Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Attention all superior Springsteen superfans: The Boss was faking it, too

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The vocals were live in Tampa, but the music for the Super Bowl halftime set was all in the can -- just like Jennifer Hudson's national anthem, though at least she wasn't hoking it up screaming about guacamole dip and Disneyland, and sliding across the stage on her knees.

From a story in the Chicago Tribune, via the music news portal The Daily Swarm.

So in the end, the Walmart-sponsored Saint of Southern Jersey is every bit as glitzy, glossy and superficial a performer as, say, Janet Jackson or Madonna. He just pretends to be something different on TV.

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That's all fine and good but the critical question remains - does Jim need to recant his "bravura performance" review of Jennifer Hudson's lip-synched appearance at the Super Bowl? Jim was either clearly fooled by her mouthing along to the recording or decided to pretend it was a live performance for the sake of his review. Which was it? Do tell Jimbo...

Oh, Jim, Jim, Jim...

"I preferred Hudson's recording of the national anthem (and her lip-syncing) to the E Street Band's recording of the medley)[.]"


I still think your critique of Springsteen was a fair one, but, I mean, Hudson's recording pretty much was Whitney Houston's, minus the pomp-and-circumstance. That warbling B.S. that every single pop-soul singer has to do is just so damned hackneyed and irritating to me. Every time I hear it, I think of Mariah Carey, and my skin crawls (partly because her voice is so grating, and partly because I think of her doing the marital thing with ex-husband Tommy Mottola, which... I mean... ew). Just once, I'd like to see someone do a restrained version of it the way Marvin Gaye did at the NBA All-Star Game in 1983. That version'll bring a tear to your eye.

i would like to know what your opinion is on whether you think it is
fair to claim something is a live performance when it is not.

Is this true of every Superbowl halftime performance across the board? Was U2 faking it? Was Tom Petty faking it? Was Prince faking it? If so, that's really disappointing.

Jim, hasn't this kind of practice become pretty commonplace, though? I'm not saying that it's right by any means, but television producers seem to prefer a controlled environment to a live one. Are we really to believe that Ashlee Simpson was the first Saturday Night Live musical guest to lip sync? Are we expected to buy the idea that Britney Spears or the myriad boy bands of the early part of this decade ever sang a note when they performed on-stage? And what about the Grammys?

That's why that performance Kanye West did on SNL was, in my opinion, fantastic (though this is apparently not a widely-held view). His vocoder failed, and his voice was shown to be thin and warbly. But in that, it was awesome. He emoted. He sang his guts out. As a fan, I appreciate that more. At the very least, it's authentic.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on February 4, 2009 2:35 PM.

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