It's half time at Super Bowl XLV. The Packers have pretty much cleaned the Steelers' clock for the first half, which means there are plenty of disgruntled Steeler fans who could use a little cheering up from the Peas about now. I gotta feeling it might not be enough. We also hope they can remember the words, which is more than we can say about Christina Aguilera and her otherwise strong version of the National Anthem. Hey, at least we know she was singing live. We'll be back to live blog as soon as the Peas go on in a few minutes.
5:09 p.m. (PST): It’s space-aged Peas, lowered from the roof of the stadium on a round stage in the middle of the field.. I gotta feeling they're going to bring it.
5:11: They go into "Boom Boom Pow" surrounded by dancerson the field in green LED outfits. It looks fantastic from up above: like little green martians in lockstep on the field. We wonder how it looks from outer space? One of the best uses of the field we've seen in a half time.
[More after the jump...]
5:13: Slash comes out and is playing "Sweet Child of Mine," with Fergie singing. They got Slash to wear a hat that lights up. I bet Axl Rose is throwing things at his TV right now.
5:15: Usher joins for "OMG," after a brief "Let's Get It Started." We really give credit to the BEPs that they've decided to just go with the best show and are very willing to share the spotlight.
5:18: It's Valentine's Day at the Super Bowl. As the BEPs go into "Where is the Love." Where are their voices? They sound ragged and exhausted. The field now spells out "Love" in red. There are robots with boxes on their heads. Nothing says Valentine's Day like a silver, shiny head.
5:20: As I suspected, they're ending with "The Time (Dirty Bit)" so they can sing "Time of My Life." Everyone on the stage is synchronized dancing and they've gone from red to purple. The Peas bring it back to where they started, ending with "I Gotta Feelin'."
Without seeing what anyone is tweeting or blogging, here's my gut reaction: The Peas did great for what they do. After the Who's utterly dull, static half-time performance last year, the NFL knew they better bring some magic this time. The only thing memorable about last year's half-time performance was the lighted stage and that's the only thing they seemed to hold over.
With the Peas you're not going to get great singing-- you're going to get energy and fun visuals. We could debate for a lifetime how sad the statement I just wrote is and that I have given up expecting strong singing. To keep it in sports parlance, they brought their A Game. They also proved to be great team players, bringing in Slash and Usher to keep up the energy and broaden the appeal. They were in service of the game, not their egos and they deserve credit for that, if nothing else. They totally fulfilled the job description. If you were a Peas fan, you probably thought they were great. If not, it certainly would not have won you over, and, in fact, may have left you with a blinding headache.
Also, the use of the field and the light show was great. It looked fantastic on television and it was a presentation that even someone in the last row of the stadium could enjoy. It was the best use of the field that I recall seeing in a Super Bowl game.
And best of all, no wardrobe malfunction.
Playing the Super Bowl half-time is a losing proposition in terms of people seem to love to rag on it unless the artist does something so spectacular, they can't be denied. It's a total sprint with very confined conditions. I'd say the Peas scored a touchdown.
What are your thoughts?