You’re forgiven forever, Beyoncé. In a thrillingly choreographed, LED-enhanced Super Bowl 2013 halftime spectacular, consummate show-woman Beyonce literally — yes, literally — shut New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome down. Minutes after wrapping a career-spanning set that reunited Destiny’s Child, the stadium went dark, delaying the game. It was as if the surge of Beyoncé’s supernova energy sucked all the power out of the 72,000-capacity arena. That, or the property managers did not pay their bills. Or, in disassembling the halftime show stage design, someone flicked the wrong switch.
The setup was impressive, mingling video screen technology and pyrotechnics. Beyoncé first appeared in darkness as a fire-lit silhouette blazed above her. She stomped down a catwalk in a tight leather bodice and began with “Love on Top” a cappella — no, there would be no pre-recorded track this time, haters. She cycled through “Crazy in Love,” “Never Let You Go,” and “Baby Boy” backed by a band of badass ladies, her guitarist wielding a spark-spewing ax. The stage doubled as a screen, a gimmick she’d used previously at the Billboard Music Awards, and Beyoncé again popped, dropped, and set up shop in rows of mirror images of herself. Yes, with her legs akimbo, we witnessed a veritable wall of bumping Beyoncé crotches.
Then that familiar Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen” riff kicked in we all knew what it meant: The long-rumored Destiny’s Child reunion was about to come true. In complementary leather leotards (perhaps designed by House of Dereon?), Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams popped up onstage to help perform “Bootylicious,” their Charlie’s Angels soundtrack hit “Independent Women” and, upon Beyoncé’s invitation, a portion of “Single Ladies.” The crowd waved reportedly pre-distributed finger lights. What we didn’t hear was “Nuclear,” the first new DC track in eight years from the forthcoming Love Songs R&B retrospective, and that’s okay, really, because we weren’t really keen on the song in the first place.
To close it out, and siphon the remaining electricity out of the place, Beyoncé got on her knees and belted hero anthem “Halo.” Best Super Bowl halftime show ever? Pretty damn close. And we’ve seen pop at the big game a few times before.
Beyonce’s Super Bowl XLVII set list:
1. “Countdown” (Intro)
2. “Love on Top”
3. “Crazy in Love”
4. “End of Time”
5. “Baby Boy”
6. “Booytlicious” (with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)
7. “Independent Women” (with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)
8. “Single Ladies” (with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)