Prince at Super Bowl Halftime Show

Prince’s halftime performance at Super Bowl XLI was nothing short of amazing. He opened the show by being lifted onto the center of the stage. He was wearing a turquoise suit with an orange shirt and a black head scarf–a look that only Prince can pull off. Playing an orange telecaster, he went into a high-powered performance of “Let’s Go Crazy.”

It was raining throughout the performance and the lighting accentuated the rain and smoke that was flowing from the stage. Next a marching band came out onto the field to accompany him on “Baby I’m a Star” which turned into a medley that included Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” which he sang as a duet with one of his background singers. Wow.

He did not have a guitar for the first medley, but was given a blue Telecaster for the next medley which consisted of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” with his own lyrics leading into “Best of You” by the Foo Fighters. During all this surely the audience was wondering, “Is Prince going to be electrocuted?” This looks really dangerous. Raining. People going ape shit. Rain on the camera lenses, rain on the microphones, rain on the instruments, rain on the lights, crazy ass lights everywhere. Just amazing. You could almost picture Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters at home watching the Super Bowl going, “Holy shit, Prince is playing our song!” while jumping around his living room high-fiving everyone. I have to wonder if he even knew Prince would sing it ahead of time.

What came next was even more incredible. After the second medley, Prince was handed a custom-made purple guitar in the shape of his symbol and proceeded to sing “Purple Rain,” in the rain, with the stage giving a purple glow (also shaped as his famous symbol). The camera angles were amazing. The rain got heavier. The audience was in awe. Motherfuckers just couldn’t believe it. He threw his head scarf into the crowd and went into his solo. A virtuoso performance followed by the outro. In the middle of the outro, he invited the crowd to sing with him saying “Y’all wanna sing tonight!?” The response was deafening. The whole stadium sang. So much so that Prince knocked down his microphone stand and finished the show by letting the audience sing. That’s balls right there.

The crowd singing turned to a deafening roar as the show ended and one couldn’t help but think that it was the best Super Bowl halftime performance ever. Please keep in mind that this was all live, not like Britney Spears, or Janet Jackson, or Justin Timberlake, who all used some sort of pre-recorded vocals. The band on stage was only a female drummer and a bass player. Ultimately, it was Prince as a one man show, flanked only by one backup singer and two dancers for most of the show. Three guitar changes. Five songs. A historic once in a lifetime performance that we will remember for a long time. It made us wish we were there.

1 Comment »

  1. Wow Nugget, I couldn’t have put it better. I agree on all accounts. I have read various interviews with Dave Grohl (and many others), in which he continually speaks of the wonder of experiencing Prince live. Prince reaffirmed my faith in the power of live performance.

    #1 by Kristi — February 6, 2007 @ 11:07 am

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