The best Super Bowl half time show ever? Hmmm, I think I still might need to give that nod to Prince, though I saw that otherworldly Super Bowl XLI performance in person, in the driving (purple) rain, not from the comfort of my own couch.
The Bruce Springsteen mini-show from Raymond James Stadium on Sunday that followed the regrettable Bob Dylan-Will.I.Am "Forever Young" first half Pepsi ad - and an impressive Jennifer Hudson "Star Spangled Banner" - began with a command for undivided attention, voiced in no uncertain terms. "Step away from the guacamole, put the chicken fingers down!" Then the Boss got the job done, just as you would expect him to, managing to pack three properly stadium sized benchmarks in, along with half of "Working On A Dream," and a whole lot of schtick with Little Steven.
Before the referee came out to whistle Springsteen & the E Street Band (augmented by Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg and the rest of Miami Horns) for delay of game, we got a strutting "Tenth Ave. Freeze Out," "Born To Run" with the overdriven guitars not as clearly audible as I would have liked, and the aforementioned "Dream," that plugged the new album of the same name and was sturdy enough to support a massive gospel choir without showing signs of strain. "Glory Days," was a surprise, though I should have guessed it, I guess, what with the "big baseball player" line easily subbed out for "big football player, he could throw that Hail Mary, make you look like a fool, boy." All punctuated by thousands of flashlights in the crowd, and over-the-top fireworks exploding on every Max Weinberg "Born To Run" drum crash.
All in all, a pretty successful (if ridiculous) edit of a 3 hour show into a goofy, action packed 12 minute one. And not coincidentally, tickets for the unabridged version - at the Spectrum on April 28 and 29 - go on sale at 10 o'clock this morning.
Oh yeah: Turned out to be a pretty good game, too, didn't it?
Here's the Springsteen, in two parts.