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Feb 02

The Boss Rocks Halftime

bruce-super-bowl.jpgSo even the coolest have their moments of uncool.

Like when Bruce Springsteen did the rock and roll stage slide, only to crash into a camera positioned at stage level as a crowd of 100 million watched on TV.

But, hey — he made up for it with a rousing performance Newsday called “the best Super Bowl halftime show ever.”

The irony, of course, is that Springsteen — known for marathon concerts — had to give a show in just 12 minutes. But he nailed it with funny banter, classic songs (plus part of a new one), and that E Street energy that has made his live shows so famous.

Springsteen started his show with a little humor, posing for a silhouette of him and sax player Clarence Clemons that recalled his famous “Born to Run” album cover. Then the Boss told the massive TV audience: “Step away from your guacamole dip! I want you to put the chicken fingers down and turn your television all the way up!”

Even though the flubbed the stage slide, he seemed to have fun doing it. Then –in a nod to the Who’s Pete Townsend — he did the windmill on guitar, sang before a huge choir and finally told everyone he was going to Disneyland.

It was typical of the fun atmosphere Springsteen creates during his shows. Yet, not everyone was into it. A Chicago Tribune critic wrote, “This was Springsteen as a song and dance man, an accomplished artist reduced to pandering.”

Greg Kot, the critic, also wrote: “Springsteen’s music has taken on a political dimension over the years, but that aspect of his art was muted in favor of a more celebratory performance.”

Geez. What a crank.

The New York Times also expected Springsteen to talk politics — even though the election is over, and Springsteen’s choice is now in the White House. And the LA Times complained that he was merely there to pitch a new album.

I guess Springsteen is expected to say something political every time he performs — even during a 12-minute set during the Super Bowl. And, heaven forbid — a musician pitching a new album? Unheard of! Why, he should just rely on the radio to play his songs — except that the radio doesn’t play his new songs any more.

Maybe Kot and the others would prefer to see more Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. (Or, perhaps, more of Janet Jackson since she’s now famous for her Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction.)

Me? I agree with Newsday and the Hartford Courant — it was indeed the best Super Bowl halftime show. And that’s with competition from U2, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and the Rolling Stones.

And, hey — not a shabby game, either.

Photo: www.brucespringsteen.net

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