There was a little thing that happened this past weekend, I think it was called the Super Bowl. I am not going to comment on the game as I am not that much into football. I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and the half-time show. This year’s show was, as usual, well done. Katy Perry ended up wearing four separate costumes through out the show. Lenny Kravitz gave a wonderful, albeit short, performance singing “I Kissed a Girl” with Katy Perry. Missy Elliot blasted with a medley consisting of “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It,” and “Lose Control.”
What impressed me the most was the tech behind the half-time show, like that huge cubic tiger that Katy Perry entered on top of. It was beautifully constructed and the operators/puppeteers moved it seamlessly across the field. The inflatable and color changing balls were pretty cool, especially in the aerial shots. They kind of bugged me a bit but that is mainly a stylistic choice.
The flame costume that Katy wore brought to mind Katniss in the Hunger Games books, especially with all of the flaming pyrotechnics going on around her, and she even had a matching safety belt and microphone. The dance floor area around the stages were interesting, and to make it work they had to have projectors set up all around the stadium. The chessboard tilted and bits of it fell away as the chess pieces (dressed to emulate the tiger) danced. It was like taking a trip Through the Looking Glass while she sang “Dark Horse.” I rather liked the head and shoulder pieces that the chess figures were wearing a bit more than the body suits. Not saying that the body suits were bad, I just liked the head and shoulder wear more. The dancers did some pretty amazing acrobatics while wearing those costumes. I have to hand it to the choreographer and casting director on that bit.
Katy’s dance with Lenny Kravitz was actually much tamer than I had expected it to be. It was still sexually charged, it wouldn’t be a Katy Perry concert without that, but it didn’t go quite as far as they could have taken it. I have to give the woman major props, the way she moves and dances in high heels just blows me down. Any woman, or man even, that can be on their knees whipping their hair around and then just jump up onto their feet wows me. Moving like that takes a lot of strength. I just don’t understand why she kept flipping her hair by bending over and coming up quickly. It could be that the ponytail was a hair piece and she was having a ball with it.
The transition from “I Kissed a Girl” to “Teenage Dream” was a little rough, especially after the first two worked so well melding together. Katy did have to change costumes during this particular transition from her flaming skirt and top to a beach ball inspired halter top and skirt, still it could have been smoother. Her costume was cute and had a 1950’s flare to it, which was more evident when the other female dancers came out in their 1950’s bikinis.
The lead in from “Teenage Dream” to “California Gurls” was pretty good. Though both songs had a very campy feel it was kind of adorable. A lot of people have been talking about the dancing sharks, mainly the left shark. Personally, I thought the beach balls were cuter and I liked all of the palms trees and surfboards, but I can see what people are saying. Left shark did kind of go off on it’s own for a bit during “Teenage Dream” and while it could have been that the dancer didn’t care it might be more of a case of mind going blank. Dancing in something like that is a bit of a big deal so purposefully messing up wouldn’t be a good idea. Then again, it could also have been the person that was suppose to have been the left shark got sick or something and another dancer, that never rehearsed the shark, had to fill in. Either way, it was pretty entertaining.
Missy Elliott, I don’t know how long it has been since I heard her name. I was a bit excited to see what she and Katy Perry had come up with for the Super Bowl, I got let down. Missy came out hard and was doing her thing and then Katy Perry showed up wearing a black and rhinestone football jersey while she jumped around and went, “come on! Come on!” Or , “Huh!” “Let’s go Super Bowl!” “Come on Missy, do your thang!” I get that she was trying to not take the spotlight from Missy and was doing what is known as being a hype-woman*, I guess I just expected a bit more. Part of it could have been that her mic was louder and over powered Missy’s rapping.
I am going back to the transitions, this time from “California Gurls” into “Get Ur Freak On.” While I love the start to Missy Elliot’s section, the end of “California Gurls” left me not to happy. It’s just my opinion but instead of fading into the next song it would have worked better to do a hard cut to black in the stadium and then pop up with Missy’s intro. The flow from “Get Ur Freak On” to “Work It” was great, and I liked how the switch to “Lose Control” happened with Katy Perry giving her props to Missy and running off to change costumes again.
While the individual dancing was good Missy’s dancers were something else when it came to the synchronized movements. I could be wrong but at one point when the dancers migrated from back to front, and vice versa, it looked like the ones in front were at least middle school age. I can’t find anything to corroborate my theory, but it would be great if that was the case. Missy, herself, just brought everything out in her singing, rapping, and dancing. I couldn’t believe that she is now in her 40’s, or that so many kids thought that she was a newly discovered artist. (Then again the same thing happened with Paul McCartney.) It was nice to have Missy there but it was surprising that Katy wasn’t on stage for her last song since Missy was a guest performer rather than the featured artist. Katy did have a major costume change to make so that was probably logistics being shown, which worked out wonderfully.
The last song of the show was “Firework” and of course they had to have a lot of fireworks during the show, it is the Super Bowl after all, and they were just beautiful. Katy’s dress was gorgeous, she finally had an outfit that matched her shoes! Yes, her shoes. Katy’s shoes bugged the daylights out of me from the first time I saw them until the last song. They weren’t too bad with the jersey costume but the fire and beach costumes didn’t go too well with them. The shoes actually looked like they went with the final dress. Also her belt and mic matched her dress again. It makes me happy because in a lot of performances a regular safety belt would be used and ruin the illusion. Another pretty cool tech bit that happened was the star that flew around the stadium during “Firework.” As quite a few people have said, it does look like the “The More You Know” logo from NBC.
That could have been intentional, if not it was a pretty neat coincidence, since NBC had the rights to televise the Super Bowl this year. (Since 2007 NBC, CBS, and FOX rotates who gets the rights to televise the Super Bowl each year.) Even having a theatre background I was amazed that they flew Katy around inside of the stadium, and that I couldn’t see the rig. I have watched it over and over on YouTube and I still cannot see where the rig is. The audience in the stadium could probably see it, the joys of being there live over a television broadcast. Well a joy if you are like me and enjoy seeing behind the scenes stuff, though it would have been more difficult to see the fireworks outside of the stadium if I had been there.
Over all I enjoyed the half-time show this year. Each department stretched themselves and really brought out a good production. Most of the problems that I had were just nit picky because I didn’t see anything that I majorly hated. I think I would give this a four out of five stars.
* Hype-woman (or hype-man): A back up singer that supports the primary rapper/singer and helps get an audience pumped up before and during a performance using exclamations and interjections.