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November 21, 2014

Super Bowl XL: The Rolling Stones

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Feb 5th 2006 11:20PM

The excitement that is rock and roll, by and large, has always had difficulty coming across on television. The television screen puts limitations on the visuals of a rock and roll show, especially the feedback the crowd gives the band when they're playing well. Plus, rock and roll is meant to play loud, and no matter how loud you put the volume up on your television, most of the time it just doesn't translate.

However, there have been a few times where rock and roll has transcended the television screen and brought across truly memorable moments. Of course, when The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, it was such an historic event that what you heard didn't matter--it was only what you saw. A few years ago, U2 played at halftime of the Super Bowl, and again, although the sound was a bit murky, their performance was so mesmerizing that people still talk about.

This year's Super Bowl halftime show featured The Rolling Stones. As big a fan as I am (I've seen them live over 20 times), I was curious to see how they would come across on television. They've been appearing on TV for over 40 years, so they know the drill, and Mick Jagger certainly knows how to play to the cameras.

Beginning with the opening power chords of "Start Me Up", the sound coming through was not quite right. It seemed the guitar mix was way down. Visually, the stage (the famous tounge and lips logo) looked great on screen, and I would love to see the Stones employ this stage set-up as their permanent stadium stage.

The sound was still muddy, but in the middle of Ron Wood's solo, the sound came through, and I was finally able to watch them play. The camera work was outstanding, as they followed Mick strutting around the stage. And let's not forget one very important factor--they were great! As I expected, ABC edited out some of the song's raunchier lyrics toward the end of the song, but you knew that was going to happen, so no big shock.

The next song was "Rough Justice" off their latest album, "A Bigger Bang". It's a terrific song in its own right, but since they're playing to a huge audience, of which many have not heard their newer material, it would have been better if they had played something more familiar like "It's Only Rock and Roll".

Then, after Mick makes a joke about the band being able to play the next song at Super Bowl I, they break into "Satisfaction". And it was a lean, mean version, with Keith Richards' guitar slashing through, and Charlie Watts keeping a relentless beat. Obviously, they've played this song live more times than there were people in Ford Field tonight, but this is (arguably) the greatest rock and roll song ever recorded. And after seeing these old guys play a searing version tonight, I came away with the feeling that at least for one night, rock and roll was prime time. Again, the visuals were enough to tell the story.

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JimK

I have to agree with those saying it was bleh. The band sounded great. Mick sounded like crap, just like he has for the last three or four tours. The man's voice is *gone* and has been for a long, long time.

February 06 2006 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scott

good lord, are you serious? the sound was terrible the whole way thru, and so were the stones!
...and why the heck was mick jagger wearing avril lavignes pants?

i'm a stones fan, but stevie shoulda played halftime in detroit. the motown pregame show was so much better than halftime.

February 06 2006 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris

at first i thought the reason it sucked was because the mix was bad... but as the mix improved, i realized that mick simply can't sing anymore. what more... he should not have taken that jacket off before "Satisfaction." seeing his 62-year-old stomach when he lifted his arms up was enough to make a 25-year-old man (and his wife) vomit.

February 06 2006 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom Risberg

Having followed the Stones from their beginnings in the 60s, I certainly hoped that their performance would be good. Sadly, it was dreadful. There were a few decent guitar licks from Woods and Richards in Rough Justice, and Watts was pretty much his reliable self throughout, but Jagger was awful. Not only did he sound awful, he looked awful. He should have paid more attention to singing than in doing whatever else he was doing! For crying out loud, he looked like some kind of wind-up toy that had the key turned way too many times! Shake, jerk, gyrate, skip, strut, etc., all of which seemed to be completely out-of-synch and hey-look-at-me oriented. Really, really, bad!

February 06 2006 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brian

I love the Stones. I thought their performance was decent. But I kind of like the NFL having these straight ahead rock performances at half time as opposed to crappy pop songs with lip syncing and dancers. Anyway, I'm sure they didn't make any new fans last night, but I enjoyed it. By the way, you don't have to be super old to like them, Karl. I'm 24.

February 06 2006 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Asher

"So old even Mom and Dad don't like them"? That's horribly ignorant of you. I've just recently turned 17, and I happen to be a big fan of the Stones, as well as a hundred other 60's groups. Heck, I've even got music from before their time. Don't judge something on it's age like that. You need to broaden your musical tastes, a lot. Try judging music on the things that matter, talent, vocals, lyrics, and the like.

Personally I thought this was the best half-time show for the Super Bowl, since I started watching 6-7 years ago. Despite his age, Mick still moves great (which makes it kind of baffling to watch, I will admit that). The music sounded good, and yes the lyrics were slightly changed from their originals, but that wasn't because he couldn't remember them. Some of it he changed, to better fit the scenario, which was still highly sensitive to the Janet incident.

I will agree with Michael though, that second song was a poor choice. I haven't heard their new album, and so I spent the whole song trying to recognize it. Couldn't enjoy it or sing along.

February 06 2006 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karl Cremslinier

My son asked who was playing on the Halftime show this year and I said... a band so old that Mom and Dad dont even like them... But I gave them a chance to impress.

At the very least I expected them to know their music and the lyrics for said songs. Neither seemed to be true.
The mix was terrible, which there is no excuse for... they had plenty of rehearsals and time to get this setup.

At one point I turned to my friends and said... " On the bright side, one of them could actually die of natural causes before they are done ". On the even brighter side, at least we didnt see anything obscene... like Mick doing a helicopter on stage :0

15 people at my house agreed... they sucked ass. Missed the mark for my generation and younger for sure (im 38).
But on the brighter FCC side. At least we didnt see any boobies.

February 06 2006 at 8:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
matthew m. barnes

the Superbowl party i was at consisted of 1/2 people my age (mid-late 20's) and people my parent's age (55-60). the people my age loved the Stones' music as oldies and the people my parent's age loved the Stones from the beginning. however, everyone in attendance agreed... that sucked! Mick Jagger sounded horrible (his pronounciation is actually kinda entertaining... "and i twy.. and i twy.."), had a recurring wardrobe malfunction (we saw more of his stomach than we ever saw of Janet's boob... neither one being very appealing) and looked like a fool in the same leather he wore 30 years ago. "hey Mick... you're 63 years old!" seriously... if they wanted to have a classic act, they should have gotten the Eagles or some Motown greats (as they were in Detroit!).

February 06 2006 at 2:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sarah gilbert

what?!? great?!? I thought the vocals were terrible and the dancing was hilarious. Mick Jagger was skipping. SKIPPING.
But I'm not a huge Stones fan... maybe I'd feel differently if I loved them more truly!

February 06 2006 at 12:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Longshot

Please go to www.longshot.iblogs.com for my feeling, on this half time show. In my home town of DETROIT.
Home of MOTOWN!

February 06 2006 at 12:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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