photo: Reuter/Lucy NicholsonI write this awaiting a visitation from Madonna. She is to appear in a few moments at the high mass that is the Super Bowl. Had you said in 1984 that one day the one-word phenom would be considered mainstream-enough to be featured as the centerpiece for the holiest of days in American sports, most people would scoff. Madonna was supposed to be ephemera, but she took her 15 minutes of fame and used it as a launching pad for a career that has defied all expectation. Where Michael Jackson viewed video as an artform, Madonna saw it as a platform, becoming so many different versions of herself that we're always left to wonder which Madonna will show.
I have my pen ready. What will follow will be numbered insights into her halftime performance. Let's see if you hear what I hear and see what I see!
5) Madonna Kept Her Clothes On:
Are you listening, Iggy Pop? Do you hear me, Red Hot Chili Peppers? Not only was there no wardrobe malfunction, there was no chance of one. As an elder stateswoman, she got that part right. Thank you, Madonna. The children thank you.
4) The Performance Is Football-Friendly:
Where Bruce went corny and double-downed on "Glory Days," Madonna hired the state of Indiana to march along the stage like they were setting up the next play. But with prettier uniforms. It's professional choreography. What you would expect.
3) This Is Lip-Synching, No?
The mix was so difficult to nail (and I used headphones!) that it looked like Madonna kept her mouth open in the event that the loudsystem emitted a vocal. Surely, this is canned music. As for entertainment in front of the world, it ranks as a visual. And considering that people's TVs look better than they sound, I suppose this was just fine.
2) She's More Like Your Kid Sister:
I never had a kid sister, but if I did I imagine this is what she would be like. Having everyone sing her name while she dances in the middle and makes it all about her. (This blog is all about me, so there!) The parents just want to get back to smoking and drinking and talking about their work and watching the game but not before we indulge little sis. You can go to your room now!
1) Madonna Was OK If A Little Dull:
Dull isn't usually a word you think of when it comes to Madonna, but such is the state of affairs in 2012. I can't even muster my usual 10 comments. The performance, quite honestly, could have been anyone. In fact, had I not known it was Madonna and had it not looked like her, I could've been sold that it was someone else. Her disappearance at the end reminded me of that game show where when you lose, you fall through the trapfloor. The World Peace sign-off was bland and inoffensive. End hunger while you're at it. I think she was better than the Black Eyed Peas! But who remembers?