By Megan Murray Feb. 5, 2018
Timberlake certainly gave a family-friendly Super Bowl performance despite after his latest album being released and having a not so good reputation. It felt as though expectations were low going into Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl Halftime performance any way with the uproar about a possible prince hologram and whether he was doing Janet Jackson wrong. That being said, it was good news for Timberlake as it meant he only had to do the bare minimum to impress.
His performance jumped from one hit to another running like a greatest hit album. While most performers stick to a traditional stage, his use of the stadium as his set was probably the most unexpected aspect. He started with his hit “Filthy” in a club like environment inside the stadium. It was quite an intimate feeling for a half time performance and probably best reflects what he felt fit him.
He came out in a Faux leather jacket decked out in Fringe by Stella McCartney and while the visual aesthetic of Man of the Woods was present he did not perform any other song from that album. He ran through “Rock Your Body” (while walking down a catwalk), “Senorita,”SexyBack,” “My Love,” and “Cry Me A River.” All huge fan favorites. During “My Love,” he revealed a silk-screened button up shirt of a man on a horse on the prairie of which many have questioned if it was one of Bob Ross’s paintings. He desperately tried to turn cry me a river into a rock song but that was a flop.
After that there was a paused for a breakdown. A troupe of male dancers came out with him and he proved that his dance moves were still on point which is impressive for artists of his generation plus his sense of timing is impeccable if not better then when he was in his 20’s. He then went into”Suit & Tie,” And switched up the wardrobe with a camo blazer matching his camo pants. From there he sat down to a beautiful, Elton John worthy piano and performed “Until the End of Time.”
Thankfully there was no prince hologram as many had feared and instead Justin did a nice rendition of “I Would Die 4 U” as a tribute. Prince symbols surrounded the stadium and Minneapolis was covered in purple. Although it was nice to see Prince remembered especially by Timberlake who was so affected by him, many felt that this would have been a great time to right the wrong from his previous halftime show with Janet Jackson.
At this point Timberlake asks everyone to raise “two fingers in the air for Prince tonight,” and then goes on to sing”Mirror.” Although this would have been the perfect emotional point to end on because that Trolls song “ Can’t stop the feeling” was such a hit they had to squeeze it in at the end.
What a Safe Choice for the Super Bowl this Year. Timberlake was certainly as far from anything controversial or political and that’s exactly what the NFL wanted just like all the commercials that aired. Timberlake is light and fluffy and having a field filled with mirrors so JT can look at himself perform seems to reflect the culture we live in today. His performance will be quickly be forgotten as it wasn’t memorable and perhaps that’s what he was going for after what happened last time he played the super bowl.