Reviewing Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl Half Time show

Justin Timberlake performs during a concert at Morocco's annual Mawazine Music Festival, in Rabat, Morocco, Friday, May 30, 2014. (AP Photo /Abdeljalil Bounhar)


Justin Timberlake performs during a concert at Morocco's annual Mawazine Music Festival, in Rabat, Morocco, Friday, May 30, 2014. (AP Photo /Abdeljalil Bounhar)

For anyone who watches the Superbowl, the halftime show is a glorious event. Some of the biggest stars gather to put on a musical explosion of singing and dancing. The past few years have featured big names like Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and Beyonce, so when Justin Timberlake took the stage on Superbowl Sunday, the audience had nothing but high expectations.

He started out with his new single, ‘Filthy’. There wasn’t a fancy start to his performance, he actually started his number on a smaller stage to the side of the field. ‘Filthy’ is packed with odd beats and modified recordings of Timberlake’s voice, but that was all we got of his vocals during the song. He seemed much more focused on dancing and hyping up the crowd that he ignored his actual performance.

Timberlake wasted no time making his way to center stage, transitioning into his 2000’s hit ‘Rock Your Body’. The crowd was visibly pleased at the song choice, cheering and singing along with him as he belted out the notes. However, his vocals were short-lived in favor of another dance routine, this time with an array of backup dancers flocking around him.

After a messy medley of old songs, such as ‘Cry Me A River’, Justin put a pause on the dancing in favor of a more acoustic performance. He sat down at a white piano and a large curtain rolled down behind him. A projection of the late Prince appeared on the screen, as Timberlake sang a small duet to ‘I Would Die For You’ and ‘Until The End Of Time’. Possibly the most controversial part of the show, he was later frowned upon by the public for honoring the musical icon when he had previously had some very public disagreements with Prince in the past.

The projection shocked fans because Timberlake had previously confirmed that there wouldn’t be a hologram of Prince, out of respect to his family. However, most people deemed the projection a little too close to a hologram.

While Justin sang, purple projections filled the stadium and spread outside as well. In reference to ‘Purple Rain’, fans took this as a tribute to a musical legend.

To conclude his show, Timberlake performed his most popular hit from the past year – ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ from the cartoon movie, Trolls. His dancers paraded around in neon colors, and the performance as a whole was bright. However, it lacked the big finish people were hoping for.

Besides the tribute to Prince, the biggest complaint was that the overall performance was messy. Justin’s audio kept wavering in and out, and the overall music track jumbled together. Instead of belting out notes, he rarely sang. Instead he favored dancing and interacting with the crowd.

A solid 7/10, Timberlake’s performance was exciting, but it lacked the passion and zest that past Super Bowl performances had.