Reviewing The Super Bowl LV Musical Performances


via SB Nation

Ryan Gorneault, Entertainment Editor

Super Bowl LV took place on February 7th, 2021, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers handily defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 33 to 9 in what was seen by many as a lackluster game, especially compared to past Super Bowl matchups. The commercials ended up mostly falling flat, so it was up to the game’s musical guests (and that fourth-quarter streaker, of course) to pick up the slack. Luckily, they did just that, and every performer at the event managed to put on a remarkable but often confusing performance.

The healthcare workers were invited to the game to be thanked for their hard work during this pandemic. They were treated to a pre-game concert by pop-turned-rock singer Miley Cyrus, who brought out rock stars Billy Idol and Joan Jett to perform songs from her newest album, “Plastic Hearts.” She finished her set with two of her hits, “Wrecking Ball” and “The Climb.”

Alicia Keys performed a beautiful rendition of the Black National Anthem in a pre-recorded video package, “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” in a very well-received performance. Its performance also exposed many to the James Weldon Johnson-written song for the first time. Next up came Grammy-winning R&B singer H.E.R. with her interpretation of “America The Beautiful,” which featured an unexpected-yet-electrifying guitar solo towards the tail-end of the song.

The final pre-game performance came in the form of country singer Eric Church and R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan performing the National Anthem’s first duet at the Super Bowl in ten years. While that pairing seemingly does not work on paper, Church and Sullivan still pulled off a great, but still risky, performance. Critics seemed to have taken a harsher tone when reviewing the performance but still praised Sullivan’s vocal ability.

The Weeknd’s Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show was a definite departure from past Halftime performance. Between the fact that there were no special musical guests, the stage was built in the stadium’s stands. The performance followed a loose narrative previously set in place by the music videos for the singles from his album “After Hours.” The set looked expensive, and it can be assumed that a relatively large portion of the $7,000,000 he dropped on the performance went to that. While his vocal performance throughout was decent, the sound mixing did him no favors. He performed many of his number one singles, including “Starboy,” “The Hills,” and “Can’t Feel My Face,” the latter of which was performed under the stage, quickly becoming a meme in the process. The final song of his set, “Blinding Lights,” was performed on the field amongst a legion of masked dancers, ending the musical performances with a flurry of fireworks.