Justin Timberlake, live at the Super Bowl Halftime Show: “I’m bringing Monotonyback (yeah!)”

23:12 I think this might be the first time I’ve had to do something of dubious morality to further my career. I haven’t watched an NFL game since week 3 (Jags and Ravens in London). Generally I find racist team owners blackballing their employees for exercising their constitutional rights while suppressing awareness of the irreversible brain damage they inevitably inflict upon each other to be a bit of a turn-off. Don’t want to break my streak now but suppose it serves me right for opening my mouth in that meeting about The Friendly Critic in Guildford on Friday morning. Such is the life of a left-leaning Pats fan (yeah, we aren’t a myth).

23:15 This is a music blog, so in honour of the Patriots here is some classic New England punk rock. The Dropkick Murphys’ ‘The State Of Massachusetts,’ released as a single, 10 years ago this very day:

23:21 Barely two lines into the national anthem and Pink (P!NK?) seems to have already moved Malcolm Butler to tears. He’s not starting, though. I am less impressed, Dropkick Murphys, she ain’t. On a related note I did not #TakeTheKnee but I am sitting on my arse drinking tea.

UPDATE: Now they’re telling us she has the ‘flu. In hindsight, she did rather well, all things considered.

23:31 Just remembered that the BBC, whose broadcast I am currently watching, can’t show the ads. Small mercies.

23:40 Time for another punk rock interlude, this time in honour of Philadelphia: 

23:43 Good red zone defence by the Pats to limit the deficit to three after the first Eagles drive. I guess that’s why Rowe is starting over Butler.

23:54 Patriots turn to get stalled at the goal line. Gostkowski ties it up.

00:00 I take it back, Rowe got burned there. 9-7 Philly with the missed extra point. (If you say so – Confounded, Non-Sports Loving Ed)

00:15 The Eagles have the lead so how about some more Pennsylvania Punk? 

00:21  Brutal hit on Brandin Cooks. THIS IS WHY I HAVEN’T BEEN WATCHING THIS SHIT! Good to see him on his feet, possibly the first and last time tonight anyone in the U.S. Bank Stadium cheers for a Pats player. Also helmet-to-helmet and no penalty wtf?

00:46 Duron Harmon seems to have learned his lesson after giving up the catch to Kearse in SB49. Nice pick.

01:11 22-12 Philly at the half. Time for the moment I crossed the picket line for. In light of his comments about head injuries the other day I will give him a fair chance to impress me. Taking a shot at the NFL machine in its own house like that was a gutsy play. Something tells me that you became the subject of a Fox & Friends segment on the pussification of the American male or some such nonsense  [UPDATE: just did a quick YouTube search, it absolutely was.] Let’s see what you’ve got.

01:16 Prince’s half time show from Super Bowl XLI being shown on the video board. ‘Purple Rain’ in the rain. Classic Super Bowl moment. How about a quick Top 5 half time shows?

01:17: 5: Katy Perry, Super Bowl 49. Left Shark. ‘Nuff said.

4: Michael Jackson, Super Bowl XXVII. You know it’s going to be a good show when the performer can stand on the stage completely still for almost two minutes just soaking in the applause. An epic that paved the way for the spectacles we see today.

01:20 What’s good, Justin?

01:22 I feel like somebody put the track for this first song on backwards, sounds weird as heck.

01:23 Really struggling to tell if the audio quality is garbage tonight or if that’s just his style.   

01:24 Twitter is telling me that this song is called ‘Filthy’ and is about “haters”. Is Justin launching a preemptive strike against reporters like me?

01:28 Dude, you have a microphone, at least pretend to sing into it!

01:30 So after everybody and their mother made it clear that a Prince hologram was a terrible idea, JT & co thought it would be smart of them to project his face onto a sheet and duet with him for 30 seconds of ‘I Would Die 4 U?’ You clever boy, Justin, real sneaky, I’m sure people will forgive you for desecrating the image of a local icon.

“That’s the most demonic thing imaginable. Everything is as it is, and it should be. If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age. That whole virtual reality thing… it really is demonic. And I am not a demon,”


01:33 Now if somebody tore that outfit to pieces I can’t believe anybody would be too upset. *shudder*.

01:35 I hear that Britney is in a really good place right now. Makes the decision to perform ‘Cry Me A River’ seem somewhat odd.

01:38 I’ve counted at least eight or nine songs in the last 10 minutes. I can name about three of them [UPDATE: it was at least 12 in the end].

01:42 Verdict: After your press conference the other day I decided to give you a fair shot, Justin. Overall, I can only say… meh. I get it, Gaga made a statement last year. You had a tough act to follow but after the year we have had you could have at least made an effort. I was all ready to make a joke about this show going “tits up” but you couldn’t even manage that. So desperate were you to keep this show PG and not ruffle any feathers that you did the unthinkable, you made the biggest show of the year BORING. You told us during your press conference the other day that “we’re doing things with this halftime show that they’ve never quite done before.” Yeah, you made it stunningly forgettable. 

01:45 The impression that I get is that the Pats still have a great chance to pull out a comeback (knock on wood). What a great segue into New England punk interlude no. 2.

01:47 GRONK SPIKE! Quiet first half (1 catch, 9 yards) for Gronkowski but he gets four catches for 68 yards and a TD on the opening drive of the second half. Dominant!

01:50 3: Bruce Springsteen, Super Bowl XLIII. A heartstopping, fun-loving, hard rocking, booty shaking, love making, Super Bowl quaking, history making, legendary set that made us put down the fried chicken and revel in the righteous power of the E Street Band. No choreography, no sparkly outfits or gimmicks of any other kind, just 12 minutes of great American rock’n’roll. Only thing keeping this one from a top two finish is the fact that ‘Born To Run’ was cut short. The Boss even managed to make guitar flips look cool for once.


02:04 Coming to you live from Minneapolis, Minnesota this special Super Bowl edition of “WHAT THE FUCK IS A CATCH?”

01:10 2: Lady Gaga, Super Bowl LI. Less than three weeks after the inauguration of the Great Orange Joke Lady Gaga sang a pro-immigration protest song (‘This Land Is Your Land’) and an LGBTQIA+ anthem (‘Born This Way’) and somehow fooled Fox & Friends into thinking her performance was entirely apolitical. Genius.

02:34 A pair of 1st downs for Danny “Playoff” Amendola. In lieu of me singing his praises for the next 10 minutes l’ll let this guy do it: 

02:37 Sweet TD dance from Gronk! How I would love to split his head open and see what kind of protein deposits I can find on his brain tissue! My bet is on Kraft brand Philadelphia cream cheese (NoAd).

03:19 Gotta hand it to Nick Foles and the Eagles. Great game on both sides, Philly were just that much better.

03:25 1: U2, Super Bowl XXXVI. (What, no Beyoncé? – Outraged Ed) Yes, I know we at The Friendly Critic like to rag on Bono a lot but just watch this:

If I’m in tears right now it is absolutely down to this Patriots defence not because of U2’s heart-wrenching tribute to the victims of the worst act of terrorism in our nation’s history. Honest.

02:40 US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Twitter demonstrates she wouldn’t know a good Super Bowl halftime show if it voted against establishing an embassy in Jerusalem.

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 15.09.06

03:21 Congrats Eagles Fans, here’s some Philly style rock’n’roll in your honour:

03:38 The NFL still sucks

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