In a Super Bowl half-time performance that was as frenetic as it was fierce, Beyonce delivered a sexy segment that was part Victoria’s Secret fashion show, part tutorial on how to dazzle an audience. From the first moment, she was in the zone—a no-boy zone — with her all-female band and all-female back-up dancers.
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Emerging from the floor through billowing San Francisco-thick fog, Bey allowed the crowd to adore her fine leather-clad form as a stentorian voice intoned something about excellence. Outlines of two profiles of Beyonce’s face, filled with fans, made up much of the stage.
After singing a line or two of “Love On Top,” she ripped off part of her Tina Turner/ “Mad Max” outfit to reveal a leather and lace get-up with black high-heeled boots that left men salivating and women putting down the chip dip and booking appointments with their personal trainers for first thing in the morning.
Ceaselessly shaking her booty, while her long hair flowed, she segued into “Crazy In Love,” surrounded by look-alike dancers and her flame-throwing guitar player.
Never performing more than two minutes of any song, Beyonce moved into ‘End Of Time,” singing very rapidly and live, as she promised at a press conference earlier this week. The song felt rushed, perhaps because she still had four more songs to cram in.
Moving into “Baby Boy,” she performed in front of a screen with multiple Beyonces because one is never enough. As she danced, her hand came perilously close to her crotch, but never quite grazed it. She’s too classy for that.
Seven minutes in, Beyonce’s Destiny’s Child mates, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams beamed up to join her for a few seconds of “Bootylicious, before jumping to “Independent Women.” They were little more than back-up singers however, as Beyonce was clearly first among equals. She commanded them to join her in “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” before she quickly dismissed them after the first verse. Poof! It was like they had never ever been there. Even a much-anticipated reunion paled in comparison to the power of the Queen Bee...
She ended her 12 minutes with “Halo,” down on her knees, tantalizingly close to the fans. The show ended quietly, instead of with a major bang.
Beyonce said earlier today that she felt the half-time show would be her legacy. If so, she acquitted herself well. And proved that she can sing live (though it looked like she may have been lipsyncing at the end). Throughout, she gave great camera, never looking anything other than totally in command and impressively confident. If it felt too fast-paced, on the other hand, there was not a second of inactivity.
Whereas Madonna’s show felt forced last year, Beyonce’s was highly entertaining and tremendously energetic, but it never felt like it was stretching for more than she could deliver.
Shortly after Beyonce left the stage, the lights went out at the Super Dome, proving that she exhausted even the power supply with her high-wattage performance.
How do you think Beyonce did?