Since Usher only dropped by for a short while, The Black Eyed Peas carried the majority of today’s Superbowl halftime show, so most of this review will be concerning the Black Eyed Peas. I will say that Usher did a good job for the short time he was on stage. His voice sounded good and he was an obvious crowd-pleaser.
When the show first started, The Black Eyed Peas sounded out of breath or maybe just nervous, because their voices were a little shaky. They were dressed in futuristic sci-fi looking outfits that reminded me a lot of the fashions from the new Tron movie. They had a sea of dancers surrounding the platform, which at first just seemed like dancers in white outfits, but when the group broke into their second song, “Boom Boom Pow,” the sea of background dancers suddenly lit up and formed arrows, reminding me a little of some of my favorite old Atari games. The scene definitely had a retro video game feel to it, at least in my opinion.
At one point, Slash appeared off to the side of the stage and Fergie went over to dance and sing near the famous guitar player. She sang the classic rock song “Sweet Child of Mine,” but didn’t really do a very good job with the classic hit. It seemed somewhat overdone, almost like a bad American Idol audition. For his part, Slash looked rather out of it. He just stood there and played and looked absolutely uninterested in Fergie, even though she was leaning on him and trying to be seductive.
I will say that it was nice to see the Superbowl producers take a chance on some young, fresh artists for a change. Ever since the famous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction, they have played it safe by booking bands and artists who were a safe bet. After seeing Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and The Who, I was ready to see someone with a little more spunk. Not that the classic artists aren’t great, but a few of them are old enough to be in the retirement home, so they just don’t seem to rock out quite as hard as they once did. I love classic rock and pop, but at the Superbowl halftime show, most people want to be dazzled by a lot of energy and enthusiasm (although I will admit that Mick Jagger still moves pretty darn good for his age!).
The Black Eyed Peas did bring youthful excitement to the stage, and they were entertaining, but like many live performances, the song quality wasn’t quite what you hear on the radio. It makes you really appreciate artists like Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Garth Brooks, who sound almost as good live as they do on their records.