Seeing as last week’s article was about the Super Bowl Half Time show, I wanted to write about something different this week.
However, this year’s performances, not just at half time, but throughout the whole event, were so noteworthy that I couldn’t resist.
The festivities kicked off with (somewhat unfortunately) the best musical performance of the night: Glee star Lea Michelle’s rendition of “American The Beautiful.” There wasn’t anything particularly exciting about the song, but she sang all of the right notes and didn’t over-sing the song, thus immediately putting her ahead of the pack. Next came the singing of the National Anthem, which can, on occasion, be just as exciting as the half time show. This year, Christina Aguilera had the honor of performing the song, which was pretty much guaranteed to be a success. Unfortunately, it was pretty much the complete opposite. Christina has been almost universally praised for her amazing vocal abilities and stage-presence, but she completely missed the mark this time around, to pretty much everyone’s surprise. The most glaring misstep was obviously her lyrical flub by singing, “What so proudly we watched” instead of “What so proudly we hailed,” but also missed some key notes and over sang pretty much the entire thing. Luckily, she didn’t look too shaken up about it, and the audience supported her all the way through.
As far as the half time performance, well this one was a doozey. The Black Eyed Peas are easily one of the most popular groups of the past few years, and have been known to put on a great show. Whether or not they lived up to the hype is a completely debatable topic. Without a doubt, the performance was a visual spectacle, starting with the foursome descending onto the stage kicking into their biggest hits “I Gotta Feeling” and “Boom Boom Pow.” However, it was immediately apparent that the auto-tune was pretty much an awful decision for this kind of live venue, and Fergie didn’t seem to be finding the right notes. That proved to be one of the biggest downfalls of the show when former Guns N Roses guitarist made a pretty irrelevant cameo to perform “Sweet Child O’ Mine” with her. Outside of being a cliché song performed with a cliché guest guitarist, it did not fit in with the rest of their set at all. Fergie’s poor vocals were just the icing on the cake.
She was then re-joined by the rest of the group to perform their minor-hit “Pump It” along side a pretty much inaudible marching band followed by “Let’s Get It Started” featuring some more Fergaliciously awful vocals. Then group-leader will.i.am was left on stage alone kicking into the big (but currently totally irrelevant) Usher hit, “OMG” featuring (you guessed it!) Usher, himself. This was even more ridiculous than the Slash duet, because Will just kind of stood there throwing in a few adlibs while Usher sang a couple of notes over a backing track and performed one of his usual dance routines. It’s always nice to feature duets, but this one was completely pointless.
The entire stage was then transformed into the word “Love” (even through it may have taken a couple of reads to get it) where the group performed their break-through hit “Where Is the Love?” which kicked into their most recent single “The Time (Dirty Bit).” Luckily the latter was not heavily focused on before kicked back into “I Gotta Feeling” to close up the show. Overall, this would have been an incredible performance if watched on mute. This was visually one of the best Half Time shows I have ever seen, but musically probably the worst. The use of auto-tune just did not work, and the group’s only true vocalist just wasn’t singing well at all. The group’s lesser members, Taboo and apl.de.ap didn’t get much featured time (as usual) making this almost entirely a Will/Fergie-love fest. However, the staging was incredible; the dancers on the field did some amazing things in their light-up outfits, and the choreography was really spot on. It was really cool to see the stage start out relatively small and transform the way it did.
On the flip side, there wasn’t really anything in this performance that wasn’t just regurgitated textbook-B.E.P. From the Tron dancers to the entire mood of the performance, it was completely the same-old, same-old. Coming from a group that completely missed the mark with their current album, that just didn’t fly.
So although this year’s Super Bowl was (arguably) a great game, its music was pretty much just an awful experience.Tweet