There Was Rain At Super Bowl XLI In 2007, But It Wasn’t Purple

On Feb. 4, 2007, heavy rain fell over Miami, and for those planning the Super Bowl XLI halftime show, so did a sense of dread. It’s one thing to play a football game in a storm, but quite another to put on an intricately-staged concert in one. Executive Producer Charles Coplin said it was the most scared he had been in his life. Prince, who scheduled to perform, was nervous as well, considering the potential for disaster. Questions arose: What if the rain starts and the stage becomes slick? How will all the electrical equipment fair in such an environment? There was a lot to consider for a meager 12-minute set. It was suggested that Prince lip sync to a track that would played off-stage, but he refused. Of course, by the time he hit the stage, it was pouring rain. Unfortunately, part of the stage wheeled over a cable, threatening electrocution. Realizing they were about to go on the air, lighting crewman Tony Ward grabbed a pair of pliers. He stripped the insulation off the three cables, inserted them into a plug, and held them together for the entire 12-minute set… the rain. Prince took the stage, equipped with grips on the bottom of his shoes to keep him from falling on the rain-soaked stage. Mist was dripping across the stage, creating an ethereal mood, and Prince began to play “We Will Rock You.” The closing song was, of course, “Purple Rain.” He couldn’t have asked for anything better. As for the critics, they labeled it “the greatest Super Bowl halftime show of all time.”