Madonna Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show Review

Madonna Performs Vogue
Madonna Performs At Super Bowl XLVI

The commercials were pretty lame on the way to halftime and the first half of the  game was less than inspirational. It was up to Madonna to blow the roof off of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with her live performance. The vital statistics for the halftime show are 8 minutes to set the show up, 12 minutes to blow the world’s minds and 7 minutes to take the show down. Madonna was quoted as saying “That’s a lot of pressure.” So how did the 53-year old Queen Of Pop do in her Super Bowl halftime performance?

In recent years the NFL has stuck with the more seasoned performers for their Super Bowl halftime shows. Ever since the infamous Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” which gave the world an eyeful of a healthy breast the NFL has played it pretty safe. Madonna was admittedly a bit riskier performer than Paul McCartney, Prince or even the Black-Eyed Peas as she has been known to stir up controversy in the past.  

Madonna took the field on a golden chair pulled by a couple dozen young gladiator types. She kicked off her show with an excellent rendition of her hit “Vogue”. The stage was an amazing display of lights and video screens.

The song segued perfectly into Madonna’s song “Music”. The dancers were amazing on this number with one of the guys doing some weird trick with his leg that was pretty eye-popping. Another acrobat bounced on a tight wire and it was really a nice effect. The dancers were really great on this number. The song also featured LMFAO integrating their huge hits “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy And I Know It” with Madonna’s music.

This was followed by “Give Me All Your Luvin'” which featured Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.. They did a really nice job singing together and the performance was flawless. Suspiciously flawless actually. But the dancing again was really cool. Madonna proved that even at age 53 a girl isn’t too old to pick up the pom-poms and shake them at the Super Bowl. If there was a controversial moment it happened at the end of this performance with M.I.A. flipping a middle finger at the camera. Nothing says “hot” like a bird-flipping pop starlet!

Then drum major Cee Lo Green led his marching band onto the field to perform “Express Yourself” and “Open Your Heart” with Madonna. The band was really rocking with their marching and drum corps accompaniment.

The song segued into “Like A Prayer” which once again featured Cee Lo Green. The song also featured a full choir backing Madonna up on this song. The stage show wasn’t quite as elaborate on this song but that’s okay because it was all about Madonna. Madonna finished this song by stepping onto a platform and disappearing into a cloud of fog. The show closed with the words “World Peace” displayed on the video stage.

I think the show was a huge success for Madonna. Things went flawlessly with only a small stumble by Madonna during her first song. She easily recovered and gave a perfect show. Was she singing live? It didn’t look like it to me. The performance looked lip-synched and the music was pre-recorded. Madonna looked fabulous though and she made several flawless wardrobe changes. The show was mixed very well and it was very visually entertaining.

There were no surprises, no shocking wardrobe malfunctions or even any really controversial moments during the show. It was rock solid entertainment and a good tribute to Madonna’s professionalism. I enjoyed the show although I can’t say it inspired me and it didn’t really blow the roof off of Lucas Oil Stadium. If you missed Madonna’s performance during the Super Bowl, watch it on YouTube. It will feel just as live as if you did see it during the game. Madonna was live at the Super Bowl even if her singing wasn’t.
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Author: Live Musician Central

My name is Matt Rushton. I have been playing in bands for 27 years. I've been playing professionally for 21 years. I have opened for Sheryl Crow, Barenaked Ladies, Joan Jett, Little River Band, and Quiet Riot.

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