Timberlake’s halftime show proves satisfactory, not perfect

Justin Timberlake performs the halftime show at Super Bowl 52 on Sunday, February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. Philadelphia won the game 41-33. AP Photo | Gregory Payan

Kaitlyn DeHaven | Social Media Editor

Not even the now-famous #SelfieKid could diminish the feeling Justin Timberlake brought to the 2018 SuperBowl halftime performance Sunday night.

Fans all around the world had been anticipating the performance, ready for Timberlake to bring his dance moves and soulful singing to center-field stage. Based upon the outcome of the show, they were likely not disappointed.

In the past three years, the SuperBowl stage has seen colorful performances from Katy Perry, Coldplay and Lady Gaga. As the halftime show took off with a slow pace, I worried Timberlake would have a difficult time competing with past performances.

Timberlake gradually warmed up to the stage, showing few signs of picking up the pace. While the dancing was smooth and exacting, Timberlake’s microphone was definitely too quiet, and I struggled to hear what song he was singing. The laser light show made up for his quieted voice, spicing up the slow opening song and leading into what would turn out to be a performance to remember.

As the act continued, Timberlake was joined by backup dancers. The music shifted into a more upbeat sound, and it only continued to improve as a jazz band graced the stage.

“Sexyback,” a Timberlake classic, was executed with a twist as the jazz band belted out the familiar tune. The brassy sound gave the song a whole new feel.

The middle of the act took a turn downward, as Timberlake let the audience sing along, taking a break himself and simply walking across the stage. While this might have been exciting for members of the audience, it lost my attention as a TV viewer.

My favorite part of the performance happened at the end of “Cry Me a River,” when Timberlake and his crew spread across the field to perform a crisp dance number. Its succinctness and energy made me want to get out of my seat and join them.

Timberlake kept the surprises coming as immediately following the dance routine, an entire band joined him on the field to accompany Timberlake for well-known song “Suit and Tie.” The band added a classy touch to the popularized tune.

Following thisnumber, Timberlake sang “I Would Die 4 U” as a tribute to Prince. While this was emotional for the audience, the tribute seemed to come out of the blue. To me, it didn’t really flow well with Timberlake’s performance.

The most visually appealing part of the performance came at the end during Timberlake’s hit “Mirrors.” Hundreds of mirrors on the field shimmered throughout the stadium as Timberlake executed the silvery melody.

The act concluded with an upbeat rendition of “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” At this point, #SelfieKid showed up and will now live on forever as the 2018 SuperBowl meme.

Overall, Timberlake executed a commendable performance, with a wide range of songs and a meaningful tribute; still, something was missing.

The flow of the performance from one song to the next didn’t seem to fit quite right, and, understandably, Timberlake appeared winded after the 13 long minutes of action. Perhaps there should have been another vocalist to split the act with him. Nonetheless, Timberlake will go down in Super Bowl halftime history for a stellar performance.