Yes, I watched the Super Bowl on Sunday. I decided politics would not impact my entertainment, and I did something my family has done every time there is a Super Bowl. I enjoyed the game—it was a good one although I didn’t have a favorite team in the match.
I did feel a familiar pain as I watched Pink deliver the national anthem and Justin Timberlake perform. And that pain had nothing to do with politics or football.
First there was the moment Pink spat out the cough lozenge shortly before singing the anthem. Some people thought it was gum. That didn’t bother me. My daughter always sings with gum in her mouth.
Either way, these women aren’t the first to have something in their mouth before using it for public performance. The great orator Demosthenes did something similar:
“In his Parallel Lives Plutarch, the Greek historian and biographer, relates that Demosthenes built an underground study where he exercised his voice, shaving one half of his head so that he could not go out in public. Plutarch adds that Demosthenes had a speech defect, “an inarticulate and stammering pronunciation” that he overcame by speaking with pebbles in his mouth and by reciting verses when running or out of breath. He also practiced speaking before a large mirror.”
Pink did a great job with the anthem, except for one slip towards the end. Her voice is so incredible, I can forgive that easily, considering the circumstances.
By the time Justin Timberlake took the stage at halftime, I was wondering what his sound would be like.
What it was like was terrible.
Even with the volume up and speakers wide open in our house, we could barely hear Timberlake. The instrumentation drowned his words.
This is not unusual. Any musician who’s ever had to rely on a sound system run by an outside party knows it’s a crap shoot. We’ve personally had few bad experiences with sound people, but when we have had them, they were disastrous. I recall going to a festival to hear the Daysies play. A full band was on before the Daysies. The sound system crackled, whistled, and screeched throughout that band performance. We knew exactly what to expect.
On the other hand, we’ve had incredible sound techs at most events where the girls are using someone else’s equipment.
Acoustics in a stadium have to be challenging, even if you use an earpiece. Being able to hear yourself is essential. If there’s wind, background noise, or technical problems, anyone will be challenged.
To be fair, the sound on Timberlake did get better for us before he concluded his performance.
In response to snark, Pink posted some snark of her own on Twitter after a person who posts as ‘Dirty Couch’ said her singing “sucks”:
“Yeah but at least I suck while singing our countries [sic] national anthem, and you just suck by yourself on a dirty couch. #winning”
Dirty couch has 228 followers.
Pink has 32.3 million.
Pink said what she spit out before the anthem “was a throat lozenge.” She’s had the flu. In spite of that, she performed. That is commendable.
As for flu or respiratory ailments, I swear by Lemon Balm and honey.
(Kay B. Day/Feb. 5, 2018)