Volume 47, Number 12 - February 16, 2010

About the Reporter

Rebeka Silva
Rebeka Silva

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FAR FROM GREAT: On Feb. 4, Ocean and 8th was a mess with angry drivers and pedestrians as the crowds flocked to the sands of South Beach for a free concert with Rihanna, Timbaland and Justin Bieber. Photo by Rebeka Silva.

Terrible start to Super Bowl festivities

By Rebeka Silva

Before I get into the catastrophe that was Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam, I would like to apologize for the terrible pictures that will accompany this story.

When the NFL and Pepsi announced they would put on a free concert on the sands of South Beach for the pre-Super Bowl XLIV celebration in Miami this year, the city was buzzing.

A free concert with Rihanna, Timbaland and Justin Bieber on one of the best-known beaches in the country sounded too good to be true. And it was.

On Feb. 4, Ocean and 8th was a mess with angry drivers and pedestrians. The masses outside the entrance to the beach were intimidating, but the night was beautiful. I held out optimism that this would be a great show.

The gates opened at 5 p.m., but the performances wouldn’t start until 7 p.m. Allowing the crowds to settle in two hours before the show starts seemed like a good idea, unless you were one of the members of a crowd filled with rude, and bad smelling people.

As Justin Bieber stepped on stage to perform, the girls— young and old— went wild. In short, 15-year-old, Bieber, exhibited great showmanship and a promising voice, but his pop lyrics are nowhere close to N’SYNC or the Backstreet Boys.

It was then that I realized how disgustingly far from the stage I was (hence the apology for the terrible pictures), and I was at the front of the crowd.

There were barricades that separated the non-VIP crowd from the VIP crowd, who had enough room on their side for every group to set up a dinner table and eat, comfortably.

Behind the barricades people cursed about how they could not see and argued over who was cutting their way to the front. I was even called some not-so-nice names.

After Bieber and a thirty-minute wait filled with Jersey Shore jokes from Nick Cannon— or Mr. Mariah Carey— who hosted the event, Timbaland stepped on stage to do absolutely nothing.

While the crowd watched out of boredom, Timbaland, who I no longer consider an artist, but a producer, played— not performed— song after song and walked around the stage.

Keri Hilson did come on stage to sing the vocals on one of his beats, but that was all she did. If she was going to be on stage, she could have at least saved Timbaland and performed one of her songs.

After that tragedy, the crowd and I waited another 45 minutes for the main attraction: Rihanna.

But before we could see Rihanna, we had another surprise coming. The Fan Jam was airing live on VH1 at 9 p.m., starting from the first act.

The crowd, which looked as if it stretched two to three miles down the beach, had to wait while previously recorded appearances by Bieber and Timbaland were played on the jumbo screen.

But, Rihanna delivered an amazing performance with surprise guest, Young Jeezy.

She performed sixteen songs. Among the songs were: Wait Your Turn, Rude Boy, Russian Roulette and Hard ft. Young Jeezy off her new album Rated R, and oldies but goodies like Umbrella, Unfaithful and Shut Up and Drive.

Because of her performance, I didn’t mind the hour and a half it took me to get on I-95 to drive home.

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