Let’s not get too excited about what happened last night.
Other than an unexpected dancing shark forgetting its dance moves, Katy Perry’s bright and colourful pop tunes with authentic choruses are ideal Super Bowl music, and her halftime performance was just as fun and energetic as you would have predicted.
What you might not have predicted was that Missy Elliott nearly stole the 12-minute show performance away from Perry and that special guest star Lenny Kravitz might just as well stayed in his locker room.
Starting off with ‘Roar‘ and concluding with ‘Firework’ both super stadium crowd pleasers, Perry over 12 minutes managed to squeeze in four costume changes, nine songs (three by Missy Elliott, Just saying), and again I can’t not mention two backing dancers dressed as cuddly sharks, during an interlude in which the stage seems to turn into a cross between Club Tropicana and the hill from Teletubbies.
Over the performance Perry maintains two themes throughout: Fire (Her first dress licked with flames. Imagine Hunger Games as reimaged by the producers of Strictly Come Dancing.) and balls? The balls were first sighted as forming the Pepsi logo (apparently that’s sponsorship rules) then reappeared to illuminate the path for Perry as she rode on a giant metallic tiger and then later reappeared as beach balls during ‘Teenage Dream‘.
A guest appearance by Kravitz can only be described as him waggling his guitar during ‘I Kissed A Girl’ as those flames make another appearance flashing across both performers. Thankfully he receded quickly.
By contrast the highlight for me was a much more rhythmically dynamic and much more varied three-song set by Missy Elliott, who as much more of a mover and shaker took over the stage in a way that Perry could never compete with. Wearing a startling, waist-length hair weave, her salvo of ‘Get Ur Freak On’, ‘Work it’ and ‘Lose Control’ almost steal the slot from under Perry’s nose: almost 15 years since they were released, these songs still sound like the future.
I’ll give credit to the headliner for giving Elliott the floor but I just wish she could have held onto it for longer!
Ok, so vocally Perry sounded really good – strong and forthright throughout. I suppose ‘Firework’ was inevitable as her closing number, because, you know the special effects people got to shoot off fireworks (also more inflated balls). However for me the song is one of Perry’s more tedious anthems – literally one note for much of the time.
I did enjoy her soaring up-up-up like a shooting star though.