So we had the Super Bowl and it turned out to be one of the most dramatic Super Bowls ever. Or so they say – what do I know… It certainly was full of drama. And as usual, we were also served with some amazing music performances…
Jennifer Hudson gave us a magnificent, soul-stirring rendition of Star Spangled Banner. I was truly taken by her rendition and impressed by how her voice has matured even further. I was even more impressed that she took on such a daunting task as singing at the Super Bowl as her “come back” after the horrendous events she has had to face lately.
Now imagine you are the singer. You step off “stage” – hearing the crowd go nuts from your performance. How would you feel? What would have made this the perfect performance for you? That you were able to lip sync so well that no one noticed?
Have we really become so unforgiving that singers no longer dare to sing?
The producer Rickey Minor said this of her lip sync performance: “That’s the way to do it. There’s too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance”
Huh, say again?
Now, naturally, he is standing up for Hudson and taking the “blame”, and I appreciate that. She is not to blame here. And he is after all a producer and no peak performance coach.
But “I would never recommend any artist to go live”…
Is he serious?
Are we talking about technical difficulties or are we talking about not trusting a performer’s ability to perform at their peak when it matters?
”…because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance”. Eh….?
How about we have a chat with the athletes and see if they would like to adopt this mindset.
Wouldn‘t lips moving out of sync be a slightly more devastating glitch?
The great athletes want nothing else than to perform at the most difficult and most challenging event. Football players dream of playing the Super Bowl. Peak performers aren’t afraid of failing.
So is the message here that if it is a big event you are better off faking it? After all, what if there would be a “glitch”? Can you sense the fear?
Isn’t every performance a big event? Frankly, it better be. That’s what makes a performance exciting. And it is still exciting even if the mic goes out, or the accompanist starts in the wrong key, or we crack on the high note. In fact, as long as we have a sense of humor about it – i.e. no fear – it might make the performance greater than it ever could have been.
I wish Jennifer would have had the opportunity to walk away knowing she had delivered a sensational Super Bowl performance that would have been remembered for years to come.
If technical or voice problems made live performance impossible, why not tell us instead of faking it? Are we really that unforgiving? I would have had nothing against it if it was announced: “Unfortunately I can’t sing live today, but I would like to present a recording of Star Spangled Banner that I made especially for you to honor this day.”
We probably would have loved her even more, especially knowing of her tragedy, and we would have embraced her wonderful recording as the great recording it is.
And then in half time we had Bruce Springsteen. I admit I have never been a huge fan of his music. However, I am definitely a hue fan of his performance skills. There are few performers who can get a crowd going like he can. He is an absolute master on stage. In fact, if you want to be able to capture an audience, I urge to rent one of his performances on DVD and watch and study. I think you’ll realize why he indeed is “The Boss” – and the ultimate live performer.