Tom Petty’s Completely Passable, If Somewhat Snoozeworthy Halftime Show

noah | February 4, 2008 8:38 am

Raise your hand if you thought Tom Petty’s halftime show was, well, fine, although the momentum of it was killed by stacking two midtempo songs right in the middle. (Perhaps Fox nixed “Refugee” for being too political?) And keep it raised if you were the person at your party who said, “Hey, that’s weird that they billed him as playing with the Heartbreakers, since 75% of the material was from his billed-as-a-solo album Full Moon Fever.” Or the person who said, “Wait, didn’t he use this song to advertise for the NBA a few years ago?” OK, hands down.

Petty, looking even more wizardly than usual thanks to a downy beard, busted through a four-song set that wasn’t quite the barnburner that Prince served up last year, free of special guests and heavy on the material from his five-times-platinum 1989 album. But it sounded OK enough, and hey, no one took their top off. Will it help get asses in the seats for his much-advertised-on-the-Super-Bowl tour, the tickets of which go on sale today? Perhaps a few; the young ladies with beads and big, drunken smiles that Fox cut to in an effort to prove that Petty’s demographic crossed age and gender lines certainly seemed to be having a good time. But the workmanlike nature of the set–and the likelihood that next year’s halftime show would probably feature a similarly wizened road veteran touting their only way left of making money upcoming road jaunt was a little deflating, and it almost made me wish for a throwback to the almost public access-like days of 3-D Elvises.

[Photo: Getty]