LOS ANGELES — Miley Cyrus has only been alive for about half the Super Bowls ever played, but her setlist on the eve of the 56th spanned the whole history of the big game and then some.
Cyrus and mashed up songs from the 60s, 80s and 90s with her own at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old was the co-headliner with Green Day on the third and final night of the festival at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where the LA Rams play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
The annual festival, which also featured Halsey, Machine Gun Kelly, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and Mickey Guyton, prides itself on bringing together artists from across genres, but Cyrus did that all by herself, blending country and pop rock, dance pop and alternative rock.
She sang Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” from 1966 - the year before the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum - as an intro to her own 2007 “See You Again.”
“I hope this show is a representation of how you never need to choose who you want to be. You can be everything and anything,” Cyrus said as she donned a cowboy hat and pulled an oversized sportscoat over the futuristic Gucci tracksuit she took the stage wearing. “You may look ridiculous, like you’re wearing workout attire from 3033 and a cowboy hat. It’s just how I feel tonight.”
She opened the show with her 2013 hit “We Can’t Stop,” and blended it with the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” from 1988, the year Washington beat Denver in the Super Bowl in San Diego.
She pulled the same trick in her first encore, blending her “Wrecking Ball” with the Prince-penned Sinead O’Connor hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” from 1990, the year Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers beat John Elway’s Denver Broncos.
She thrilled the crowd with Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” from 1989 - the last year the Bengals were in the big game - turning her backup singers into a small gospel choir.
She also mixed in music from Stevie Nicks and her godmother Dolly Parton, and closed the night with the fitting-for-Super-Bowl-weekend “Party in the USA.” Cyrus owns her own past along with that of her musical forbears.
The members of Green Day focused on their hits of the 1990s and early 2000s. They opened with a rousing rip through 2004’s “American Idiot.”
“Los Angeles!” lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, who turns 50 on Thursday, shouted during the song. “Super Bowl!” he later yelled, in the only real mention the game got during the night.
They brought their own bit of 1966 with a cover of “I Fought The Law,” whose most famous version was released that year by the Bobby Fuller Four.
The 20,000-seat Crypto.com Arena was nearly full for all three nights. Fans had to show proof of vaccination to get in. Most ditched their masks once they were inside the main hall.
The night was the end of a week of pre-Super Bowl entertainment events as the LA area hosts the game for the first time in nearly 30 years, featuring its shiny new stadium and the hometown team favorites.
Drake was playing a set across town in West Hollywood on the second night of a party known as “Homecoming Weekend.” Justin Bieber sang and danced on the first night. And John Mayer and Shaquille O’Neal each had their own events earlier in the week.
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