Football fans may be divided about whether the Giants or the Patriots will win the 46th Super Bowl on Sunday, but one consensus appears to be emerging—Madonna was a terrible, terrible choice to headline the halftime show. There are many positive descriptions that can reasonably be applied to songs such as “Material Girl” or “Like a Prayer”, but “stadium-rocking” is not one of them.
However, a performance like the Super Bowl halftime show is as much about the visual spectacle as it is the music itself, and in that category Madonna is getting a key assist. The staging for her performance (also slated to feature Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., among others) is being handled by Cirque du Soleil.
With that combination, there’s little doubt that the halftime show will be impressive to watch, whether or not listening to Madonna seems like a reasonable accompaniment to Jason Pierre-Paul trying to bash in Tom Brady’s skull. Considering the subpar running backs in this year’s Super Bowl matchup, whatever performers Cirque du Soleil choose are a good bet to have the most impressive moves on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Obviously, distinctive visuals don’t always come off quite as well as the designers would have hoped, as in the case of Prince’s absurd silhouette-with-phallic-guitar bit from a few years ago. Hopefully the Cirque designers will have learned some lessons from past years about what will manage to play in the stadium as well as for the TV audience at home.
The NFL would do well to start picking some musical acts that fit the stadium atmosphere better, but even if it’s not much to hear, at least the halftime show can still be something to see.