Sunday, February 06, 2011

Not music to my ears

Anybody in America knows what today was- the 7th anual Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, of course.  But it was also Superbowl 45 (who knew?!)  And as if watching the greatest football game in the land isn't enough entertainment bang for your $900-a-ticket buck, then they throw in some pre-game and half-time entertainment as well.  I admittedly missed the pre-game show (hey, the Puppy Bowl was still on!) but I did tune in in time for Lea Michelle to sing God Bless America, and Christina Augilera to sing a remix of the National Anthem.

Of course I love music, and of course I am very critical.  But I think both of these ladies have phenomenal voices, and I also think that both of these ladies phenomenaly sucked it up tonight.  Lea Michelle, aka Rachel on GLEE, butchered "God Bless America" with her belting Broadway vocal antics, basically screaming each line of the song.  And, well, by now we all know that the Genie is probably wishing she could shrink back into her bottle after botching the words of the Star Spangled Banner.  "What so proudly we watched..." yeah, we bet Francis Scott Key is rolling over in his grave right about now.  Perhaps Christina was battling a case of nerves tonight, but I have a different theory.  She's a seasoned veteran performer, and has amazing pipes to prove it.  I think a more likely explanation for her flub is that every superbowl national anthem singer is keenely aware that they are trying to one-up their predesessors, and let's face it, no one's come close to Whitney.  So here the Burlesque star was tonight, trying to impress with her vocal acobatics, and I think she sang the song so slowly, that she got lost.  It's easy to do, and the national anthem is honestly one of the hardest songs to sing when it's done straightforward.  Forget all the twists and turns, and just sing it, Christina!  As she went on, she got worse.  Okay, fine, you flubbed a line, but then she overcompensated and wiggled and wobbled all over the music staff, (and the pitch), and what resulted was a performance that people will be talking about for years to come for sure, but not in the way Ms. Augilera likely wishes they would.

Fast forward to halftime (oh yeah, a half of football was just played here).  The Black Eyed Peas' halftime show was a train wreck and a half(time).  I believe they have proved that no matter how much auto tune you use in the studio, and what a cool effect it can have on a track, it doesn't translate live, and the audience isn't dumb.  They know bad music when they hear it, and no amount of glowing dancers, fireworks, and flashing lights are going to fool the audience into thinking they're being entertained.  While I beebop along to the Black Eyed Peas in my car as much as the next person, I've realized now that they can't hold it together live, and so they had to pull stunts like bringing in Slash (Can we say, most random appearance ever) and Usher coming down from the sky (my favorite part about this was that producers felt we needed to see Usher's name in lights so we'd know who he was) in order to boost their own chart topping numbers.  I think my favorite halftime debacle of all though were the stage lights malfunctioning.  During the song, "Where is the Love?" the stage lights intended to spell LOVE actually read LOE.  Where is the LOE, indeed? 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch the last musical number of the superbowl, the new episode of GLEE!

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