Super Bowl XLIII: The Second Half
And that's all, folks! Turned into quite a damn game there at the end - and the digital versions of Springsteen's new album are currently lodged at No. 2 and No. 5 on the iTunes album charts, so all is well in the world. See you next year, when we'll be rooting for the San Diego Chargers to win their first Super Bowl championship. (Yes, I say that every year. Hope springs eternal.)
6:22 p.m. - Hey there MC Hammer! Nice Cash4Gold ad. (Let's pause for a moment and consider the fact that Cash4Gold can afford a Super Bowl ad. Makes you think twice about yanking out that filling, doesn't it?) Speaking of MC Hammer, let's perpetuate an urban legend: is the father in this McDonald's ad MC Hammer or not?
5:40 p.m. - The Bridgestone ad with the jacked moon buggy has got to be the commercial with the best use of music so far. "Jump Around" is a classic stadium tune, and you have to love booty-shaking astronauts.
Super Bowl XLIII: Halftime!
5:27 p.m. - James Harrison as "Born to Run"? That, Bob Costas, is why they pay you the big bucks.
5:24 p.m. - I'm not quite sure what just happened there. He got the obligatory song from the new album in, he ended with his most sporty song, he played the crowd favorite with "Born to Run," and for some reason I'm kind of underwhelmed. Maybe Bruce in concert doesn't work in 12 minutes? Maybe that's why he always plays for three hours?
5:23 p.m. - And with an "I'm going to Disneyland," Bruce is done. That was deeply, deeply weird. Or at least it exists on some level of product placement irony that I'm just not understanding.
5:22 p.m. - WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THE REF ON THE STAGE?
5:21 p.m. - I miss "The Sopranos."
5:20 p.m. - "Glory Days." He changes the lyrics from baseball-related to football-related. Or to make it more Wal-Mart palatable, who knows? (Rim shot, sorry.)
5:18 p.m. - Not to get all "American Idol," but that was a little pitchy, Bruce. At least it means he's not lip-syncing. And here's the title track from the new album, "Working On A Dream," complete with choir.
5:14 p.m. - "Born To Run" with more drunken in-crowd camerawork. A great song made greater by fireworks. Who knew?
5:13 p.m. - After telling people to put their chicken fingers down, Bruce & the E Street Band launch into "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out." There's a very, very unchoreographed moment where he destroys the camera dude, and elicits a painful groan from all at the JI Super Bowl party.
5:12 p.m. - He's kind of Bono-ing himself here.
5:11 p.m. - OK, Bruce, when you're on the piano before the first song - what do you do for an ending?
Now is the time for this Jaded Insider to confess that she dressed up as Bruce Springsteen for Halloween in the "Born in the U.S.A." era. She was nine. To say I'm a little excited about the halftime show is an understatement. (And yeah, that Steelers touchdown was off the hook.)
Super Bowl XLIII: The First Half
3:53 p.m. - OK, have people gone Dylan mad? There seems to be some sort of intense harmonicas playing near the NBC mics. Or maybe I need to lay off the PBR.
3:47 p.m. - Dylan and Will.i.am on a "Forever Young" mashup. Oh Pepsi, you make America great.
3:34 p.m. - Hey, there's the new Smashing Pumpkins song, "FOL," in an ad for the Hyundai Genesis. It seems a little, uh, mainstream that they made the choice to be in an ad, considering that when this Jaded Insider saw the Pumpkins in concert about two months ago they refused to play anything that anyone had ever heard of. (I believe Billy Corgan's actual line was "we forgot how to play that" when someone requested "Cherub Rock.") Here's the ad:
3:23 p.m. - Oh boy, Jennifer Hudson back on the appearance circuit to do the National Anthem. I'm cheering for her far more than for either team. She handles it well, doing a soulful take on the already impossible-to-sing standard. And it looked like it even made some football players a little teary.
3:20 p.m. - Faith Hill sings "America The Beautiful" - what did you think she was only going to sing that same ol' intro song she does every week? They've kinda made her up to look like Kathie Lee Gifford in some bizarro world football homage, maybe.
Welcome to the Jaded Insider take on Super Bowl XLIII! We lost interest in the actual football aspect of the game when the Chargers made the fascinating decision to not play the 3rd quarter of their playoff game against Pittsburgh, so now we're here and ready to focus on all the music content that's going to unfurl in the next couple hours. Bruuuuuce!
Broooce Is Comin' To Halftime
Some folks watch the Super Bowl just for the ads, and we'll be doing that too (keeping our eyes on the music and music stars involved) on Feb. 1. But the sonic highlight is always the halftime show -- for better or worse. In a special section on Billboard.com, we counted down the 10 Best Halftime Moments Ever and by best we meant most spectacular (Diana Ross being airlifted off the field in a helicopter in 1996!), but this year we've got Bruce Springsteen bringing his show to the gridiron for the first time. His shows always fully rock the stadiums he plays, and it's hard to imagine this one won't do the same come Sunday.
Super Bowl: The Wrap-Up
As usual, the Super Bowl was the perfect storm of media, sports and music - but, unlike previous years, Super Bowl XLII between the Giants and the Patriots was actually something of a game. It bodes well for those companies who chucked their hard-earned advertising money for a quick 30 seconds in the limelight - there is probably a better chance this year that the TV audience actually stuck around until the fourth quarter and paid attention to the tube.
Among the ads with music that look to make an impact: Sobe Life Water's too-freaky-to-look away combination of Naomi Campbell and animated lizards reinacting the video to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Not a bad tribute to the 25th anniversary, even if there were cold-blooded critters involved. (The lizards, not Campbell.)
Another memorable spot came from Diet Pepsi Max, which incorporated Haddaway's song "What Is Love" with cameos from, among others, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Macy Gray and Missy Elliott. The face-checks were so quick, however, that it basically begged the viewer to run to the Internet and watch it again to see who else was in the ad.
There were opportunities for instant consumer consumption, as well, as both Jordin Sparks' version of the national anthem and Doritos contest winner Kina Grannis had their songs up on iTunes for purchase before halftime started.
Speaking of Sparks, "Idol" got plenty of play during the game, between Ryan Seacrest hosting and Paula Abdul debuting her new song during the pre-game. Overall, Fox's entertainment division had its time in the advertising sun, with ads for the movie "Jumper" and almost constant plugs for "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" unspooling. And another News Corp. property, MySpace, also got a key shout out, since all the ads shown during the game will be available for review on the site.
Tom Petty's halftime show was solid, a nice celebration of music instead of an excuse to gawk at jiggling and costumes. As in previous years, look for Petty's album sales to jump in the coming week. After Prince's halftime performance last year, his greatest hits album "The Very Best of Prince" moved from No. 31 to No.2 on Billboard's catalog albums chart.