The Black Eyed Peas halftime show was in a no win position. Although the Black Eyed Peas halftime show was heavily hyped and teased out, this is a show that generally doesn’t deliver in the end. When people think about Super Bowl musical shows, they usually just think of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. No matter who comes out during this event, it is usually forgotten minutes later, especially if the game is still close. Therefore, the Black Eyed Peas halftime show just had to avoid severe embarrassment, which they largely did – at least visually.
The lights and technical effects budget was clearly maxed out, and not just in the band’s outfits. With glowing dancers on stage, and neon outfits in the crowd, this was more of a techno-themed show than in recent years.
Yet when it came to the songs, the Black Eyed Peas halftime show garnered mixed reviews. But reactions to the music likely depended on whether viewers already liked the band. To those not into Fergie, will.i.am and the gang, it might have been a harder sell.
That is the case for any performer, however, although the Super Bowl has leaned on beloved older singers in the last few years. In those cases, the complaints were that acts like the Rolling Stones, the Who and Paul McCartney were selling out, while the Super Bowl was going overboard to avoid another “Nipplegate”
However, the Black Eyed Peas halftime show served as the biggest appeal to youthful fans since the Jackson/Timberlake fiasco. But there was something for older viewers at one point, when Slash and his guitar made a cameo. Usher dropped down on stage minutes later, in the second “surprise” cameo of the set.
As for the Peas themselves, they performed their old standby of hits, like “I Gotta Feeling” and “Boom Boom Pow” However, there appeared to be sound problems in the early going, and not just due to their constant use of Autotune.
At the least, the Black Eyed Peas halftime show should make the Super Bowl feel safe in hiring younger, hipper acts again. The reviews themselves were all over the place, but as the New York Times’ Fifth Down blog stated, expectations might be too high for this show in general.
For all of the analysis and scrutiny over this event, it ultimately doesn’t live on that long afterwards – unless there’s a big scandal. Therefore, the Black Eyes Peas halftime was perhaps no better or no worse than any other. But for those who weren’t pleased, they had a tight second half of football to focus on afterwards.
New York Times- “Was the Super Bowl Halftime Show Underrated?”
YouTube- “Super Bowl XLV 2011 – Halftime Show – Black Eyed Peas”