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Some Critics toss flags at Bruce Springsteen’s Super Bowl act

February 3, 2009

springsteen1(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

Nobody can deny that rock icon Bruce Springsteen put a lot of sweat into his 12-minute Super Bowl half-time show. But it left the critics still pining for a little more.
The New York Times wrote in its review that Springsteen “rose to the occasion, but never above it.”    
The paper noted that Springsteen, whose songs often run longer than the average two-minute pop hit, dropped verses in the four songs he performed during the half-time show, the better to fit them all into his set. 
Todd Martens at the Los Angeles Times music blog Pop & Hiss wrote that the Springsteen show was not a concert “but a teaser — and it was, admittedly, an entertaining one — for Springsteen’s upcoming tour.” 
springsteenStephen Metcalf at the online magazine wrote that Springsteen misread his television audience with the performance. “The national mood is sober bordering on a galloping panic. Lively as he was, I wouldn’t say the Boss did much to either banish or capture it,” Metcalf wrote. 

And Greg Kot at the Chicago Tribute blog Turn It Up wrote that as entertaining as the show was, it revealed the best and worst of Springsteen. He noted Springsteen’s line telling viewers to put down the guacamole dip, and his play-acting with a referee who ran on stage. “This was Springsteen as song-and-dance man, an accomplished artist reduced to pandering,” Kot wrote.
If nothing else, Springsteen proved himself to be flexible for a 59-year-old man, at one point sliding across the stage and into a television camera. Springsteen had been approached for years to play at the Super Bowl, but he always said no until this year. Was it worth the wait?


Bruce is the best enternainer ever, myself, my husband and 13 year old daughter love bruce and the e street band and always go to their concerts as we know we’re in for a good night. They all have a lot more energy than a lot of people that are younger than them and never fail to deliver. They only had 12 minutes at the superbowl half time show, but i think they pulled it off brilliantly.

Posted by Linda | Report as abusive

Lihten up people ( and critics). It’s only rock and roll and it’s only a game! I thought Buce was great! How can you criticize someone for shortening songs when you only have a 12 minute set. I distinctly recall Prince and Tom Petty doing the same think. The humor injected into the show reminded me of Springsteen’s shows of the 70′s, before he expressed any political opinions. We all know the country is in a depression, that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun. Music and sports offer peoplean escape form our everyday struggles. Life can’t be all gloom & doom.

Posted by Kevin Scanlon | Report as abusive

What amazes me is the entertainment press. They trip over each other trying to get interviews and pictures of Bruce, they stampede the field and run around like maniacs. Interesting actions for a group of people that pretend to be disinterested in the Halftime Show.

Posted by RB | Report as abusive

It was more than worth the wait! I think people that really had no clue about Bruce and his antics during a concert can now see what he’s about. Energy is not the word for this man! Looking forward to the upcoming concerts for his new CD.


Yeah, the mood of the country is depressed, so Springsteen should have come out and done 2 Nebraska tunes and 2 off of Tom Joad during the SuperBowl—think the NFL would have liked Nebrasa, Used Cars, Tom Joad and Sinaloa Cowboys??? What an asinine comment.


It was the best 12 minutes on television!
All I could have asked for was a wardrobe malfunction!

Posted by Marti | Report as abusive

Unbelievable..That was the best Halftime show by far
Bruce is the real deal…He made alot out of 12 minutes
I loved his off the cuff comments…Real That’s what he is about
Awesome Show

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

59 years old! 59 years old?! He is better looking, more fit & has more energy then guys half his age. I

thought he was boss when I was a kid & I still think he’s boss now. He’s Super Boss!

The song is amazing. Yet another masterpiece by the greatest artist of all time. Suprisingly, the movie actually looks good, too. Looking forward to it….


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