Eyes Up, Ears Open

By Ryan Hanratty

So, it’s a new semester here at Rider and there is already so much happening in the music world. This week we are going to talk about the Super Bowl Halftime Show and news from the upcoming summer festivals.

Half-A$$’d Halftime Show?

Now, Super Bowl 45 was an incredible game and I would like to congratulate all Giants fans on their victory. The halftime show, however, was not so incredible in my opinion. It was hosted by 80’s pop star Madonna, and featured LMFAO, Nikki Minaj, M.I.A., and Cee Lo Green.

First, I feel it is fair to say that the lighting and effects used throughout the show were amazing and I do not think anyone can argue with that. Question is though, why has the Super Bowl halftime show become a technology extravaganza? Before 2011, the Super Bowl hosted a long string of amazing artists such as The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Prince, and The Rolling Stones. Each of those musicians had turned the halftime show into what I thought it should be…a concert. Now, I am not saying that Madonna was the first to deliver what I would call a “scripted act” but I honestly feel that if her performance was a glimpse of what is to become of halftime shows, we do not have much to look forward too.

Second, I understand that pop acts have always been considered to be visual performances. I do not understand however, why a very well known and experienced performer like Madonna would have the need to lip synch. The 80’s pop-star was quoted saying “it’s tough to sing and dance at the same time”. This I am sure to be 100% true, but if that is the case than maybe she should have sacrificed some of the more complex dance moves. I know if I were a Madonna fan I would prefer to see her use her voice live rather than watch her dance to recorded tracks and pretend to sing as if she was playing an oversized version of “Just Dance 2” in her living room.

Third, I just want to recap the roles of Madonna’s musical support. Now, it is obvious that supporters like LMFAO, Nikki Minaj, M.I.A., and Cee Lo Green are there just to enhance the performance because they are big artists who draw attention. Honestly, though, could LMFAO prove to be more useless? All they did was play a 12-second clip of “Party Rock Anthem” and give Madonna a “piggy-back ride”. Nikki Minaj sang 3 lines in her vocal appearance in Madonna’s new song “Give Me All Your Luvin’” while M.I.A. gave all of us at home the finger. The last person to mention is Cee Lo Green, who I think actually sang and added something to the performance. Unfortunately, he couldn’t sing any his own material but even still he was the one spark of light in Madonna’s Half-A$$’d Halftime Show.

I am sorry Madonna, but you could have done better. I have nothing against your music or career but I really think you could have made your comeback a lot more impressive if you just showed us your true talent. Now, I’m afraid I see you only as another modern day pop-star.

What are your plans this summer?

The famous Bamboozle and Van’s Warped Tour music festivals are back this year and are going all-out. This year is the Bamboozle’s 10th Anniversary and it is going to be held where it all began in Asbury Park, NJ. Three-day passes are now on sale on the festival’s website and already over 60 artists have been announced. The Headlining acts include Foo Fighters, Blink182, Bon Jovi, Incubus, and Skrillex. It all begins May 18th and ends on the 20th. It’s going to be one hell of a weekend.

The long-running Van’s Warped Tour is going to be traveling all over the country as it usually does every summer. Tickets will be on sale as of March 30th, so make sure you check Warped Tour’s official website to see which dates and locations are right for you. So far there are 50 bands on the bill, a few of whom are: Senses Fail, Bayside, We Are the In Crowd, Man Overboard, Blessthefall, and Polar Bear Club. If you are into Alternative and Punk music this is the fest for you.

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