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The Super Bowl Halftime Show Needs To Be More Super

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I got this idea for a blog on A thread was started about who would you have as a Super Bowl half time show. So I replied, but the more I started to think about it, the more ideas I had, so I decided to write this blog.

The NFL has gone the “safe” route since the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake “nipple gate” situation. By having artist such as Paul McCartney, Prince, The Who and other “classic rock & pop” acts, the NFL has made it a “who’s who” (no pun intended) of 70’s icons.

But the half time show has become stale and it is time for a change. I have the solution to the NFL’s problem.

Working as a Program Director for a CHR Top 40 station for 5 years, I have a unique perspective. I am an avid sports fan. Besides my family and god, it is the third most important thing in my life. But I am also a huge music fan and consider myself rather eclectic.

I am a self-described “hip-hop head”, but prefer the thought provoking and “conscious” artists who touch on social issues to the “bling, bling” money, girls and clothes artists. But I respect those artists as well because they found their “nitch”.

I also am a huge R&B and Soul fan, not just todays artists, but also acts from the 60’s,70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Finally, I also like classic rock groups like Journey (Steve Perry has the most amazing voice), The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, War, Carlos Santana and many others.

Why am I describing my personal tastes in this blog? So you can see what my twisted little mind has in store for the NFL and the idea I have for the Super Bowl halftime show. 

Today we don’t seem to have an appreciation for older groups and their music. In the radio business we are always looking for that new, fresh thing that will turn the radio world and society upside down and create a buzz.

A few years ago I went to my boss with an idea that I heard on some mixtapes. It combined new song lyrics played over classic rock & R&B beats. He thought it was a really good idea, but it would be difficult to get all the artists to clear it, so we decided to not try it (as part of a new music show we were planning). Today it is known as “mash-up’s” and they even have a video game (DJ Hero) that you can “mash-up” certain songs.

 So, my idea is to bring together artists of today with classic artists of yesterday, on stage performing together as one. It would allow both younger viewers and older viewers to both enjoy the show. 

I have a few ideas of artists that I think would be good fits together with their songs. Here they are in no particular order:

1. The Eagles and R&B artist TQ performing “Hotel California”. TQ is an artist that is multi-talented with a natural voice and actually did a very good version of “Hotel California” but the Eagles never cleared it.

2. Earth, Wind & Fire with R&B artist Usher performing “September”. Usher is one hell of an entertainer and would be a natural fit with Earth, Wind and Fire.

3. Kool & The Gang with R&B artist Ne-Yo performing “Celebrate”. Ne-Yo is another multi-talented singer and song writer that has the right vocals to sing “Celebrate”.

4. Pat Benatar with pop artist Pink performing “Hit me With Your Best Shot”. This see,s like a natural fit. Both have that voice that is so distinctive and would be one hell of a performance.

5. Queen with “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert performing “We Are The Champions”. This, to me, is another perfect fit with Lambert’s theatrics blending with Queen.

6. Stevie Wonder and R&B artist Trey Songz performing ANY Stevie Wonder song. Trey Songz is another R&B singer that is “slept on” by many people, but is getting more popularity lately (and deservedly so).

7. Prince with R&B artist Ryan Leslie performing ANY Prince song. Prince had the best half time show in recent memory (to me at least). Leslie can’t sing as good a Prince, but he has that similar style. 

8. Bee Gee’s with R&B artist Robin Thicke

By tieing in the “old with the new” it bridges the gap between generations. The NFL was caught of guard by the Timberlake/Jackson situation, but they shouldn’t exclude newer acts because of it. Make sure that you have final say over all things about the performance. That would eliminate any issue or concern the NFL would have.

I didn’t include any Hip-Hop acts because I don’t feel that the older people attending or viewing would be as receptive to them as younger people. It is about dollars and cents with the NFL and I also don’t feel that “corporate America” would accept a Hip-Hop act. In time, maybe, but I don’t think some are ready for a Lil’ Wayne and AC/DC mash-up.

I hope that this blog some how finds it way to the NFL office and the people who are in charge of the halftime show. I think a little “freshen up” wouldn’t be a bad thing. The NFL wants to continue to improve their product in every aspect, this is one to improve the Super Bowl.



Written by Joe Arrigo

February 8, 2010 at 17:51

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