I’ve actually struggled with how to start this review of Justin Timberlake’s Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show and the week leading up to the performance. I typed out a few paragraphs and then deleted them because I want to focus on the performance itself as opposed to the horrible publicity. I’ll be doing a podcast on that later on, so check back in to hear what I thought.
The halftime performance was great. It was energetic, entertaining and it was just a really good show overall. There wasn’t anything really over-the-top, and I enjoyed the simplicity in that respect. Justin danced his way to several stages around the stadium, which added some flair of the performance. People seemed to be focused on the way Justin and his dancers were dressed for some reason, but what they fail to release is that he’s also promoting the new album and the outfits fit the theme really well. And, really, who the F*** cares about what they were wearing??? We were there to watch a performance, not a fashion show. I find it funny how people will nitpick about the silliest of things these days. (Not gonna lie, I did laugh at someone on Twitter saying that he looked like a clearance table at Bass Pro Shops though lmao. The only difference is that I don’t care what the heck they were wearing)
In any case, here are the songs/snippets/hooks that Justin performed during the 13 1/2 minute performance:
Rock Your Body
Cry Me a River
Suit & Tie (w/Marching Band)
Until the End of Time
***Prince Tribute – I Would Die 4 U***
Can’t Stop the Feeling
There was a lot of backlash surrounding the rumored Prince tribute and, while I think simply playing the actual video on the screens rather than projecting it onto a large piece of fabric would’ve been better, I think it was done tastefully. I really loved when the camera showed the city of Minneapolis light up with purple lights and then Prince’s symbol appeared in the lights. I know that the guys had some beef back in the day, but I’m a firm believer that you can like someone’s music without necessarily liking the person. If Justin hadn’t paid tribute to Prince in his home state, he would’ve gotten shit for it. Knowing that he was going to do it in the first place had the internet trolls rolling too. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.
I also saw people claiming that JT was lip syncing, but that wasn’t true either. There were some sound issues in the beginning, but if you’re a fan of his music, you would be able to spot the differences. He wasn’t lip syncing.
Everyone seems to be a critic these days. I even saw someone call P!nk out on her rendition of Star Spangled Banner because she spit something out of her mouth beforehand. It was a throat lozenge because she was performing with the flu. That doesn’t get taken into consideration though. It just HAS to be something negative.
I enjoyed the show though. I liked the medley of songs he chose to perform, but I wish he had included “Supplies” or “Say Something” off his new album, Man of the Woods. If you stayed up late, you would’ve been able to catch those being performed on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show.
Here’s the video of the halftime performance. Check it out and let me know what you thought!