Stephen M. Silverman
February 04, 2002 10:22 AM

Goodbye, glitz, hello, patriotism. That, at least, was the watchword for the Super Bowl XXXVI half-time show, in which Irish rock band U2’s lead singer, Bono, sang “Beautiful Day.” Once that number wound down, a giant vertical screen rose behind them and displayed the names of the victims of the Sept. 11 attack as the band played its ’80s hit, “Where the Streets Have No Name.” The stands, meanwhile, went dark. (According to Bowl organizers speaking to the Associated Press, those in U2 were among the few performers who delivered their songs live during the event, as opposed to those who prerecorded their numbers.) Speaking to Fox sportscaster Terry Bradshaw at half-time, Paul McCartney managed to spout some elliptical, one-word compliments about the U2 performance, though he came alive when Bradshaw suggested a duet of the old Beatles song, “A Hard Day’s Night” — which they did (quite goofily). McCartney also told Bradshaw that he’s been watching the sportscaster on TV “since (you) had hair.” “That’s funny,” said Bradshaw. Before the game, McCartney performed his Sept. 11-inspired song, “Freedom.” (Monday morning, he announced a 14-concert U.S. tour to commence in April.) Also as part of the pre-game festivities, R&B legends Patti LaBelle and James Ingram, country star Wynonna and gospel singer Yolanda Adams joined Barry Manilow to sing Manilow’s “Let Freedom Ring,” a song he wrote to mark 1987’s 200th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Marc Anthony and Mary J. Blige, accompanied by the Boston Pops, sang “America the Beautiful,” and, on an even higher note, Mariah Carey — wearing a full-length, royal blue dress and looking and sounding strong — delivered “The Star-Spangled Banner.” As for the game, in a fantastic finish, the underdog team, the New England Patriots, stunned spectators as well as the heavily favored St. Louis Rams with a 20-17 win when Adam Vinatieri kicked a 48-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, 24 (and a dead ringer for Matt Damon, except for the fact that Brady is 6’4″ and 220 lbs.), was the game’s most valuable player.

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