January 2001 was a pretty solid time in America. President George W. Bush had just been inaugurated, one of the biggest argument amongst friends was over who the better boy band was and Destiny’s Child was still operating as a group.
Things were happy.
During the late ’90s and early ’00s, people still cared about MTV and their award shows. Carson Daly wasn’t on “The Voice,” he was the face of “Total Request Live.”
Because of how simple and carefree things were in January 2001 (hindsight is 20/20), MTV was tasked with producing the Super Bowl XXXV Halftime show. To start things off they brought in Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock to star in a pre-filmed clip like they would for one of their awards shows. The result of all of this was the forming of supergroup AeroSYNC and the greatest Super Bowl halftime show of all-time.
The merging of one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands to ever exist, Aerosmith, with the most popular pop act in the game, NSYNC, brought together every age group and demographic out there. There wasn’t anything people wouldn’t want to watch for at least a little while.
NSYNC opened the show with “Bye, Bye, Bye” before Aerosmith started in on “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.” Fortunately, for pop culture junkies everywhere, it didn’t stop there and the supergroup only grew.
Out of nowhere, Tremors featuring The Earthquake Horns joined NSYNC for a performance of “It’s Gonna Be Me,” which featured Steven Tyler’s vocals on the last line. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Tyler belted, “it’s gonnna be meeeeaaaaaayyyyyyy.” Watching it now still gives me chills.
With Americans on the edge of their seats, the supergroup started into “Walk This Way” as each group member did a dance move to Joe Perry’s guitar riff as pop music angel Britney Spears appeared from heaven above wearing socks as sleeves. Her fashion statement was only outdone by the incomparable Mary J. Blige and her vocals harmonizing with Tyler’s.
If 2001 had a baby and a dream, it was this performance.
If 2001 had a baby, a dream and some extra cash it would be this performance with the addition of Nelly, which, oh– that’s exactly what happened.
No Super Bowl halftime performance has ever been so of the moment and in touch with so many different corners of Americans of all ages, shapes and sizes.
Super Bowl XXXV’s Halftime show was truly, actually the greatest of all-time.
After all, it’s not like anyone has any idea which teams played in the game or won, because we all won halftime.