Uncool Old Dad Explains Super Bowl Musical Artists

Surprise, it’s me! I’m the uncool old dad. The NFL announced its performers for the Super Bowl pregame, along with the national anthem, America the Beautiful, and Lift Every Voice and Sing — and I’ve never been more confused in my life.

So put that into context: I’m a firm believer that age is just a number, so let’s just say I’m “I can’t believe Pearl Jam is considered classic rock” years old. That’s why I’m so ridiculously excited for the halftime show, because Snoop, Mary J. Blige and Eminem are all in my teenage wheelhouse, as I grew to love Kendrick at adulthood. However, as far as the pre-game goes, I’m totally lost.

So now I’m going to tell you everything I know about these artists at presentthen I’ll go listen to the first result on YouTube and come back to give my opinion.

National Anthem: Mickey Guyton

What I know: I’m pretty sure I heard her perform at Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade a few years ago, but I can’t really tell you much about it because Thanksgiving morning is mimosa time at me.

Okay, let’s hear it:

I hate country music. I hate country music so much. Unless it’s an extremely old country like Willie Nelson or Dolly Parton, I don’t mess with that. That said, Guyton can really sing. Its good. I’m sure people who love country music will enjoy it.

America the Beautiful: Jhené Aiko

What I know: Absolutely nothing. I have no prior knowledge of this artist. Is it someone who has become popular on Instagram? She feels like a successful artist on Instagram.

Okay, let’s hear it:

Alright, I like it. It’s super fluffy but I can definitely get on with it. It’s a “weekend song, Friday night, while I’m trying to get a scotch and decompress from the week”. It sounds like a top-down song playing at a super-exclusive club where people pay thousands to get a stand with bottle service. Like, I can imagine Kendall Roy from Succession know every word of it and sing it (badly) while sipping something after you do a line. This is all meant to be a compliment. I really like it, but I don’t understand how it will translate to “America the Beautiful”.

Lift every voice and sing along: Mary Mary feat. yola

What I know: Are these two people called Mary? Is their band name just “Mary Mary”? Is one person “Mary Mary” and the other someone else? Did the space-time continuum snap and it was two individuals named “Mary Mary” who met through kismet and became a musical duo? Who is YOLA? Does that mean anything? I don’t know anything, because I am old.

Okay, let’s hear it:

How has this song escaped me since 2012? Sounds like a staple to put on my morning jams playlist because when you get older, sometimes you just need a little motivation. So curiosity got the better of me and I looked them up, and neither of the women is named Mary. That’s good, because they both have huge pipes for getting that out. There’s a gospel and R&B vibe here that would play perfectly with a pregame song like “Lift Every Voice and Sing” on a stage like the Super Bowl.

Pre-match DJ: Zedd

What I know: The youngsters all seem enthusiastic about Zedd. I’m 90% sure that Zedd was one of the hobbits of the Lord of the Rings. My colleague David Fucillo said pregame is for youngsters the same way halftime show is for oldies, which follows because I don’t really do pregame anymore – at unless I’m trying to save money at the bar.

Okay, let’s hear it:

I KNOW THIS SONG! LIKE, I REALLY KNOW THIS ONE AND HAVE LISTEN TO IT BEFORE. I KNOW WHO ZEDD IS. Oh wait, that song is from 2013 – now I feel old again.

Anyway, I like it all. It’s the kind of innocuous set I expect before the Super Bowl, so it’s all good. I’ll admit I don’t have much knowledge of DJs outside of the classics and the likes of Girl Talk, Porter Robinson and Darude (lol Sandstorm), but I like it and would be all for listen to it.

William N. Fernandez