In theory, the Black Eyed Peas are the perfect band to play at the Super Bowl halftime show. They’re glitzy, entertaining, and it’s hard to believe that any sporting event of the last five years hasn’t played a song by the group at some point during play. Yet, they seemed to fall short during the halftime show — standing up in front of a live crowd of more than 100,000 people, the Black Eyed Peas seemed… well, as small as peas themselves. The dancers surrounding them might have had to adhere to strict choreography, but the Peas, merely standing next to each other in a line, looked awkward, as if they didn’t have a concrete plan for what would happen after they descended from the sky (a cool effect, I’ll admit) at the beginning of the show. No matter how many awesome LED effects they could distract us with, you couldn’t mistake the fact that we were watching a small pack of four musicians — with plenty of sound problems.
The foursome began singing their feel-good hit, “I Gotta Feeling” and were quickly set off-balance as soon as Fergie’s mic cut off as she began her portion of the song. They followed up with a shrug-worthy “Boom Boom Pow,” and then shifted gears a tad: Out came Slash, playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” (The Super Bowl halftime show isn’t the Super Bowl halftime show without an aging rock star!) The guitarist, however, did add some much-needed musicality to the event — that is, until Fergie began singing. As stellar a vocalist the Black Eyes Peas singer might be, classic rock certainly is not her strong suit.
Then came “Pump It” and “Let’s Get It Started,” but the Black Eyed Peas didn’t quite hit their stride, strangely enough, until they began the politically-charged “Where Is the Love,” performed against the backdrop of Valentine’s Day-appropriate red hearts that experienced some technical difficulties of their own — part of that pesky “V” refused to light up. (And, surprise surprise, will.i.am changed the lyrics to the tune during the show.) Usher came along to play as well, handling his “OMG” song-and-dance routine much better than he has in previous live performances. And, shockingly, the band sounded best performing what might just be their worst song to date, “The Time (Dirty Bit).”
But tell me, football and Black Eyed Peas fans: What did you think of the halftime show? Time of your life? Or time to make them stop?