Most people don’t remember that the halftime show was not really a rock/pop/hip showcase until the early nineties, when producer The Walt Disney company trotted out New Kids on the Block.
Early incarnations of the halftime event consisted of marching bands, drill teams, and “Up WIth People,” a group of singer made of young adults from around the world. They graced the halftime stage on four occasions.
None of those performances provided anything you couldn’t see at a New Year’s Day bowl game.
That all changed in 1993 at the Rose Bowl when Michael Jackson made his Super Bowl debut, and turned the half time show into must see TV.
Since then audiences have been treated to the likes of Diana Ross, ZZ Top, the Blues Brothers, a Motown review, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince and the Who.
Also included there is the infamous wardrobe malfunction set with Janet Jackson and Justin Timerberlake.
For my money the best show ever was Prince in 2007, and the worst ever- don’t perform live period was The Who in 2010. Pete and Roger were just flat out awful.
The 2012 show with Madonna and Cee Lo Green was eye-popping but hardly memorable.
On the other hand, and perhaps because I was there in person, his purple majesty put on a set for the ages. Despite the rain that was definitely not purple, the show was electric, the dark stadium with the flashlights was dazzling, and the atmosphere was flat out electric.
See for yourself.