Last night I issued a challenge to my Twitter followers.

I asked them to rank the following bands from best to worst:

  • Imagine Dragons
  • Nickelback
  • Creed
  • Puddle of Mudd
  • Chumbawamba

Most peopled placed Creed first, I guess because of Mark Tremonti’s guitar playing. Chumbawamba came in second place on average because of their anarchist and punkish/indie past. In hindsight, I could have come up with a worse band. Maybe Hoobastank or Crazy Town.

This exercise in relative futility was inspired by the treat of a halftime performance we received last night from Imagine Dragons and Lil’ Wayne, a performance only slightly less impressive than what Alabama mustered in Santa Clara in a 44-16 loss to Clemson. It was a good night for Joe Giglio and his Tua Tagovailoa take:

Some random thoughts on the halftime train wreck:

  1. I will give Imagine Dragons a lot of credit for not lip-syncing, but the lead singer, Dan Reynolds, had trouble staying on key
  2. Reynolds was wearing some kind of terrible capri pants
  3. the chorus for the “Thunder” song just repeats this over and over: Thunder, feel the thunder, Lightning and the thunder, Thunder, feel the thunder, Lightning and the thunder, Thunder, thunder
  4. Lil’ Wayne was unlistenable
  5. Wayne was wearing some sort of knee-high Ugg-looking boots to go along with an overcoat that looked like a combination of a sherpa blanket, tribal shaman garb, and a Hamburglar top hat
  6. the performance didn’t even take place inside the stadium
  7. the crowd didn’t seem to be super excited
  8. there were barely any shots of the other guys in Imagine Dragons, just Reynolds, who was stage front while the guitar player and bass player were stuck in the back with the drummer, like session musicians

It was pretty bad. “Rock” and pop have been combined with hip hop successfully in the past, stuff like Aerosmith and Run DMC, Anthrax and Public Enemy, even that Method Man and Limp Bizkit jawn from the late 90s, but this crossover felt really forced. You could see Reynolds walk towards the drum kit when Wayne came on the stage. He didn’t seem to be digging it too much. The connection there was akin to Yoko Ono and George Harrison levels of chemistry.

The strange thing to me is that if you listened to any of Imagine Dragons’ early stuff, they were a pretty straightforward neo-dorky rock band, kind of like a less talented version of Franz Ferdinand or The Killers. There was guitar and drum and bass without the over-produced synth sounds you hear in all of their mega-smash radio hits.

As for Wayne, it’s hard to believe that this is the same guy who did “Tha Block is Hot” back in 1999. He was the most successful member of the Cash Money Millionaires, which isn’t saying too much I guess. The B.G. I think ended up in jail, Mannie Fresh and Birdman were pretty bad rappers, and Juvenile sort of just.. I don’t know. What happened to him? The other guy, Turk, had some good verses in some of the group’s songs, but I can’t recall much about his solo career.

Anyway, listen if you must, but be warned: