Vintage Halftime: Diana Ross

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Published February 8, 2010

Last night’s Super Bowl performance by the Who, like many of this past decade’s halftime sets, was a (relatively) stripped-down affair. Like Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Paul McCartney, the Rollings Stones, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band before them, the Who’s show featured a big, light-up stage, a medley of classics, a handful of backup musicians, and not much else. A fine showing for for diehard fans and rock ‘n roll purists, but we found ourselves feeling a bit nostalgic for the more over-the-top spectacles of the 90s, most of which included dancers, massive children’s choirs, and flashy pyrotechnics displays. No disrespect to the set by Pete, Roger, & Co., but we’ve posted a video of Diana Ross’s 1996 blowout at Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium (above), which comes complete with multiple costume changes, legions of flyboys (and girls), singing kids, heart-shaped balloon and fireworks displays, and a grand exit by helicopter.