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Thread February 7, 2015 editorial: comments

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  • 10 participants
1 February 7, 2015 editorial: comments

Bring on the Dancing Bears

Did you watch the Katy Perry halftime performance at the Super Bowl this past Sunday? Was that the best that NBC and the NFL could come up with? I wasn’t sure if I was watching a musical performance or Cirque de Soleil. I guess I’m out of step with American culture (or the lack thereof), but as a musician I find it insulting to watch musical artists at that high a level who can’t carry a show based on talent, and have to resort to spectacle.

If you didn’t see it, Perry entered on a giant mechanical tiger, went through several wardrobe changes in the course of 20 minutes, and was surrounded by a legion of dancers who at one point were dressed up as sharks, palm trees and beachballs. BTW, it’s been my observation that a pop singer’s talent is usually inversely proportional to the amount of dancers he or she shares the stage with.

At the end of the show, Perry stepped onto a platform that lifted her into the air to soar above the crowd as she lip-synced her finale. I understand that NBC and the NFL wanted to appeal to a younger demographic than in recent years, when The Who, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and other so-called “dinosaur acts” were featured. But if you remember, last year’s halftime show featured a contemporary artist, Bruno Mars, who put on a great show based on his talent — and that of his band — without relying on stunts like giant mechanical animals, dancing beachballs or levitation. 

If you watch the Grammys tomorrow night, no doubt you’ll be bombarded with more spectacle, more dancers flanking the singers, and who knows what else (Pink seems to always end up flying over the audience). It’s the way of the pop world, but I it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Thankfully, we no longer have to rely on the tightly playlisted pop world to discover new music. Although the Internet has done a great deal of damage to the music industry, one of its major benefits is access to music of all genres, no matter how wide or narrow. 

So what did you think of the Katy Perry halftime performance? Did it bother you too? Let me know.

Have a great week.

Mike Levine

U.S. Editor


I totally agree. In fact when the tiger started walking I told my wife and friends this was an attempt at cirque de soliel. None of the songs she sang outperformed the stage acts and none of the Rap artist's noise was noteworthy either. If I were Lenny I 'd have stayed away from that spectacle. It felt like they brought him in as a filler. Lots of glitz and "vaudeville" equals less memorable performance by the featured act. And I did like Bruno Mars last year. In fact , he is a class act.
The half time show was ludicrous, to say the least. I'll take a (what used to be) traditional, finely honed marching band. But hey, I'm an old head... lol
The half time show was ludicrous, to say the least. I'll take a (what used to be) traditional, finely honed marching band. But hey, I'm an old head... lol
Loved the post! I totally agree with the comment about talent being inversely proportional to the number of dancers on the stage. Spot on. However, I have another general perspective that's a wee bit off-topic. I don't have to choose one over the other! I'm not saying your post called for a choice, it didn't. I cringe over the pointless endless arguments you see about, for example, who's better, Page or Clapton, or Bonham or Moon, etc. I embrace them all and my life is richer for it. I, too, prefer real talent over spectacle but my life is richer with a bit of spectacle now and then. I'm not a sports fan so if the criticism is specifically that something as important/prestigious/etc as the Super Bowl deserves better, I wouldn't know! Umm, I'll admit I only watch the half-time shows, not the games, and I certainly enjoyed The Who, Stones and Sir Paul more!

For all I know, maybe a spectacle show is more appropriate for footbal fans in the context of an event like the Super Bowl? When it comes to music fans in the context of The Grammies, I'd vote not.
Comment??? WHY???!
What else can I say, other than, I concur with the author. Too much "spectacle" and not enough "musicianship'. Sure, Ms. Perry has talent, but if she or her legions of fans are satiated with this kind of two-dimensional show, the future of 'real' music is in deep trouble.

The above comments can be bottled and made applicable to much of what is passing for "music" in today's entertainment universe. As my musically gifted mom used to always say, "Garbage in... garbage out!" And, there you have it in a nutshell.

The Katy Perry "Performance?" First off we need a new word to replace "performance," because that implies that the person is capable of performing, which is doubtful in Ms. Perry's case. My grandparents used a word that is seldom used now, but may be perfect - "foofaraw," meaning "a great deal of fuss or attention given to a minor matter."

However, as my wife said, we can be grateful she didn't have a wardrobe malfunction, and she didn't "twerk."


...or stick her tongue out.
I like that word, "foofaraw". Very apropos. Thankfully, there are very good "musicians" and very good "music" around for those who are NOT suffering from music ADHD. "Please refrain from changing keys during that song; it's very unnerving". <LOL> That appears to be the often-used chorus heard from today's "fans" caught up in the utter crap of so-called "popular" music.

Ahem... Excuse me while I find a thicker blindfold and a new set of "contemporary" earplugs...