Super Bowl LII Halftime: Rock Fans’ Toilet Break?

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The NFL announced today (Jan. 8) that Pink will sing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota. The league had previously confirmed (on Oct. 22) that Justin Timberlake will be the game’s halftime performer on NBC. The game is annually the most-watched television program.

From the league’s official announcement last fall: “This will be Timberlake’s third time performing on the Super Bowl Halftime stage, giving him the distinction of having the most appearances by an individual entertainer. He previously performed at Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII.

“The Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show is the most-watched musical event of the year. Last year’s show was the most-watched musical event of all-time across all platforms and the most-watched Super Bowl Halftime performance in history through broadcast and digital channels, reaching more than 150 million people.”

Rumors had begun reappearing about the choice of Timberlake choice on Aug. 23, thus allowing classic rock fans to have extra time to take a bathroom break at halftime.

After years of classic rock stars like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, U2, Paul McCartney, and the Rolling Stones playing the NFL’s showcase, the league is apparently once again going with pop. Rumors indicate that Justin Timberlake will return to the scene of Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” fiasco to perform.

Timberlake at the 2017 Academy Awards (Photo via his Facebook page)

Timberlake has a new album and tour. (If your kids are bugging you, tickets are available here.)

There is hope for rock fans, though: in recent years, the main pop selection has been joined by a rocker—like Lenny Kravitz with Katy Perry for 2015’s XLIX and Slash with the Black Eyed Peas in 2011. But you would have to go back to 2010 for the last halftime show headlined by a rock act, when the Who performed at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.

For years the NFL’s Super Bowl halftime entertainment featured an assortment of middle-of-the-road productions with less-than-stellar talent. At Super Bowl XI in Pasadena in 1977, for instance, the theme was “It’s a Small World,” which featured the Los Angeles Unified All City Band. In 1984, for Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium, it was “Salute to Superstars of the Silver Screen,” which included “Hooray for Hollywood” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

Watch this and let us know how long you did…

Many home viewers understandably treated those halftime shows as one long bathroom break.

After years of featuring tame acts as the halftime entertainment, the NFL shifted gears. The first inkling was for Super Bowl XXVII in 1993 with Michael Jackson. In 1997, a somewhat oddball combination of the Blues Brothers, ZZ Top and James Brown performed. In 2000, Phil Collins shared the bill with a number of pop stars.

For the next decade, the NFL then began a great run of classic rock acts: Aerosmith (2001), U2 (2002) and Sting (2003). After Super Bowl XXXVIII featured a variety of acts including Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” (with Timberlake), the rock stars continued with Paul McCartney (2005), the Rolling Stones (2006), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (2008), Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (2009) and The Who (2010).

Watch Petty & the Heartbreakers rock Super Bowl XLII

Sandwiched in between was Prince‘s electrifying performance at Super Bowl XLI at rain-drenched Dolphin Stadium in 2007.

As for the National Anthem, the all-time championship performance goes to Whitney Houston, who’s stirring, patriotic rendition was at Super Bowl XXV in 1991. It still gives us goose bumps.

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2 Comments so far

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  1. Jack
    #1 Jack 25 August, 2017, 04:39

    I’m a major “classic Rock” fan and have enjoyed the Super Bowl Halftime Shows that have featured that type of music. That being said, I think the right thing to do would be to have different venues around the host city that would showcase all kinds of music in the days leading up to and including the day of the SB. In addition, the Halftime Show itself should rotate on a regular basis between the different types of music. Furthermore, I think the scope of the music should be expanded to include Jazz, Progressive, Oldies and other types of music in addition to the Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, that seems to monopolize the show’s presently. I mean, it is just the Halftime Show, maybe a half hour of the total broadcast. As far as the League and Networks are concerned, I’m minimizing the importance of the show. But, I think offering a week long music festival that takes place at various venues together with sporting events geared to fans that culminates in the game and halftime show pleases everyone.

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    • Ray
      Ray 25 August, 2017, 15:12

      The halftime performance usually only lasts a total of 12-13 minutes so I don’t ever get too excited about who plays (and I am also a major rock fan). That said, your idea of a week long music festival has a lot of merit.

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