As I doomscroll through my Facebook and Twitter pages I see that our country is once again mired in a state of anger and divisiveness. Two groups of people are at each others throats, and I don’t think they will be seeing eye to eye anytime soon.
I was going to stay out of the debate. Who cares what I have to say? I finally decided to weigh in after a few days of reading and listening to the opinions of people smarter than me.
I’m of course talking about the Super Bowl halftime show featuring The Weeknd.
I wrote last week about how completely unfamiliar I am with Mr. Weeknd’s work… if that is even his real name. After my first real exposure to his music did I like it?
Nope, not really.
As a production it was pretty impressive with all the violin players, dancers, guys with underwear on their faces, the house of mirrors, etc… If I was watching this as part of a Broadway show I’d be staring in fascination. If this was a very special musical episode of Black Mirror I’d be saying “this is amazing”.
It wasn’t those things.
Just because I didn’t like the halftime performance doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have happened. I wasn’t supposed to like it. It wasn’t made for me. I’m a 55 year old white guy who likes classic rock, oldies, folk, Americana, etc… There was at least a decade where concerts by acts like McCartney, Springsteen, U2, Petty, Prince, and The Rolling Stones were interrupted by a football game. Those were my years.
I watched this year’s show with interest, and was curious if The Weeknd’s target audience was enjoying it. Who is The Weeknd’s target audience? After a little research… and by research I mean looking at comments my friends make on social media… it seems to me that his biggest fans are women in their 40’s.
Even Weeknders (as I now dub his fans) seemed divided. Some loved it… one of my best friends said she wished it was a half hour longer. Some were disappointed. I feel bad for folks who looked forward to this but wound up unsatisfied. It’s sort of like getting your takeout food home and realizing something is wrong.
I don’t understand people who aren’t fans of the artist spending time bitching about how much they hated it. Sure, I might make a little joke or two on Twitter… that’s just what I do. The whole “concert” was only ten to fifteen minutes long. That’s just the right amount of time to use the bathroom, make a sandwich, get a beverage, and watch a video of a band you like on YouTube.
I’m assuming the NFL is trying to look hip, or attract a younger audience by booking acts like The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, etc… but (I’ll say it again), that seems more likely to get women in their forties watching (and there is nothing wrong with that). They could also look hipper by not using words like hip.
Seriously, who would kids 13-21 want to see as a Super Bowl halftime show? BTS? Billie Eilish? Some YouTube or TikTok viral sensation that I’m not allowed to know about because I’m too old? I am legitimately curious.
If bands like The Adam Ezra Group, Low Cut Connie, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, and Sirsy never get the opportunity they deserve I still hope to someday see Weird Al Yankovic during the big game. He’d kill for real.
By the way, I saw Miley Cyrus and Joan Jett together during the pregame. They were awesome.
As I wrote today I was listening to a fantastic interview Marc Maron did with musician/songwriter/producer T Bone Burnett back in 2019. Check it out HERE.
My music recommendation for the week is Elton John’s classic 1972 album Honky Château. Some of my favorite songs of his are on this one. Get it HERE.
Have a good week. Have a safe week. I’ll be back next week.
P.S. After sending in this week’s column I saw that the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame had announced their 2020 nominees. As always there is controversy regarding who’s already in, who’s not in, who is being nominated, and who hasn’t been nominated.
Something really stuck out to me in this year’s list of potential Hall Of Famers. Among those listed is Carole King.
What????? She’s not already in?!?!?! How is that possible? Do I really have to list her amazing accomplishments? How about she’s done enough to have a successful Broadway show based on her life and career.
The fact that Ms. King isn’t already in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame is legitimately infuriating to me. I’m so pissed that I don’t even have a dumb joke. It’d be like Willie Mays not being in the Baseball Hall Of Fame, Thomas Edison not being in the Inventors Hall Of Fame, or the Three Stooges not being in the Hitting Each Other In The Head With Shovels Hall Of Fame.
Okay, I had one dumb joke.
Get your copy of Carole King’s classic album “Tapestry” HERE. It’s essential .