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Culture Shock

Web Content Weekly: Best Super Bowl Halftime Performances

This week, we dive into the topic of the best Super Bowl halftime performances in honor of Usher’s (2nd) Super Bowl debut. Here’s what our writers had to say…

Kate Pfaff:

“Obviously my favorite Super Bowl halftime performance was Beyonce’s in 2013. The intro? Jaw-dropping. The guitar solo in “Crazy in Love”? Unmatched. The completely female band? ICONIC! And Destiny’s Child. Just wow. Beyonce is quite literally one of the greatest performers of our time and boy did she put on a SHOW. Of course, we have seen many great performances throughout the years but I believe that Beyonce is one of the only artists that kept up with her backup dancers, filled the space with her energy, and somehow still held her own in the vocal department. Ending with “Halo” was the most iconic thing she could have done and honestly, I have no notes! 10/10 experience and best halftime performance ever.”

Abigail Biggins:

“My favorite Super Bowl halftime performance is 2011's show featuring Black Eyed Peas, Slash, and Usher. Every song was a hit and I sang the whole way through. You could see how the songs rallied the crowd and I appreciated the less obvious details that connect to Black Eyed Peas' iconic album The E.N.D. released in 2009. This is the perfect representation of a pop-rap performance in the late 2000s and watching it years later brought a wave of nostalgia.”

Ben Santos:

"Having never been a big fan of the Super Bowl or what comes with it, the 2021 halftime performance from The Weeknd was the only time I watched and by the end actually thought "Hey, that was pretty fun." Songs? Great. Mirror room? Interesting. Pulling off a great halftime performance during COVID? Gnarly!"

Christian Oates: “Bruno Mars in 2014 was hands down the best performance.”

Alyssa Andrews:

"I only have one answer…Prince. Is there even another performance that comes close? Prince arguably had the best Super Bowl halftime performance. Who else could perform in front of 75,000 people in the pouring rain? Let me say that again, the pouring rain! His set was just 12 minutes of sheer perfection. From Prince’s killer guitar solo to the lights illuminating the stadium, to the rain being well PURPLE, his performance was nothing less than legendary. As the wise Prince once said, “I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain” which he definitely delivered that night." #therainwasapaidactor

Connor Crafton:

“Let’s be honest, the best Super Bowl performance is Prince. But, a close second place, and my personal favorite in recent years is The Weeknd’s halftime performance in 2021. The Weeknd had the uniquely challenging performance of doing a live performance as big as the Super Bowl but targeting mainly those who were cooped up at home coming off the highest point of the pandemic. The grandeur of the performance was entirely focused on the camera, only taking the field for the last few songs. However, I think what came from these unique circumstances was a unique performance, unlike any other halftime show we’ve seen. The Weeknd wildly running around this glowing labyrinth, jostling the camera around like we’re on a rollercoaster, getting up close and personal, while playing his best hits, made for an extremely entertaining (and controversial) performance. Whatever you think of it, The Weeknd’s performance was truly an unforgettable one.”

Eliza McCord: “Lady Gaga’s performance is the best simply because she was my sexual and spiritual awakening :0”


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