Prince Half Time Thoughts

prince super bowl silhouette

“During ‘Purple Rain’ a thin, white balloon emerged near the stage, and it appeared as if Prince was performing inside a condom.” – Dave Hoekstra, Chicago Sun-Times (in this article)

Huh?

I guess the human brain will interpret things in many different ways, but did any of you think the white silhouette sheet flapping in front of Prince resembled a condom? Me neither. But that didn’t mean the silhouette episode wasn’t without it’s naughty moments. During that 30 seconds of sheet flappage, we were treated to the signature gee-tar strokin’ we haven’t seen since the closing moments of Purple Rain (the movie), where at the end of “Baby, I’m a Star” he jumped up on one of his giant speakers, grabbed his Telecaster, and stroked away until the crowd was showered in purple funk. Okay, that was disgusting. Sorry. But you remember that, right? Nasty Prince was back on display last night, if only for a brief moment.

Overall, I really enjoyed the performance. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but given all of the factors working against him, he overcame them all and delivered a top notch performance. A great showman like Prince can overcome these things.

  • Obviously, the weather played a factor. Performing live in a stadium setting in the driving rain can’t be the easiest gig in the world. Did the rain and moisture do something to the guitar tunings? Maybe. A few of the solos seemed like they were just an inch away from what Prince intended, and that may have something to do with the rain, who knows.
  • The overall mix wasn’t very impressive. There were some moments when the guitar was a little overpowering in the mix. It would have been cool to hear the Florida A&M marching band featured more prominently. It sounded really cool from what I could barely hear. All that time and effort put into rehearsals and the end result is you could barely hear them. But a really cool part that I could hear was the 1999 intro before “Baby, I’m a Star”, as the marching band approached the stage from either side. And again, what I could hear of them during “Purple Rain” sounded great.
  • The intro into “Let’s Go Crazy” was a little disjointed, but as soon as the band picked it up with “If you don’t like, the world you’re living in”, it whipped right into shape.
  • The do-rag was interesting. I wonder if that was a last minute decision because of the rain? It wasn’t working for him, and he took it off during “Purple Rain.” The do-rag always reminds me of a scene from Under the Cherry Moon (wasn’t he vacuuming or something?).
  • As for wardrobe, it didn’t hit me until someone at work mentioned it today, that his color scheme, teal and orange, are the colors of the Miami Dolphins, and there he was in Dolphin Stadium. Coincidence??
  • This would have been the perfect opportunity for a short James Brown tribute. It certainly could have replaced “Proud Mary”. Can you imagine if Prince hit us with “Sex Machine” or even “I Feel Good”? That would have brought the performance to a whole ‘nother level. I mean, who else on God’s green earth is more qualified and gets the automatic stamp of approval to pay tribute to James Brown?? Nobody. Prince missed a golden opportunity there.
  • And let’s talk for a second about seizing another golden opportunity. It doesn’t take a marketing genius to figure out that his “Best of You” cover was going to create some serious buzz and overwhelming demand. I have had hundreds upon hundreds of Googlers hitting my site over the last 24 hours searching for “prince best of you”. Why oh why didn’t Prince make the song available for download immediately after the Super Bowl? You gotta strike while the iron is hot, man. Come on Prince! Seize this Golden Opportunity my man!!

Those are my only semi-gripes. But at the end of the day, it was an amazing performance on the world’s biggest stage. Well done, purple – er – teal one!

Buy Prince’s new single, “Guitar”, on his official site:
http://www.3121.com

  • jason

    i don’t care what his reasons for doing the foo fighters cover were. he did an amazing version of it and showed that he is not just prince, he’s the freaking king. his version re-created that song into something more than dave grohl could ever have done. and i’m a foo fighters fan. and thank you for posting the mp3.

  • Uzi – thanks for the article link! Bill (above) – I stand corrected. This is news! Prince was pissed that the Foos did that great version of “Nikki”. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, if he ever opens his mouth about it. I wouldn’t think his “Best of You” performance was to “get back” at the Foos in any way, but that he genuinely thinks it’s a good tune. If you read the lyrics to “Best”, it seems right up Prince’s alley… (for the Prince version, replace all to’s with 2 and all you’s with U).

    I’ve got another confession to make
    I’m your fool
    Everyone’s got their chains to break
    Holdin’ you

    Were you born to resist or be abused?
    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
    Are you gone AND onto someone new?

    I needed somewhere to hang my head
    Without your noose
    You gave me something that I didn’t have
    But had no use
    I was too weak to give in
    Too strong to lose
    My heart is under arrest again
    But I break loose
    My head is giving me life or death
    But I can’t choose
    I swear I’ll never give in
    No, I refuse

    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
    Has someone taken your faith?
    Its real, the pain you feel
    Your trust, you must
    Confess

    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
    Oh…

    Oh
    Oh
    Oh
    Oh

    Has someone taken your faith?
    Its real, the pain you feel
    The life, the love
    You’d die to heal
    The hope that starts
    The broken hearts
    Your trust, you must
    Confess

    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

    I’ve got another confession my friend
    I’m no full
    I’m getting tired starting again
    Somewhere new

    Were you born to resist or be abused?
    I swear I’ll never give in
    I refuse

    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
    Has someone taken your faith?
    Its real, the pain you feel
    Your trust, you must
    Confess
    Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
    Oh…

  • UZi

    Pete: MTV has a story about Prince being upset at the Foo’s for the Darling Nikki cover.

    Count me among the many who found this site by typing “prince best of you” on Google. Thank you for the mp3! Wish I could get a non-Howard Stern version of the studio track.

  • Bill – that’s a new one on me. The Prince quote sounds pretty far-fetched to me, given that he’s covered a lot of other people’s tunes, both live and on record. And he’d “like to shoot them in the head”? Come on, man.

    Reports are that Dave has always been a huge Prince fan, and that he was blown away by the half time performanec (according to a post on Prince.org).

  • Does anybody think that the cover of “Best of You” was in response to the Foos cover of “Darling Nikki” in 2003?

    I’ve heard that Prince was pretty displeased about their cover, saying that people should “make their own music” and the he’d “like to shoot them in the head.”

    I guess Dave publicly asked for the song to stop being played on the radio to appease our royal highness.

    So, now for the real question: has Prince gotten the best of Dave Grohl by playing a FF song (better than the foos, may I add) at the friggin’ Super Bowl?

  • goldengirl

    I was at the SuperBowl and Prince did his thing! It was the worst weather the rain never, I repeat never stopped and was pouring! Not some light drizzle, but actual hard rain! For him to(and his band, oh and especially his dancers!) not to wipe out on stage!, yo, what a performer is all I can say.

  • patrick

    i thought it was great. pretty cool w/ purple rain live in the rain. i don’t really care for the foo fighters song but he did great. it may have been hard to pull off a hendrix and JB homage- he chose hendrix i guess, hendrix also wore a doo rag, just more hippie and less feminine.

    0(+> was the best part of the bowl. we were somewhere else for 15 min.

    great intro as well for that super bowl crowd- queen. he rocked us.

  • kurt gottschalk

    the covers were weird, but that’s typical weird for prince. but i was disappointed how purple rainy it was. 46% of homes in america had the superbowl on. sure, he knows who’s writing the check, but i wish he would have done something to let people know that he still writes songs. ‘3121’ or ‘jam of the year,’ or even a part of ‘musicology.’ i wish he wouldn’t have left half the country thinking of him as a retro act. and absolutley, james brown should have been in there. as bad as two years ago when paul mccartney didn’t mention george harrison…

  • jazzmaster

    I thought it was a damn good performance… even more so in light of the terrible weather.

    I don’t care for the do-rag either, but you’re right, Zack… He wore one on SNL, too.

    Time for a new album!!! And, of course, a tour!

  • Anonymous

    No, you’re right on with the UTCM do-rag reference. Christopher and Tricky are cleaning up their apartment when Mary walks in to take them shopping. She asks Christopher “What’s This” to which he responds “Soul”.

  • My mother made a comment along the lines of Prince looking like the devil with his Prince guitar in the silhouette. Apparently the guitar’s head looked like a pointy devil tail to her. You see what you wanna see.

  • loved it. keep up the excellent work.

  • Hehe you may be right, but I do remember him working the do-rag in Cherry Moon. Do I finally have to buy the DVD? *gasp

  • Zack

    re: vacuuming in a do-rag- you’re thinking of Morris in Purple Rain 😉

    But didn’t Prince wear a do-rag (and a very similar outfit) for part of the SNL performance last year? I’ll have to see if I can find a clip.