MONDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2016 |
Posted by: Don Saas
Odds are that you watched the Super Bowl last night. I caught the end of the first half and the halftime show (I spent the rest of the big game playing video games; I was able to keep up with the game based on the drunken screamings of my roommates downstairs and the occasional check-in with Twitter on my phone). And while Cam Newton did not get his big Super Bowl victory, we're pretty sure he can take solace in the fact that he lost to Denver's defense, not to Peyton Manning. But, like I said, the only reason I tuned into what some pundits are calling the worst Super Bowl of all time was for the halftime show, and I feel comfortable saying that two-thirds of it was great.
Had the Super Bowl halftime show just been Beyonce and Bruno Mars, it could have been one of the great performances in recent years. Bruno Mars' music is...hit or miss, but the man's a first rate entertainer. I could watch him dance all day. And while I was surprised that Beyonce only performed her new single, "Formation," and not one of her more well-known tracks (minus that like 20 second tease of "Crazy In Love"), she's also a consummate entertainer. And it's hard not to love the fact that she brought out a bevy of back-up dancers dressed up like Black Panthers. She's a bad ass and not to be messed with, and it's why we love her.
But then there's Coldplay...I'm a Coldplay apologist. I think Parachutes is great for what it was, a commercial alternative to OK Computer/The Bends, and the band can still put out a great single when they want to. I hated the video for the track, but I think "Adventure of a Lifetime" was the best Coldplaly track in ages. But Coldplay just sounded off the whole night. Chris Martin's vocals sounded phoned in. The instrumentals fell flat. And maybe this a product of having such a layered and hyper-produced sound on your studio records. It's impossible to capture that polish and sheen live. And when that happens, it highlights deficiencies in the basic structures of your music. And every single track Coldplay played last night sounded, for lack of a better word, hollow.
I will give Coldplay credit (although I'm sure the credit is really due to the folks who choreographed the whole extravaganza for TV) for the exciting visuals during their set which transformed the arena into a kaleidoscopic array of colors and lights. I just wish Coldplay had sounded half as good as they looked.