Music fans who are put off by the endless hype surrounding the Super Bowl and the gratuitous violence of football still have a reason to tune into the big game on Sunday. From the opera star singing the National Anthem to the spectacle of the halftime show, there is something to draw in music lovers.
Throw in two Super Bowl ads featuring Bob Dylan (including "I Want You" playing in a yogurt spot!?) and an unprecedented sitcom cameo for Prince, and you have some can't-miss -- or must-dismiss, depending on your thoughts on advertising and sitcoms -- TV no matter what is happening in the game.
While Dylan himself is certainly not averse to appearing in advertisements from time to time -- who can forget his Victoria's Secret ad campaign, his ominous Cadillac Escalade spot, or his ill-conceived partnership with Will.i.am and Pepsi -- it's still strange to see an artist who was at one time so prickly about commercialism and pop culture completely give in to the money and the notoriety that comes with it. In addition to "I Want You" being used to shill Chobani yogurt, Dylan is rumored to also be making an actual appearance in a Chrysler spot. Like a rolling stone, indeed.
Prince, on the other hand, won't be appearing in any commercials (that we know of), unless it's promoting his upcoming guest starring role on New Girl, which will air immediately following the Super Bowl. While the extent of the Purple One's cameo on the sitcom has been mostly kept under wraps, there is this brief teaser to promote his appearance, in which Zooey Deschanel screams and nearly hyperventilates in Prince's presence.
As for the musical events before, during, and after the big game itself, soprano Renee Fleming will become the first-ever opera singer to belt out "The Star Spangled Banner" before the Super Bowl, though she did sing the National Anthem during the 2003 World Series.
The halftime show features a performance by Bruno Mars, along with his guests the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who will be paying tribute to Led Zeppelin during their set. Drummer Chad Smith is clearly stoked for the Super Bowl, as he Tweeted out a photo of his NFL-themed drum kit a few days ago.
Are u ready for some football?!!! pic.twitter.com/vZ2ZowC2yk-- Chad Smith (@RHCPchad) January 19, 2014
Fall Out Boy and Jake Owen are playing the Pepsi Tailgate party before the game, though how much (if any) of their performances will be televised remains unclear.
If you live in the New Jersey/New York area or are heading out there for the big game, there are plenty of awesome shows leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, beginning tonight with John Legend at McKittrick Hotel. Tomorrow features TLC at the Beacon Theatre; Band of Horses at McKittrick Hotel; Run DMC, the Roots, and Busta Rhymes at the Bud Light Hotel at Pier 88; and Kings of Leon at the Time Warner Studios.
Friday has Goo Goo Dolls playing at St. George Theatre; John Legend, Mary J. Blige, and Marc Anthony at Cipriani on 42nd Street; Kendrick Lamar and Robin Thicke at Pier 36 for ESPN's Super Bowl Party; Maroon 5 at Beacon Theater; Black Keys at Roseland Ballroon; Imagine Dragons at the Bud Light Hotel; the O Jays at Time Warner Studios; and Patti Labelle at Madison Square Garden as part of the NFL's Gospel Celebration.
Saturday is packed with stars, as Blondie plays the Super Bowl Boulevard Stage on Broadway; Gavin Degraw is at the Wellmont Theatre; Paramore plays a daytime set at Hudson River Park; Foo Fighters and Zac Brown Band are at the Bud Light Hotel; Drake headlines the REVOLT Concert at Time Warner Studios; Red Hot Chilli Peppers headline WFAN's Big Hello to Brooklyn at the Barclays Center with New Politics, MS MR, and J. Roddy Walston & the Business; Kendrick Lamar plays the Maxim Party; and Jay Z headlines the DirecTV Super Saturday Night at Hudson River Park.
All of these acts are part of a wild Super Bowl week packed with a flurry of activity leading up to the big game. And hopefully that same level of excitement (not to mention musical talent) will come to Minneapolis in a few years if we win the bid to host the Super Bowl in the new Vikings stadium in 2018.