However when Brady — who seeks his seventh ring in a surefire Corridor of Fame profession — trots off the sector at halftime, he’ll cede heart stage to a person calling the photographs for a 12th Tremendous Bowl in a row, and whose choices will probably be mentioned, debated, and maybe even danced alongside to.
By no means thoughts the motion on the sector on the NFL’s showcase sport, for a lot of, this weekend is all about The Weeknd. And the person serving to to convey the pop megastar’s Tremendous Bowl LV halftime present to life is a British TV director named Hamish Hamilton.
Since 2010’s The Who-headlined spectacle, the now 54-year-old, award-winning Hamilton has been concerned in showcasing musicians so well-known we all know them by a single title — Madonna! Beyoncé! Gaga! — or bands which have soundtracked a technology, corresponding to Coldplay, Maroon 5 and the Black Eyes Peas.
International curiosity within the halftime present is nothing new, although 2021 does mark the 30-year anniversary of the NFL altering course from conventional marching bands to up to date music acts — and what a change it was.
Tremendous Bowl XXV — additionally held in Tampa — kicked off with a chic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner from none aside from Whitney Houston.
Halftime was billed as “A Small World Salute to 25 Years of the Particular Bowl” that includes New Youngsters on the Block, although occasions of the day would intervene.
Operation Desert Storm resulted within the present being tape-delayed till after the sport with a Gulf Warfare information report proven as a substitute.
It was a watershed second and the league by no means seemed again, reserving family names corresponding to Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Boyz II Males within the 1990’s.
All these performances had been seminal moments earlier than Hamilton took the reins in 2010.
From Blackpool to the Tremendous Bowl
For Hamilton, raised within the north of England within the 1970s, the very notion of the Tremendous Bowl, not to mention the halftime present, was actually as international an idea as he may ponder, along with his paying extra consideration to English, fairly than American, soccer.
“I grew up in Blackpool,” Hamilton tells CNN Sport in a uncommon interview. “These are the times earlier than the web and cellphones and world sharing of media. My solely information of sport actually was my native soccer group Blackpool, and lots of miles away within the huge metropolis, Liverpool, who on the time had been dominating European soccer.”
Hamilton attracted consideration from America after directing quite a few BRIT Awards — the UK equal of the Grammys — and whereas he has the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics and the Oscars on his resume, helming the Tremendous Bowl halftime present is, nicely, the Tremendous Bowl of his profession in the case of the cultural zeitgeist.
“We all the time seemed throughout the Atlantic to this undiscovered land of alternative and excellence,” he says. “Now, for me to be creating these huge exhibits on the very epicenter of American tradition fills me with huge pleasure.”
The logistics concerned in mounting the halftime present are arguably as tough as attempting to win the Tremendous Bowl itself
Many months, involving many individuals — halftime can be being co-executive produced by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s Roc Nation — go into the planning, and the music, if you’ll, stays the identical: flip a soccer area right into a live performance venue and again in below 30 minutes.
Hamilton acknowledges that every headliner is totally different in the case of the time they spend collaborating, however “they’ve a imaginative and prescient, and our position is to convey that imaginative and prescient to life. On the finish of the day, the mission is to create 12 minutes of leisure midway by way of this soccer sport in February.”
Hamilton is acutely conscious how a lot this gig means to the musicians — “a career-defining second and an enormous a part of their inventive legacy” — towards the backdrop of a number of challenges.
“You have to push a stage out in seven, eight minutes, put all of it up, construct it, and take it down,” Hamilton says. “In a world that is fracturing, it is a terrific lesson in what individuals can construct below super stress after they work collectively and place belief in one another … It is extraordinary.
“It is an adrenaline rush curler coaster and truthfully, you spend 12 minutes focusing, simply attempting to maintain the practice on the observe, and ship what everyone desires you to ship.”
Delivering this 12 months’s present goes to be a monumental job, with the coronavirus pandemic looming massive over proceedings, regardless of the vaccine rollout throughout the nation.
The 25,000 followers in attendance are required to put on face coverings always and are receiving PPE kits, a Tremendous Bowl branded face masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes from the NFL on arrival.
The impression on the halftime present will probably be appreciable. That is, in spite of everything, an occasion which entails a mess of performers on stage and the place social distancing is the very antithesis of what tends to be a extremely coordinated and packed affair.
Hamilton refuses to present something away, although does admit that “it has put a really totally different set of parameters across the manufacturing. [But] we’ve got risen to the problem in the identical method we rise to the problem yearly, so I assume all I might say to everyone is, ‘Tune in and make your personal judgment.'”
However The Weeknd (actual title Abel Tesfaye) did affirm that “we constructed the stage within the stadium,” whereas govt producer Jesse Collins informed Leisure Tonight, “We’ll use the stadium to current the present in a method that it is by no means been introduced earlier than.”
The acts are savvy sufficient to reportedly carry out with no payment from the league — as a result of the extreme curiosity generated by way of showing pays for itself — although the NFL does supposedly provide a price range.
And whereas Hamilton is not prepared to expose particulars, The Weeknd’s supervisor, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, informed Billboard journal that his star consumer put up $7 million of his personal cash to “make this halftime present be what he envisioned.”
“I do not assume I manage to pay for ” he jokes when it’s put to him that it’s not too late to include the utilization of a helicopter, which is what his favourite halftime performer ever — Diana Ross — did to conclude her present in 1996.
When Hamilton speaks about his halftime present recollections, the sporting parallels with the edges contesting the Tremendous Bowl emerge. Reflecting on the various main acts he has labored with, his observations about Coldplay’s frontman evoke a group participant, fairly than particular person expertise who does not wish to share the ball, or fairly stage.
“Chris Martin is probably the most beneficiant of artists,” Hamilton says about his fellow Brits Coldplay headlining Tremendous Bowl 50 in 2016. “So he rings up his mate Beyonce, he rings up his mate Bruno Mars, and he actually persuades them.
“They had been each a bit reticent initially and he is like, ‘Come on guys!’ And so Beyonce turns up with 100 dancers, and Bruno turns up along with his entourage. And what a terrific present it was … That got here collectively fairly final minute, in a dance studio behind a laundromat. If individuals knew what was occurring on this tiny little dance studio, they’d be shocked.”
However should you can take the boy out of Blackpool, you’ll be able to’t fairly take Blackpool out of the boy. Hamilton casts his eye again towards his native Britain and poses the query about whether or not English soccer would ever take a leaf out of the NFL’s guide and add an additional layer of leisure to proceedings.
“I used to be a soccer fan as a child, I used to observe the FA Cup, and that was the large factor within the calendar,” he says concerning the closest comparability to the Tremendous Bowl in England.
“It could be nice if the FA determined to do a halftime present and a pregame in the identical method because the NFL. The NFL have been sensible, they’re very supportive of halftime, and so they actually make investments financially, creatively and logistically in creating this centerpiece at halftime.
“It is the wedding of sport and music and leisure and it actually, actually works. I do not assume there’s a greater instance of it on the planet.”