Singer-songwriter Usher rocked it at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. Here are eight takeaways from an excellent halftime show sponsored by Apple Music.
1. It featured numerous artists
Because the eight-time Grammy winner is known for his collaborations, many fans wondered if the show would feature other artists. The lineup certainly didn’t disappoint. Some who made an appearance were Alicia Keys, Ludacris, Lil Jon, H.E.R and will.i.am.
The duet between Keys and Usher on their 2004 hit « My Boo » was one of the highlights. Both showed they still have exceptional chemistry and vocals.
2. He can sing and roller-skate dance
Singing and dancing in front of 60,000 people is challenging enough. Imagine trying to do that while wearing roller skates. Usher made this look easy while performing his 2008 hit « OMG, » gliding on the stage and hitting all his notes.
The Super Bowl halftime show is an ideal place for artists to take risks and put on a show. This part exemplified that and will be one of the most memorable parts of this performance.
3. He didn’t feature any songs from his new album
Usher dropped his new album « Coming Home » on Feb. 9. However, none of his new songs were featured in the performance.
This was a bit of a surprise, but he may have focused on his hits so the crowd could sing along. Plus, performers’ album sales typically skyrocket after the Super Bowl halftime show. For example, Lady Gaga’s music sales rose 1.000% after her performance in 2017.
4. They didn’t drop confetti at the end of the show
Usually, at the end of the show, confetti is released. There was a different spin this year. Usher and Apple Music let $100 bills rain down with his face on them instead. This was a nice change and it’ll be interesting to see if other artists follow suit.
5. He managed to squeeze in several songs in a short timeframe
Usher has an extensive catalog, so it was fair to wonder how many songs he would perform. Per The Athletic, he performed 14 songs in 13 minutes and had smooth transitions throughout the show. The site added he hit the over on the number of songs he would sing, which was 8.5.
6. He honored the place where his career started
The 45-year-old moved to Atlanta during childhood, where his career would get rolling. He indicated he wanted to honor it during the Super Bowl, telling the media, « I’ve been able to bring a great deal of the melting pot it is musically and culturally to Vegas. » His marching band had members from Jonesboro High School in Atlanta and at the end of the show, he said, « I turned to the world to A, » referring to the city.
7. Allegiant Stadium must fix its sound quality
One of the few complaints about his performance was the sound quality. Tashan Reed of The Athletic reported the sound blared out at certain points. He added that this has been a problem at Allegiant Stadium all season. However, that shouldn’t detract from the performance.
8. It lived up to expectations
In November, the singer told CNN he had « worked [his] entire life » to perform at the Super Bowl. Clearly, he deserved it.
He turned in a tasteful show that showcased his talents and made fans want to get up and move. It’s unclear where this performance will rank all-time among Super Bowl halftime shows, but it’s one of the best in recent memory and it lived up to expectations.