘The Wrestler’, along with his new #1 album ‘Working On A Dream’ and now his huge performance at Superbowl XLIII. That’s how the pros do it and it’s pretty amazing to behold. For all of us mere mortals it was still really fun to watch The Boss up there rocking out for the whole world to see.