Sports by Brooks has leaked the alleged set list for today’s halftime Springsteen show.
And, following up on this blog’s previous post: the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Dan DeLuca says “Queen of the Supermarket” just might be the worst song Springsteen has ever released on a studio album. I feel more generously towards it to be honest – that its remedial level of cultural anthropology is coming from the song’s narrator, rather than the Boss himself.
Unlike SI.com’s Joe Posnanski, I don’t have issues with such a grass-roots, man-of-the-people rock star finally giving into something so mass-audience and gauche and corporate as the Super Bowl:
I have friends, close friends, who are having a hard time with this, really struggling with it. They don’t understand why Bruce Springsteen is playing halftime of the Super Bowl. One friend calls it “a soul-crushing betrayal.” Another calls it “the ultimate sellout.” It should be added that these friends are all football fans as well as Bruce Springsteen fans — well, aren’t all football fans Springsteen fans? They simply aren’t feeling it….
True, Springsteen made concessions with his music over the last 40 years. He always said he would never play big arenas, but then he sold lots of records, and people couldn’t squeeze into the union halls anymore, it had to be Madison Square Garden. He always insisted that he would never play the football stadiums, no, he could not connect with an audience that large. Then he became world famous.
The solution to this problem should be obvious: get better taste in music. Spend more time in clubs. Or just go see The Hold Steady or the Gaslight Anthem.
And if you want to rip him about the Super Bowl, it should probably be about the Bridgestone sponsorship, rather than football itself or generalised corporate commercialism.
Otherwise, at worst, today is a TV appearance, no more soulful or soulless than doing SNL or (ahem) Conan. At best, like any festival show (and sporting event) it won’t be about the music (or what happens on the field), but the emotional embrace of a huge audience.
Of course, it would have been a whole lot more interesting if Springsteen had deigned to do this during the Bush administration.