It would seem after the now legendary 2004 Janet Jackson Superbowl halftime show where the performer accidentally flashed everyone for 2.2 seconds in a blink and you miss it moment, that in addition to banning MTV from planning the entertainment, those in charge also sought to punish viewers in the last few years with mediocre and boring performances from legendary, yet dated performers who lacked the energy required to carry such a show and all of which were forgettable.

This year the producers found a seemingly perfect solution, the super popular, non-controversial, all around likable, and family friendly Black Eyed Peas. This also marked the first time a woman was allowed to perform on stage since Ms.Jackson, because you know all women had to be punished for the accidental indecency of one. So how did this show fare with a relatable young pop band? It was a convoluted mess.

The show set Twitter ablaze. It was a spectacle from beginning to end. I will break down my review by song performed.

“I Gotta Feeling”

This song was the opener and from the beginning it was clear that the performance was going to be full of sound issues. BEP did sing live, which is commendable, but does nothing for a performance when the live singing and sound system is atrocious. They had broken vocals every few minutes. Visually the performance included a mass of dancers in all white jumping around to the beat with flashing lights on the stage, field, and the bodies of the dancers and members of BEP.

It was all very strange; the dancers seemed like an audience more than part of the performance. BEP is on stage in a line only moving when they change lead vocals but otherwise were very low energy.

“Boom Boom Pow”

The dancers are now lit up in a string of green lights on their white jump suits and they are in huddled masses that sometimes form arrows for no reason. This portion appealed to all the viewers who decided to drop acid before the game started, but no one else. The BEP is still on stage barely moving and performing the lyrics with low energy as if they are bored. Fergie is trying her hardest to prove she can sing and accentuating vocals to the point she is almost screaming or doing her best Christina Aguilera impression.

“Sweet Child of Mine”

This was the most confusing and unnecessary moment of the entire performance. The BEP transition into Sweet Child of Mine, Slash gets raised onto the stage and Fergie belts out a few lines of the song while the other members of BEP are standing around awkwardly. I have said this before, but Slash in the past few years seems to be a favorite guest performer and will play a guitar riff on stage with anyone for a paycheck.

Apparently, Fergie will be collaborating with him on his new album, so perhaps this was a marketing ploy to get the BEP fan base thinking about buying the future record. Fergie also decided to dance as if she was an avatar in Guitar Hero next to Slash for some reason. Perhaps there will soon be a BEP Guitar Hero edition, too?

“Pump It/Let’s Get it Started”

After standing around the guys of BEP seem to have a little more energy but once Fergie comes back into the shot, they resume their linear position on stage and kind of sway around to the beat. They also decided to bring out some marching band members for this number, so guys are randomly playing trumpets and dancing behind them in white hooded sweatshirts, which seemed more like a scene from the movie Drumline than appropriate for the crazy futuristic LED stage/Tron dancer mash-up that seemed to be the theme for the show.

“OMG”

Usher had no reason to be a surprise guest, he was unimpressive and out of place. This was clearly an attempt at shock, yet because of Usher’s multiple failed comebacks; he really has not been truly relevant since his 2004 “Confessions” album. The fact that he has two radio hits this year does not make him worthy of a Superbowl performance and his 30 seconds on stage could have been better utilized. Yes, Usher can dance he did great choreography including his cheerleader move where he was raised up by other dancers, but it was nothing new and out of place. Not impressed.

“Where is the Love?”

This was by far the worst portion of this performance. In terms of production, it was a horrible choice and badly placed after an upbeat song like OMG. Also the dancers in their lighted jumpsuits now glow red and form hearts all over the field and the word love. It was cheesy and contrived to say the least.

“Time of My Life/I Gotta Feeling”

The BEP should stop performing “Time of My Life” and release another single so that the world can forget about it. It is a horrible song that destroys a classic. At least they only did a few lines of the song before going back into “I Gotta Feeling” to end. The BEP brought out the box-headed theme from the music video and those dancers surround them on stage in the white jumpsuits again. The dancers on the field are all in symmetrical lines and here we have everyone, including BEP doing marching/skipping choreography all synchronized. This might have been the best part of the show and when the BEP finally started moving and exerting themselves. I suppose they wanted to save their energy for the end. They transitioned back into “I Gotta Feeling” and thankfully ended their performance

Although this performance in every definition of the word, sucked, I am happy to see risks being taken by allowing The Black Eyed Peas to perform. Hopefully in the years to come we will see better and more relevant artists perform the halftime show, more risks being taken, and more collaborative efforts like we used to when MTV produced the show. Either that or we will be doomed to never have good entertainment during the Superbowl ever again- one or the other.

What are your thoughts?

About The Author

Joshua Torres is a Blast Magazine correspondent

41 Responses

  1. Richard peabody

    First off your article SUCKS! Your taste in music SUCKS! BEP put on the absolute BEST LIVE performance second to MICHEAL JACKSON’S LEDGENDARY Motown 25 performace.and would have been the BEST if not for glithes when the freakin mic went in and out. You might say it sucked but maybe you should watch it AGAIN because most of the 100,000 LOVED IT,JUST LOVED IT! and fergie singing to SLASH WAS AMAZING! i just wish the wouldve sung all of OMG AND WHERE IS THE LOVE?. THE BLACKEYED PEAS ARE AWESOME!!! gonna be VERY HARD TO TOP THEIR PERFORMANCE

    Reply
    • Jesse

      You’re a complete idiot. The show sucked. And those 100,000 people plus another million think the exact same thing. I have never read this article before in my life (no offence) but it says the exact same things that were going through the heads of millions watching the extremely bad performance that was the halftime show.

      Reply
    • J

      yes sucked was an understatement.. Your article was great…and funny 🙂

      I did like Usher but still I see your point

      Reply
    • DaveS

      Every poll from every state gave the Black-Eyed-Peas a “F” overall for the halftime show.
      I guess *millions* of people saying they sucked isn’t enough for you.
      While the sound engineering was clearly bad, it just proves yet again, that when it comes to walking the walk talent-wise, the Black-Eyed-Peas were utter failures. Fergie couldn’t sing to save her life, and her rendition of Sweet Child O Mine was an insult to any GNR member and fan alike.
      And how can any group use autotune and still suck so bad?

      Reply
    • Gavin K

      The Best performance since Jackson? Are you serious? U2 was ten times better then the Black Eyed Peas and I don’t even like them. You must be a Pre-teen or something, googled the Jackson video to try and create a comparison for your Benefit. Jackson was memorable, set a standard. U2 created a beautiful image for the year 2001/2002. MTV got booted for performances like last Sunday’s. The average age of a person who actually attends the Superbowl is 38. The Superbowl should appeal to the real Football fans and their style of music. Not the bandwagon punks who want to watch the commercials and the half-time show. The highlight of the night should be about the winners, not the losers that perform.

      Reply
    • Citizen

      I can’t imagine the amount of time and money that went into this production. What a waste. They SUCKED! I can imagine most of the crowd employing the time more usefully visiting the crapper or buying more beer!

      Reply
    • Les

      The first person to comment I hope dies in a horrific crash to save humanity the overall depression that he/she/fecal matter the person gave on life.

      Secondly I can see why they sucked, is it me or is this just a representation of music being more…dry these days?

      Reply
  2. blueneptune

    I don’t know what this writer Joshua Torres is talking about when he wants more relevant artists, more risks taken, and more collaborative efforts. Although the BEPs are not my favorite bands, they are one of the most popular bands in the country and created the most downloadable song in history. In my view this is one of the biggest and most original SB halftime risk-taken collaborative efforts I’ve ever seen. When you have hundreds or over a thousand performers and dancers partake in such an event, it takes much more choreography, coordination, and risk taking than your usual SB half-time concert event. It reminded me a lot of the opening to several of the Olympics. I appreciate that type of effort and coordination with so many people involved.

    I do admit the singing was mediocre at best, but we don’t listen to the BEPs for how well they sing. We listen to it to be entertained. Joshua Torres is definitely myopic and old schooled with his criticism of this performance. I’d suggest he go to the next U2 concert or Stones concert if he wants to see something unoriginal.

    Reply
  3. ronil dufrene

    Your article is over kill with negative, you are not being a critique It sound more like you have something personal against THE BLACK EYE PEAS.

    Reply
    • ahmed

      I like the black eyed peas, thats why i even took the time to listen to the half time show. Otherwise it was artists that i had never even heard of, even then I gotta say there performance kinda sucked

      Reply
  4. steve lewis

    Let me start by saying that I am not a huge fan of the Black Eyed Peas, however I really don’t mind their music, that is until super bowl half time. I thought their performance stunk, especially Sweet Child O Mine. Fergie did a horrible job on the vocals for that song. I wasn’t expecting to be blown away, but, I was expecting to be satisfied at the very least, that did not happen. I found myself being bored, and unimpressed.
    Like most others in this world I am biased to some degree. I would like to see future consideration given to the Foo Fighters as a half time act.

    Reply
    • Steffan

      Anyone who thought that was good is an idiot. If anyone says that they liked that performance to my face I am going to knock them out. Woow sooo bad. This is coming from someone that doesn’t mind their songs (when they are recorded in a studio with technology which can make them sound better than they actually are).

      Reply
  5. Shalanna Collins

    “I do admit the singing was mediocre at best, but we don’t listen to the BEPs for how well they sing. We listen to it to be entertained.”

    *facepalm*

    There is just so much wrong with that concept. . . .

    Let’s have GOOD singing that we listen to because it’s good and the performer has talent! I know there must be someone out there. Audra Mae, anyone?

    Reply
  6. Bob Saget

    The pop world needs to grow up and stop using lame 1 minute Slash cameo’s as their excuse for presenting us a group of no talent ass hats who don’t even know where the strings on a guitar are. It’s bad enough that they fooled the whole world into thinking they could sing with auto-tuners (the bane of music) without paying Slash boat loads of money to play a melody that frankly I got sick of over 20 years ago. This was an all time low in american entertainment. I’d rather see Janet Jackson’s boob again.

    Reply
    • Tasteful

      The performance left me wishing that I was watching OK GO perform versus BEPs.

      THAT would have been worth it. Maybe next year.

      Reply
    • kevin W

      you are very arrogant and obviously know nothing about slash or his music if you seriously think he plays just for the money, the dude was offered millions to play in gnr again and said no, has it ever occured to you that he performs because he enjoys it? he and fergie just cut a song on his last album and have played together live in the past, and well too your just going off on a rant like a little bitch, they didnt sing well… it was halftime boohoo if everyone in the world bitched this much we should fucking nuke ourselves because people are to stupid to keep on living, dumbass

      Reply
  7. tpizzle

    this performance was a perfect example of whats wrong with mainstream pop music(and why i listen to metal bands) its all about image these guys have no talent whatsoever they are simply marketable, i know people who can sing much better than them, hell i have more talent on an instrument than any of them, but throw some autotune on a voice and put a catchy beat in and people think omg these guys have talent they are so innovative, until they hear there horrid live performances, sadly these guys arent the only ones who fail live most rappers/people who use autotune are completely terrible live, the songs they sang were so off key i dont know how anyone can honestly say they liked that thats terribl

    Reply
  8. TSP

    The BEP’s halftime performance was silly and proved that pop bands can’t sing live. They have to be “enhanced” by a sound board to sound good. The performance by Fergie was awful, she can’t sing a lick. Fergie needed a wardrobe malfunction to help her performance.

    Reply
    • XXao

      Yep. Fergie needed to at least try as hard as Janet, lol. At least I didnt feel bad about missing most of the show…needed more wings and beer…Ha.

      Reply
  9. dee11john

    You’re a complete idiot. The show was good. And those 100,000 people plus another million think the exact same thing. but it says the exact same things that were going through the heads of millions watching the extremely wonderful performance that was the halftime show.

    Reply
  10. dee11john

    The show was good. And those 100,000 people plus another million think the exact same thing. but it says the exact same things that were going through the heads of millions watching the extremely wonderful performance that was the halftime show. this performance was a perfect example of whats right with mainstream pop music its all about image these guys have talent whatsoever they are simply marketable, i know people who can sing much better than them, but throw some autotune on a voice and put a catchy beat in and people think these guys have talent they are so innovative true, until they hear there horrid live performances, people who use autotune are completely great live, the songs they sang were so on key i know how anyone can honestly say they liked that thats good.

    Reply
  11. gloria

    Although I don’t own any of their albums. I have always really enjoyed performances of BEP that I’ve seen on TV. Until now. This was the absolute worst performance and even made worse by the fact that it was a Super Bowl halftime show and they could not connect with the viewers. And the singing sucked. Energy was bad. And as a friend said, what kind of a musical group is it that gets up and not one of them plays an instrument?

    Reply
  12. TBone

    True, he might be tone deaf. But I actually think he works for Interscope. My fav is the people posting here who claim to speak for the 100,000 fans at the game when they were sitting @ home. Total joke.

    Reply
  13. Richard peabody

    Ok most of you that are dissin my band are likely old,mentally ill,non socialble,and have absolutly NO TASTE IN NEW MUSIC.BECAUSE I WAS THERE IN THE BEST SEATS AND THE FACT IS THE CROWD CHEERED 10X louder at their performance then the game. come on now bush,and obama loved it….hard to know why you IDOTS DONT.

    Reply
    • OneSword

      A band is broadly defined as “a group of instrumentalists playing music of a specialized type: rock band; calypso band; mariachi band.” The Black Eyed Peas are not in fact a band. Even if you substitue the word “musicians” for “instrumentalists”, they still do not fit the definition. If no one in your group plays an instrument, and no one in your group can sing without the aid of an autotuner or a studio full of electronics, then you cannot go around passing yourselves off as “a band.” The Black Eyed Peas are the ultimate example of the state of pop music in this country: vapid, meaningless and ultimately forgettable. The fact that the 100,000 in the stands cheered them only proves that they are typical of the vast majority of music consumers in this country in that they enjoy the kind of fluff that they are spoon fed four times an hour on FM radio and are completely ignorant of what true musical talent sounds like.

      Reply
  14. richard breath

    75% of the NFL is black, but 90% of the viewing audience at the Super Bowl was white, so it was a grave NFL error to even feature the Peas. Robotic sounds to angry empty rap simply doesn’t sell to the nation at large. Why so much anger, the Peas are fortunate to be any more than a Ghetto bar band. The yungin’s I can forgive, they’re naive and, well young. But the NFL decision makers, whoa get them on the 99 team (99 weeks of unemployment). Nuff said, pathetic show. Even wrinkly Mick and Keith could top this one.

    Reply
  15. abel mendoza

    The Peas sucked balls big time. and last year The Who put me to sleep. Who cares if the viewing audience is white. Most want to be black anyway.

    Reply
  16. LIZ

    YOU PPL NEEDA STOP WITH THE RACE CALLIN AND RACIST CRAP BECAUSE UR JUST MAKE A FOOL OF UR SELF!

    Reply
    • Chopswell

      U NEED TO QUIT TALKING LIKE A ‘BRO’…SISTA!

      This is the problem with our youth today. All want to be black. All talk LIKE they’re black–complete with the “chicken head” bobbling. It’s disgusting…as IS this “so-called” “band.”

      Reply
  17. Alex T

    Is Richard Peabody a member of the Black Eyed Peas? I don’t know what kool-aid he drank at halftime but I guess we all should have had some if that’s what it took to enjoy the show. Prince’s halftime show a couple years ago was about 1 billion percent better than this year’s atrocity. The BEPs made Ashlee Simpson’s SNL performance look like the Phantom of the Opera.

    Reply
  18. Kyle L

    Well first off the black eyed peas are mediocre mainstream music. Haha and was it just me or when Fergie was belting out sweet child of mine it reminded me of Adam Sandler singing his Lunch Lady song she had the same tone and singing style as his lunch lady song and that’s all I could think about for the rest of halftime.

    Reply
  19. Ashley Decker

    I agree that the show was an assault on the ears, Sorry Richard, maybe live they miraculously sounded great, but on TV, even in surround sound, it was horribly bad. I’ve heard that they were not a great live band, but MAN, I didn’t expect that.
    But Usher not relevant since 2004? Com’n. He consistently has hits. I hear him every time I turn on the freaking radio. Who would be more relevant? Eminem??

    Reply

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