Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Greatest (12-minute) Show on Earth

Good morning, we made it to February and Super Bowl Sunday. It's time to stir up a fresh pot of chili, pull on my old Starter alternative black mesh Brett Favre jersey, and officially curse another season goodbye. Yes, yes, so many of us are still residing in the past...

Last night I found myself watching "Trapeze'' on TV hoping that Gina Lollobrigida would have a midair wardrobe malfunction. That Super Bowl halftime show with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake just ruined me for all time.

Maybe that's why I'm just a little nervous about tonight. No, no -- nothing will go wrong on stage -- nobody can flawlessly nail a set, even a 12-minute power set -- like Bruce Springsteen. But I've gone from thinking it's very cool for the E Street Band to be rocking tonight to ... why is he doing this? He must have had good reasons for previously turning down this gig.

The Jefferson Memorial pre-inauguration show, that made perfect sense. But the Super Bowl, with its glitz and hype and carnival over-production, is a little more dicey. It's not a critical page-turn in history, it's just another Roman numeral. Is there anything for the world's greatest rocker to gain being in that spotlight? Well, sure. Apparently he hasn't convinced everybody yet (see earlier blog commenting on subject).

The Stones made it through, no worse for the wear (but there was an awful lot of wear going in). Tom Petty, and Prince, made it, too. There's really nothing to it. Still...

Springsteen actually appeared at a news conference in Tampa this week, something he agrees to do, like, once every 20 years. That's just not the Boss, you know? But then -- and I really hate to bring this up now -- neither was the Tunnel of Love tour in 1988.

We know he's going to nail it, just like Burt Lancaster nailed that rare triple summersault in "Trapeze.'' However, Burt did walk with a cane after that.

With all the rampant speculation about tonight's playlist I sought guidance from my main Springsteen man, a true devotee who thinks there should be a new Mount Rushmore with the Boss' likeness chiseled into it. My man believes we'll see, in addition to a new song, "The Rising,'' "Born to Run'' and either "Glory Days'', "Badlands'' or "The Promised Land.''

He doesn't see "Born in the USA'' -- which would have been one of my picks. And we both fret about "Dancing in the Dark.''

There also will be a football game played before and after intermission between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers.

AND THE PLAYS WERE ... 10th Avenue Freezout, Born to Run, Working on a Dream, Glory Days


  1. He's gotta play that God-awful "Working On A Dream," right?

    I'll check back here for a recap; I won't be watching. The featured performer at Super Bowl halftime is either a crappy act in its prime or an act a decade or three removed from its prime. All apologies to your devotee, but I never got "The Boss."

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  3. I know you're not on this bandwagon, mtp4610, and I'm pretty sure it's because you've never seen a live performance. You would like him. My devotee is also a Drive By Truckers fan. You two need to have a beer together.

  4. I'm all for that.

    I'm sure I would like Bruce live, just never got into his music enough to be a follower.

  5. as much as i love the Stones, their Super Bowl performance sucked. Prince was pretty great, I think Springsteen acquitted himself well.