Katy Perry delivered a jaw-dropping halftime performance this year at the 49th contest of the Super Bowl—then the music started. Now don’t get me wrong, Katy Perry performed just fine, it just wasn’t anything special beyond the initial moment of awe when she took the stage (field?) on a 10-foot tall golden robot lion. As someone who only watched the Super Bowl to see the halftime show, I was disappointed when her theatrics died off after the beginning, knowing full well what Katy Perry is capable of. I have seen her perform live before, so maybe I’m biased, but I know for a fact she could’ve done so much more.
From a musical respect, Katy Perry did manage to keep a relatively steady pitch the whole time, which I found impressive considering the fact that she ran and danced all over the place and still kept her cool; kudos to you, Katy. Every other aspect fell so short of exciting that the singing was shadowed by the lack of creativity. My favorite part of the whole thing might have been “Left Shark,” which is a strong indicator of the way this halftime show went. Left Shark was one of Perry’s background dancers (foreground dancers if we’re being honest) during Teenage Dream and California Gurls. Left Shark quickly became a popular Internet meme. Perry herself even mentioned it, evidently displaying who the real star of this halftime performance was.
Every year, the Super Bowl Halftime Show Committee (if that really is a thing) tries to incorporate multiple acts from multiple genres into the show. For this year’s performance, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot joined Katy Perry for two very brief moments of questionable importance. I personally thought it was strange that Lenny Kravitz’s only role was to sing the “I kissed a girl” chorus from a song about a girl kissing a girl that was released in 2008 and has been in popular culture since, but maybe that’s just me imagining the heteronormativity forced into this performance. But Missy Elliot got to perform her own content? That’s fishy.
After Missy Elliot’s weird arrival and departure, Katy Perry reappeared in yet another new outfit (fourth outfit of the night—that’s pretty cool) to sing Firework, one of her most successful singles since she stepped into the popular culture spotlight. This portion of the performance would have been interesting if she hadn’t been gliding through the air on a shooting star that looked like a physical copy of the iconic “the more you know!” star.
The entire show ended with a generous amount of pyrotechnics that lit up the stadium just enough for us to see the amount of people on their cell phones at the end of the performance. I’m usually one to love fireworks—I mean who doesn’t—but it just isn’t creative anymore.
After this interesting but not unique halftime show, I got to thinking. Instead of trying to bring in multiple acts who will ultimately perform awkward mashups and fail to deliver a noteworthy show, why not bring in an act who has enough talent to cover an entire set? Performers in the past haven’t needed to bring creativity to the stage because their talent and popularity was enough—they didn’t have to try to prove anything. That’s not to say some performances weren’t equally as weird/bad/boring, (Black-Eyed Peas we are all looking at you), but there have been quite a few stellar performances that didn’t make us want to crawl into a hole.
Basically what I’m saying is we need to bring back Beyoncé. Every year. After her 2013 Super Bowl halftime show, she proved to us that she’s everything everyone wants in a performance anyway, so why not have her back to perform every time? Why not have her play the Super Bowl game, too, while we’re at it? I mean, next year IS Super Bowl L (L=50 for those of you who have to Google roman numerals like myself). The Hunger Games had Quarter Quells during which the entire game was changed. It only makes sense, especially after those last few plays.
By ALLISON COUCH / Assistant Arts and Life Editor