Beyonce’s Big Game Gig Originality Issues and Real Concert Crowdsourcing


beyonce press conference super bowl halftime show


Okay, after yesterday’s press conference we now know that Beyonce can belt out the National Anthem acapella, which if you’re wondering, is one of the hardest songs to sing.

Hey, at least Beyonce didn’t try to lipsync over Whitney Houston‘s legendary verson of the National Anthem during the inauguration, or do something like Christina Aguilera did.



Will Beyonce’s Halftime Show Be Truly Original?

But as we get ready for her halftime show, I’m wondering about our previous exploration that questioned Beyonce’s live show originality.

In that originality exploration we took a deeper look at similarities between an artist being inspired or being a copycat.

It’s a controversial and provocative topic that influences almost all of our live music experiences and challenges us to really think about our favorite concert moments and why (and how) those moments move us, even when the artist isn’t being that original.

And I couldn’t help but think about Beyonce’s Billboard Awards story in the wake of the lip-syncing fiasco. Maybe this story will resurface after Sunday?

Maybe Beyonce will “borrow” from past shows to inspire Sunday’s show performance and set design? We’ll have to wait and see.

And as I watch our son Calvin develop, I’ve also thought about how Beyonce’s performance will be inspired by her daughter Blue Ivy?

What will be going through Blue Ivy’s mind and heart as she watches her mom entertain millions of people for 12 minutes?

Will Beyonce be teaching her daughter to rock out like this?

Is Pepsi Really Crowdsourcing the Super Bowl?

The other thing I was thinking about was the crowdsourcing element to this year’s half time show as Pepsi invites fans to submit photos to be included in the introduction of the Beyonce performance.

Of course, it’s not going to be anything close to our interactive Google Plus idea we suggested last year, but at least what Pepsi is doing is semi-social and sort-of interactive.

And according to ClickZ, the fans who win the Pepsi contest will get a chance to soak in the show on one of live music’s biggest stages:

The grand prize includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and $500 cash. Grand prize winners and their guests must participate in the Super Bowl halftime show practice in order to be present on the field during the halftime show. The prize does not include tickets to the Super Bowl XLVII game and Pepsi says winners will not have access to view the live game.

In order to promote the campaign, @Pepsi, which has 1.1 million followers, is tweeting with the hashtag #PepsiHalftime. Pepsi is also using promoted tweets and pulling in tweets with #PepsiHalftime and #LiveforNow on


 What Is Real Concert Crowdsourcing?

But, again, is what Pepsi is doing really crowdsourcing? And does this really benefit the fans or the evolve the live music experience? What is real concert crowdsourcing? How can crowdsourcing be used to tell amazing, diverse and unique fan stories like these?

We won’t answer those questions now, but in the meantime you can check out these great examples of concert crowdsourcing and tell me if you think Pepsi should have done something like this.

We hope you enjoy the Big Game and the halftime festivites and we look forward to sharing our experiences on the next episode of Live Fix Radio!

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Will “Free” Innovate The Super Bowl Halftime Show For Fans, Bands and Brands?

mdna superbowl halftime


We’ve explored the best and worst of Super Bowl entertainment before so I’ll cut right to the chase on this one.

The Madonna Super Bowl halfttime show left me wanting a whole lot more.

And, unfortunately, the best part about it was watching that guy bounce around on that crazy tightrope thingy.

Sure, many fans thought it was a great show, but, unfortunately there was much more that we could’ve experienced together.

As the drama built up during the 3rd and 4th quarter, I realized the halftime show should have been as exciting and thrilling as the game was.

But, as Forbes reminds us, this is what we get for a halftime show that was free and Madonna didn’t  get paid for or did have to pay for, but nonetheless the performance was worth a ton of money to the Material Girl:

“Typically, the entertainers for the Super Bowl do not get a cash payment,” explains Marc Ganis, president of the consultancy Sportscorp Ltd. “This is the kind of exposure that entertainers would give their right arm for … they could do 20 Leno and Letterman appearances and still not reach that [kind of] audience.”

So how much is that action worth? Considering that the halftime show is essentially a nationwide advertisement for Madonna’s various ventures, let’s evaluate it in the context of what companies pay for commercial time during the game. Volkswagen recently paid $3.5 million for a 30-second spot, a new record. By that math, Madonna’s 12 minutes are worth $84 million.

It’s Really No Surprise

And that is why halftime shows are usually subpar. The performance isn’t like a normal concert where the artist is getting a traditional transactional reward for performing.

So essentially what we’re watching during the halftime show are really commercials masquerading as concerts instead of actual performances where the artists are getting paid to put on great show.

So if an artist is doing the show for free when they’re use to getting paid, does that set the stage for a phoned in performance? Probably. And let’s face another truth, 12 minutes is not the ideal amount of time to allow anyone to put on a decent show.

So if we’re talking about a 12 minute window of “free time” to do pretty much anything, I think the halftime show should be way more experimental that it is. And we shouldn’t treat the halftime show like it’s a normal concert environment because it’s not.

So as I watched the Giants players plant kisses on the shimmering Lombardi Trophy, I was convinced we as live music fans are ready to experience the next evolution of the Super Bowl halftime show.

We’re ready to engage in more meaningful experimentation and not just a second rate record hodgepodge record release party, which is pretty much what Madonna, LMFAO, M.I.A. and the NFL gave us.

That said, I believe if the fans, bands and brands truly embrace this “free” business model it could help innovate the halftime show.

And what we discover during this experimentation could inspire innovation in other areas of the live music industry.

To get us rolling, here are a few suggestions of how we can make the halftime show more of moment of live music experimentation that pushes boundaries, or at the very least create a moment where we can discover something new instead of repeating the same disjointed and underwhelming blah that was served up on Sunday for 12 minutes in Indianapolis.

1. We’re Ready To Go Virtual.

As a culture of concert fans who are perpetually hungry to head into the future, we’re more than ready to experience a totally virtual halftime show, and I think we need to mash up the media next time around.

And one way we could do it next year is have Japanese virtual star Hatsume Miku and the creepy, albeit funny, etrade baby dual host the show and take us on a new bizarre journey that makes us laugh and celebrates our ever-growing love for living in a increasingly digital world.

The etrade baby could emcee and Miku could rock the stage. Think I’m crazy? Trust me. Just close your eyes and imagine it. It could happen. And let’s face the truth. When real artists can’t entertain us like they should, we need to think about handing the ball off to virtual artists to see what happens.

Heck, we could even hurl a Hail Mary to the entertainment endzone to see if a team of costumed character and puppets like Yo Gabba Gabba can score a stadium-rocking touchdown. This is free entertainment after all.

2. Have One Worldwide Google Plus Hangout.

I’m surprised that Google didn’t use the BIG GAME as a platform to showcase the awesomeness of the Hangout.

Like Daria Musk and other artist (not Madonna by the way) and fans are doing, the Halftime show could’ve been a worldwide festival of concert fan coming together to celebrate live music as one big family on one of the biggest stages in history.

Fans are the heart and soul of the live music experience and instead retro-celebrating the greatest hits for free, we should turn the spotlight on the fans and celebrate not only the present moment, but also the future of how fans will experience live music as social media continues to become a natural thread woven into the fabric of our lives.

Google should jump on this Hangout idea and get to work to see what they can do. They have 364 days to test and see how they successfully innovate and redefine the Halftime show and pull off the world biggest Hangout.

Google is a company that knows better than anyone how to deliver free products while creating value for sponsors, artists and fans. So why not let them have a crack at redefining the halftime freemium business model?

3. Host a YouTube Fan Contest



I saw this third suggestion come through my Facebook stream via Jason Pollock who proposed the idea of hosting a YouTube contest to let the fans pick their favorite artist and then let that artist perform during the Halftime show.

And since Google owns YouTube, I think you could combine this YouTube idea with the Hangout idea and have a halftime show where fans are more engaged than ever.

Speaking of engagement, and according to Mashable, the Madonna halftime show earned a record-setting 10,245 tweets per second. That’s great and we already know that fans love to tweet during the live music experience.

But just imagine what would happen if fans were not only tweeting about the halftime show but having Hangouts and sending ripples of real-time conversations about their experience across the web in one collective and measurable surge.

For starters, the engagement levels could be pretty sweet on all levels: Fans connect with fans, the artist connect with fans, and everyone has an amazing experience in the process.

And as an added bonus for brands who would sponsor such a halftime show, they too could benefit from the buzz as their brand gets associated with this memorable emotionally-charged moment while audiences enjoy a new way to celebrate live music by connecting with each other and interacting with their favorite artist.

Will All This Be A Reality Next Year?

I hope at least some of this stuff happens because I can’t take another underwhelming halftime show again.

And again, I believe that using social media to rethinking this “free” model presents so many more opportunities to elevate the halftime experience for everyone, whether you’re at the game or glued to all your screens at home.

So let’s get our collective creative juices flowing and see what we can come up with.

What do you think about the free Super Bowl halftime show?  How would you use the 12 minutes of share your experiences and ideas in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook, Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert News: Prince’s No-show, White Stripes, Ecstasy, Shea Stadium, Phish Fest and Chicago Bid Denial


Prince Super Bowl

In no particular order or ranking here’s another rundown of some new bits and cool links to stories for your live music enjoyment about… Prince’s Super Bowl no-show, The White Stripes break-up, Phish’s new festival, NPR’s love for Shea Stadium, Chicago’s race to fund its music fests, Less Than Jake’s return , and an update on our Ecstasy and rave exploration. Continue reading

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Will This Be The Dirtiest 3D Super Bowl Halftime Show Ever?


I hope. And to be honest ever since I lost my Bears vs. Packers Metro bet with my cousin Matt, I really don’t care who wins. But with the Black Eyed Peas as the Halftime show entertainment and learning about their BEP 3D 360 mobile app, I’m looking forward to the musical part of tonight’s Big Game, just so I can hear one dirty song.

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What Is The Future Of The Super Bowl Halftime Show?


Okay, I’ve had just about enough of this post-Super Bowl Halftime show letdown. And it seems like the halftime show gets safer and more predictable each year. It’s almost like the NFL and CBS suffer from some kind of leftover PTSD from Nipplegate. So what was missing and who should play next year? Will 3D and augmented reality (or you) change the future of the Big Game halftime show?
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The Who’s Super Bowl Halftime Show: Epic and Smashing?


Last year I laughed and chuckled my way through the Super Bowl Halftime show as Bruce Springsteen slid across the stage on his knees and told us to lay off the guacamole dip.  But this year, I’m expecting things to be a lot different and maybe even epic.
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Super Bowling: Guacamole Dip and Backing Tracks


It’s taken me a few days to completely digest the Super Bowl Half Time Show…for a few reasons.

First, I didn’t expect The Boss to tell me to put down the guacamole dip and for him to lay on the cheese so heavy during his extended 12 minute set. I also didn’t expect to see him sliding across the stage and knocking into camera men, like he was auditioning for Flashdance or So You Think You Can Dance, or something.

It was, though, a highly effective (and corny) experiment of how an artist can bring the home audience right into the performance. Something Tom Petty and Prince didn’t do during their Super Bowl performances.

Secondly, as I watched the first half (and immediately after Springsteen’s performance), I was really in awe of how deftly and swiftly Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune wrote a review of Jennifer Hudson’s Star Spangled Banner performance. And I don’t think I’ve ever read such a compelling and inspiring review of the National Anthem.

But then came the lip-syncing/back tracking of Hudson’s performance. Something I’ve brought up on a previous post. And something I don’t think is a complete live music sin, mainly because backing tracks are used more often than we think, and often without us even knowing, or sometimes, even caring.

In any case, the next time I’m at a game I’ll have to pay more attention to the performance value of the National Anthem and not look at it as just a moment of honored patriotism.

Even if the Bears weren’t in it, the Big Game was still exciting to watch and thanks to Springsteen I never ran out of cheese for my nachos.

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No Bears. No Prince. No Problems?


A few things I’ll remember from this year’s Super Bowl and the Tom Petty Halftime show:

1. No Bears to watch crumble or Rex Grossman myriad fumbles.

2. Wishing Eli Manning was the Bears QB last year.

3. Wondering who was the set designer for the Half Time show the last two years, a descendant of Sigmund Freud? I know rock n roll is full of phallic but come on! Prince’s pulsing symbolic silhouette last year and Tom Petty’s intro this year, an illuminated guitar unit chugging across the darkened field to link up with the rest of the band?

4. Still wishing Eli Manning was the Bears QB last year.

5. Yes, the Petty classics American Girl, Won’t Back Down, Free Falling and Runnin’ Down a Dream where safe choices, but Petty could’ve pulled a rebellious lyrical malfunction and slipped in a little bit of You Don’t Know How it Feels. But amidst a sea blinking LED and in all his sly and shaggy-bearded wisdom Petty and his Heartbreakers knew better and opted not to sing:

….But let me get to the point, lets roll another joint
And turn the radio loud, I’m too alone to be proud
You don’t know how it feels
You don’t know how it feels to be me…

Well, after watching the Halftime show I did get a good idea of what it feels like to be you these days Mr. Petty at the rockin’ age of 57. And even though the show was a solid but sadly subdued 12 minute set, I’m just glad that Eli had other plans to keep me watching until the last second.

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