Sunday, February 1, 2015

Live Review: Katy Perry - Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show

The most viewed spectacle of the year: the Super Bowl halftime show. The star: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, better known as Katy Perry. Her twelve and a half minute set featured six of her Billboard No.1 singles, two other stars, and a shooting star. But was the show any good?

Trotting out on to the field atop a silver tiger, Katy glided over her worldwide smash Roar. However, it instantly became apparent that this was not a typical live showing from Perry. She was in tune. The problem however was the metallic quality in her voice, which shows the use of vocal processing. Perry was using a pre-recorded vocal. Not as sinful as using the studio version, and even less sinful since she somewhat admitted she wouldn't be singing entirely live, but still worth a slap on the wrist.

Afterwards, she descended to the ground to tackle her last No.1, Dark Horse. With metallic bodies swarming around her, and the stage utilizing CGI effects, it was a captivating moment for the show. Her first guest, Lenny Kravitz, appeared to sing an unexpected Katy song - her debut single - I Kissed a Girl. Across America, suburban mothers tried to hide their children from the horrors of bisexuality references. Kravitz's appearance was surprisingly brief, and paled in comparison to Katy's successive guest.

After Girl, Perry was suddenly at the beach for Teenage Dream and California Gurls. Surrounded by palm trees and signing sharks. Though these smashes are undeniably the guilty pleasures, the sharks did end up stealing the show at this point. The attentions wavered here, ever so slightly, but Katy quickly snatched them back by allowing Missy Elliott to rock the show.

Katy slid mostly into the background, allowing Elliott's more experienced stage presence to take on Get Ur Freak On, Work It and Lose Control. The production here worked incredibly well with the darkened stage, adding heavy contrast to the beach scene preceding it. Perry covered her bases with Elliott, making sure she appealed to her pop, rock and rap crowds. Brilliant.

And predictably, she closed her show with Firework and a strap to her microphone, sending Twitter ablaze. Attaching herself to a shooting star, she rode around the Arizona stadium belting out her biggest hit (more or less of it being live). Fireworks lit up the sky, and with a final thank you, the show was over.

Overall, Katy played to her strengths: not relying entirely on live vocals, using bright colors and other visuals and not sticking entirely to one genre for the show. She was a solid choice for the show, and did her job: entertain America for thirteen minutes. It's unlikely that her show converted any haters, and that's okay. She stuck to her guns and blazed through a solid show.

Overall: 8/10