- The Washington Times - Monday, February 5, 2007

So Prince went with the medley format for his Super Bowl Halftime performance last night (a fitting one in the age of mashups, I guess). It’s an understandable move, given the time constraints (about 12 minutes) of the set. (Although, in recent years, U2 and the Stones went for full-length treatments of some of their biggest hits, and that seemed to work just fine.)

Playing snippets of songs freed up Prince to play unusual, in this context risky, selections, like Foo Fighters’ “Best of You.” (Foo frontman Dave Grohl must’ve been as surprised as anyone.) Also — and I mean no offense — I couldn’t help but think of this when Prince played Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” given this.

Prince’s guitar chops were scintillating. In the broadcast I watched, at least, his axe was up astonishingly high in the sound mix. (I was stunned to hear how different the Stones sounded on ABC last year, compared to this superior French broadcast.) Great for guitar-heads like me, possibly off-putting to others. I didn’t much care for the dancer-girl accessories, however.

Overall, a solid, surprising performance from a most enigmatic performer. Prince managed to push boundaries in a format that, in the past, has seldom yielded anything memorable (and I don’t mean notorious).

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