Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Prince

Accounts of Prince at the Super Bowl last night are all positive, and they're right. It was an exceptional performance. It was a well thought out, one could say artistic, series of musical and lyrical juxtapositions. The dancers didn't hurt things, talented, attractive, but not overwhelming. Apart from the fact that he didn't just play a few hits from the past or present, his presence, or charisma, was focused on the performance and not on himself. Whether intentionally or not, Bono's fist pumping, McCartney's accomplished maturity, and Jagger's narcissistic prancing were different. Prince was better.

The unscripted additive dimension of this performance was the weather. The windswept rain, despite not being purple, provided a tangible backdrop that overwhelmed the lasers and staging. I've seen that happen before. At a music festival in the '60s the band Iron Butterfly, a one hit wonder that I viewed with disdain, began their set in middle of a huge Florida storm. The safety of the musicians and the crowd should have been in doubt, but the local authorities were probably hoping for the worst. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida began at massive volume with thunder in the background. They played that one song for the entire set, jam and refrain, over and over. It was huge. And the weather did that for Iron Butterfly. With more talent, the weather does even more.

As Super Bowls go, it was a more interesting game than usual. The halftime show was better.


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