On Sunday, a few Women’s Chorale members got to go to the Superbowl to stand in the crowd while Coldplay and the other halftime show performers were on stage, and I was one of those lucky few. Our job was to be the “engine room” – we enjoy ourselves and give the performers all our energy, and there are a few small cues we do – e. g. clapping along to part of “Adventure of a Lifetime,” singing “We gotta get, get together now / We gotta get, get together somehow” at the end of “Fix You,” making hearts with our hands at the end — but the rest of it was just “GO WILD HAVE FUN.”
We went to Santa Clara and checked in, then were bussed to the stadium. At the beginning of the concert we ran through tunnels onto the field; we were organized into “pods” so that on the field we’d end up roughly in the section we were supposed to be in.
Even more than the madness of being WITHIN FEET of Bruno Mars and Beyonce (not at the same time but still) and just seeing all these crazy people live, even more than running through the tunnel feeling all the excitement and rush, I really liked just being with the members of Chorale. There was a lot of downtime, both on the day and during the rehearsals, because they’re moving around thousands of people and hundreds of parts. And we couldn’t have our phones, for confidentiality reasons. So it was just being with people, playing games like ninja and napping on each other and obviously breaking into song (Mark rolled his eyes SO HARD when we started Belshazzar)… I thought the bus ride was super perfect, and the half dozen people who weren’t from Chorale in our bus said they didn’t mind our impromptu harmonies & whatnots, so I have no guilt about how much fun that part was. It felt kinda like a social lol, but a lot longer and more focused than anyone would willingly sign up for (because in real life we have homework and commitments and blah).
The cameras that record the performance mostly show the performers but sometimes pan to the audience to show that we’re having fun and it’s a concert. Mark got on screen because he happened to be near Mark Ronson at the beginning of “Uptown Funk”, and he became a meme because Mark was being himself, and Mark is a glorious human being whose every movement is magic. Obviously his seven seconds on camera would be the best seven seconds of the super bowl — anyone in Chorale or who has sung with him would understand that. ■
– Samantha Wathugala