Sunday, February 6, 2011

Black Eyed Peas underwhelm at halftime

On second consideration, maybe Escort should have been the headliner for the Super Bowl halftime show.
The superstar had only a brief cameo in the glass case, but his tightly choreographed moves and acrobatics marked the brief exciting moment of a surprisingly stale medley from the normally frantic headliners, the Black Eyed Peas.

The Super Bowl presentation was debatably the biggest stage yet for the quirky quartet, whose fusion of pop, dance and hip-hop have made them global superstars. But in the huge Cowboys Arena, the group appeared to be as stiff as frontman's plastic hair hat.

It started out with a wow factor:, Taboo, Fergie and go down from atop the stadium, outfits glittering, bewildered outfits, singing (with the help of auto-tune) the party anthem "I Gotta Feeling" with hundreds of dancers channeling in step on the field.

But the Peas didn't match the energy of the song; they seemed hesitant, and tense. It didn't help that Fergie's mic didn't kick in until she was midway through her first verse.

If the clarification for the Peas' flatness was nerves, those nerves never settled, as they trudged through such songs as "Pump It" and "Boom Boom Pow." strictly, they were fine Fergie's voice soared, the raps were performed right. They didn't excite. Even former Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash seemed bored as he joined Fergie for a short snippet of "Sweet Child O' Mine," an needless cameo that failed to add any sizzle to the set.

So it fell to Usher to breathe some life into the halftime show, and he didn't let down as he appeared in all white with a side of dancers. Although Usher seemed to dance more of his No. 1 hit "OMG" with than sing it, his syncopated moves and flips provided the power jolt that the Peas lacked.

The Black Eyed Peas brought the youth, but little else. "I Gotta Feeling" the NFL will be looking to try and find a better balance in time for Indianapolis next year.


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