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Sunday, February 2, 2014
Six things you need to know about the Super Bowl Halftime Showjohn clark - 1:25 PM
Read this while those guys in pads are running around knocking into each other on the field.
1. Your lead performer: Bruno Mars. If you don't know who Mars is, you might need to get out a bit more. The 28-year-old crooner has been owning the airwaves and downloads for most of the last few years with smooth, listener-friendly tracks that get the ladies swooning. Why Mars? Well, the NFL had run through all the viable Middle-Aged White Classic Rockers (Springsteen, McCartney, The Who, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, etc.) and is now seeking "crossover" acts (Beyonce, The Black-Eyed Peas) that can keep an audience far beyond football hardcores attached to the TV at least through halftime. Mars sits in the center of the Venn Diagram of "popular," "easy on the eyes," and "safe for mass exposure."
2. Your backing band: Red Hot Chili Peppers. This is a bit of a surprise, given that the Chili Peppers have a reputation as one of the most hellraising, lock-up-your-daughters, party-till-dawn-or-arrested bands in rock history. But they cemented that reputation a long time ago; the band formed two years before Mars was born, and released their landmark album BloodSugarSexMagik when Mars was six years old. They're not exactly old men now, but they know how to play the game and keep their clothes on. (More on that later.)
3. Bruno Mars isn't being paid a dime. The NFL doesn't pay halftime show performers, although it does pick up the tab for expenses (stage, travel, accommodations, etc.) Why not? Exposure, baby. Bruno will be onstage for about 12 minutes. Considering that advertisers are paying $4 million for a 30-second spot, well ... you can do the math, right? The NFL figures that $96 million in publicity isn't a bad substitute for payment.
4. How long will the halftime show last? Normal NFL halftimes are 12 minutes. But the Super Bowl is roughly a half hour to allow for time to construct and deconstruct the stage, and also to allow the Fox Sports gang to bloviate on What This All Means For Peyton Manning's Legacy. We'd rather watch the construction.
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