Tonight is the 52nd Superbowl and while I spent most of the evening thinking a “pigskin” was a crunchy hors d’oeurve, I am excited for the half time show! I am writing this in real time so the exclamation marks may be excessive but I like to live in a world of extremes. Justin Timberlake is the headliner for the event, and seeing as he is a stellar performer the expectations are high. As we all remember, the last time Justin performed at the Superbowl, the nip-slip heard round the world occurred when he “accidentally” pulled on Janet Jackson’s breast plate causing her nipple to become exposed. Perhaps tonight’s performance can generate the same amount of buzz but with a PG rating this time.
Justin’s entrance was just announced by a pre-recorded Jimmy Fallon aka Justin’s prime time bestie. Justin is making his entrance through the underbelly of the stadium, which is kind of sexy in a gritty locker room kind of way, making his first song “Filthy” an apt choice. Once he made his way to the stage we are treated to a spectacular laser performance. There is definitely money being spent on the visual components this year. The band behind Justin is the Tennessee Kids and they look like they are having a ball. I love the aubergine suits on the band and dancers, as they compliment Justin’s orange neck bandana nicely. Is bandana code still a thing?
He is giving us the best of his hits; “Senorita”, “Rock Ya Body,” and” Sexy Back.” Classic Justin. But I have yet to see the “wow factor”. Where’s the Left Shark of 2018?!? Still no Janet. No N’Sync reunion yet. Not even a glance of an applauding Joey Fatone in the crowd?!?
A white baby grand is always a good indication of a show stopper. Dramatic light cue. Janet?!? No It’s Prince, as in the artist formerly known as. This is a nice Superbowl moment. A large fabric panel has been dropped while an oversized projection of Prince and Justin sing “I Would Die 4 U.” Definitely a nice performance followed up with a two finger salute to Prince, but I am hoping this revs up to another special guest.
Another dramatic cue change. The stage is now mirrored and he is singing “Mirrors.” That was an easy design choice. The dancers on the field are holding mirrors above their heads to reflect the bright stadium lights. It makes for a really impressive effect. If one mirror shatters does that mean it’s 7 years bad halftime performances?
Another cue change and this time it’s colorful. Justin is singing “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” which is a fun way to get the crowd hyped up for the second half of the game. As he leaps into the audience and takes a selfie with a young fan, I can’t help but think how cool it would be to be that fan. He is probably 10 years old and not only got to see arguably the biggest sporting event of the year, but also has a selfie with the JT! Sidebar, no Janet. No N’Sync.
That’s it?! It’s over? I always thought the performances were longer. Sad. I wanted more. It was a fun performance and if I was at a Justin Timberlake concert at Madison Square Garden I would have loved it, but I think we all had our hopes set higher for such a big event. I don’t know if the internet will count this as redemption, but at least it was PG.
In case you missed it, here is the song set from tonight:
Rock Ya Body
Cry Me a River
Suit and Tie
End of time
I Would Die 4 U ft. Prince
Can’t Stop the Feeling
Happy Superbowl! Go sports!