Of bands college to ‘The Boss’, to Lady Gaga… the mediotiempo of the SB


MIAMI – beyond your musical taste, it seems that the mediotiempo of the Super Bowl have liked it ever.

Of bands college students to New Orleans jazz, of the Latin american and caribbean to the vibes of Motown. From classic rock to country, pop, hip hop and rap.

From the sublime (Tony Bennett) to the ridiculous (the scandal with Janet Jackson), and ‘moonwalks’ for Michael Jackson, the majestic memory of the victims of 9-11, U2, the presentations of mediotiempo have had as much attention as the game itself.

Surely what you will get back the 2 of February with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

“You get to the Super Bowl to somehow be surprised”, says Peter O’reilly, senior vice president of NFL events, in terms of what can happen, whether it be the performances of the national anthem and ‘America the Beautiful’ before the game, the mediotiempo. “At the end of the day of the game is about moments, create moments that gather people and talk forever.”

Those moments are of Bono opening his jacket at New Orleans while had the names of the victims of 9-11 in the Superdome, Lady Gaga, entering through the roof of the stadium in Houston. The Rolling Stones have Boss rocking out to Bruno Mars doing not one, but two presentations of a star.

“They are creative those moments that people remember,” says O’reilly. “That adds and builds the power of the Super Bowl as a day is not an official national celebration”.

The celebrities do not necessarily have to be football fans to have a good presentation. Mick and Keith prefer to the English football version of the NFL. Justin Timberlake will host a PGA Tour event.

That, unquestionably, these acts are looking for massive audience, a lot of attention, and for something like 12 minutes to be at the helm. Marron 5, which topped the spectacle of mediotiempo last year, is lined up to appear in the concert induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

So that the artists are eager to act, even if not paid; the NFL handles all the costs and expenses of production of the acts, with the Nation Roc Jay-Z now involved. Adam Levine certainly is not the first singer to campaign for the job he and his band scored last February in Atlanta.

“Since I saw Diana Ross fly into the sky in the halftime show, I dreamed of acting in the Super Bowl,” said Lopez when he performed as a co-star of the poster for this year. “And now it makes it even more special not only because it is the season not only because it is the season 100 of the NFL, also because I’ll go with another latina. I can’t wait to show what us girls can do on the biggest stage in the world.”

At some point, the spectacle of the mediotiempo seemed to have a local flavor. There was the Homage to Mardi Gras in 1970; a salute to the 60’s and Motown in 1983; the other to the hundredth anniversary of Hollywood in 1987; and the Rockin’ Country Sunday in 1994 in Atlanta.

Now the emphasis is on, well, megaestrellas, regardless of the gender.

“In essence, the Super Bowl attracts a very broad audience,” says Mark Quenzel, senior vice president of programming and productions of the league. “It really is that opportunity for the intersection of sports and entertainment to bring these two in an interesting way for a lot of fans. That also makes it a challenge. Who is going to make the show more interesting for 200 million people?”.

“The Super Bowl is the biggest day of the sport and deserves a show of that type”.

So while there are giants of the music such as Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Kendrick Lamar and Metallica that have not participated in the show –still – the NFL has not lost the touch in the last decade as with Timberlake, Beyonce, MADONNA, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“I love my job,” said Bruce Springsteen in 2019 when he led the E Street Band in Tampa. “We went out and inspire; it is part of what we do. If we throw money then also we have stayed in. But we set out to inspire. And it was something like, ‘well, this is the year’”.

Perhaps the most complicated part of organizing the concert will not be schedule a great artist. Usually the NFL determines who will be months before the regular season starts; those who plan the Super Bowl in Tampa in 2021 take months of searching for the name.

It is the logistics of mounting the show without delay the entry of the teams for the second part of the game; keeping the massive audience entertained; and to meet the needs of those who are present.

“We work with the artist a long time,” said Quenzel. “We want to assemble a show with which they are comfortable. One that the majority of the 200 million people who see it, know the songs and sing them. And we know the level of artists we talked to, most have been seen in some way or on some performance. We do not present artists to the audience.”

“We want to do something that the audience has not seen before. These presentations are conducted by the artist. Our job is to mount it –in 12 minutes, by the way”.