The Taylor Swift concert that kicked off the NFL season is the latest example of the blending of the music and sports worlds, a growing trend that is turning big-time sporting events into mini-concerts.
Dave Matthews was on hand to perform with Swift, opening the new campaign in New Orleans, where the defending Super Bowl champion Saints held off the Vikings, 14-9. Musical performances have become a staple before or during almost every major sporting event in the country, pushing the entertainment value to new heights.
The Super Bowl halftime show used to be the only such event featuring publicized performances. But now there are musical performances before and during events such as the NBA All-Star game, the Major League Baseball All-Star game, and the kickoff to the NFL season.
In fact the NFL, ever the forward-thinking promotional vehicle, has turned opening night into a full-on party. And what better place to hold such an event than New Orleans, where a party is in full swing 24-7. That the Saints won the Super Bowl last year was certainly good for the city, but it was also perfect for a league looking to plan the ultimate shindig for opening night.
Music and sports are indeed intertwined. The Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction aside, viewers look forward to tuning in to watch All-Star games or playoff games or kickoff parties and getting two or three songs from their favorite musical performer. The meshing of the two worlds has gone smoothly, and there’s certainly no end to the marriage in sight.
In fact, it’s only likely to grow. And Taylor Swift’s inclusion in the opening of the NFL season is just another example.
Sports and music. Like peanut better and jelly, only way, way more entertaining.