Lip Sync and Backing Tracks

L. Bird pkeets at
Mon Feb 13 19:50:58 CST 2006

I checked for some web mention of the subject, but there's not much mention 
of it.  Tough search.  News articles seem to be very transient these days.

Here's the only mention of the Stones' show I found, so maybe I owe them an 

Mick Jagger would not reveal what the Stones are planning to perform on 
Sunday but said it would probably be a three-song set. Super Bowl 
entertainment producer Don Mischer said that the Stones performance would be 
''100 percent live'' -- no tape -- and that band would perform on a 5,800 
square foot stage shaped like their famous lips logo. The stage incorporates 
two miles of aircraft cable and 67 tons of lighting equipment. Its 35 pieces 
will be assembled and disassembled in five-and-a-half minutes by a crew of 
350 volunteers. The Stones rehearsed on Thursday and Friday at Ford Field, 
where the Super Bowl is being played.

Here's something from last year.  Apparently Rolling Stone checked in with 
some articles.

Report: KISS Among Bands That Regularly Use Backing Tracks In Concert - Nov. 
8, 2004
In the wake of the recent Ashlee Simpson lip-syncing controversy, a 
concert-industry source has told Rolling Stone magazine that many rock bands 
use backing tracks in concert, too, to recreate the studio sound of their 
albums. "A lot of the heavy acts do that — they thicken up the guitar sounds 
when they play live," the source said. "KISS has backing tracks galore." And 
bands aren't embarrassed by it. "When you go into the recording studio, you 
have layers and layers of guitars," said EVANESCENCE manager Dennis Rider. 
"Unless you have three or four guitar players onstage, you can't duplicate 
that. And people want to hear the record they bought."

Here's a comment on the 2002 show:

U2's Super Bowl halftime show turns into a tribute to the United States
BRETT MARTEL, Associated Press Writer Sunday, February 3, 2002

Producers said most of the musical performers prerecorded their sound tracks 
to reduce the possibility of technical problems. U2 played live.

BTW, here's a good reason for any band to do it:

Album Sales of Half Time Performers Again See Strong Increase (Nielsen 
Entertainment's Music Group)

This year, the Rolling Stones will take a break from their world tour to 
perform in the Sprint Super Bowl XL Halftime Show at Ford Field in Detroit. 
According to past trends, the Stones and other Super Bowl performers can 
expect to see a sharp increase in album sales in the week following the big 

As a halftime performer during the 2005 Super Bowl, Paul McCartney saw a 
significant increase in sales of his solo albums. Nielsen Entertainment's 
Music Group analyzed album sales from the week prior to Super Bowl XXXIX, 
ending February 6, 2005, versus the week ending February 13, 2005, and Paul 
McCartney's 2002 Back in the U.S. saw a 542% increase in sales. Similarly, 
his 1987 album, All the Best, saw a 246% increase in sales, while his 2001 
release, Wingspan: Hits and History, recorded a 161% increase. Sales of The 
Beatles albums also rose, including The Beatles 1, released in 2000, which 
saw a 72% increase in sales (see Chart F at

More information about the TheWho mailing list