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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

REVIEW: Usher Super Bowl LVIII halftime performance

Eight-time Grammy winner Usher took the stage for the 58th Super Bowl halftime performance. 

After being “rated U” by Apple Music for “singing, dancing, sweating and possible relationship issues,” forgetting to include “roller blading,” eight-time Grammy winner Usher took the stage for the 58th Super Bowl halftime performance. 

Usher recently finished his 100-show “My Way” residency in Las Vegas and just last week, announced his ninth full-length album“Coming Home” and a North American tour. 

Uniquely beginning his performance on the football field, with a throne and long white cape, whispers of “My Way” echoed through the stadium as contortionists, dancers and people on stilts moved all around him. It truly was whispers, as it  there were some audio problems, but quickly got resolved about a minute in.  

He showed off his impressive dance moves as he danced right into “Caught Up,” before quickly transitioning into “U Don’t Have to Call.” It was an interesting choice that he didn’t choose more of his up-beat songs to begin with. It would’ve allowed more energy for fans at home watching, rather than just a slow-tempo songs.  

Bringing up the beat a little Usher hopped onto a makeshift stage into the middle of the field and continued to show off his dance moves to “Love in This Club.” As a marching band blared behind him, it felt the background noise was, once again, overtaking. 

But to bring the noise down, singer Alicia Keys took the stage in an all-red bedazzled outfit. As she began “If I Ain’t Got You,” her enormous red veil floated away behind her. Usher joined her and at this point, I wasn’t sure if Usher and Keys were dating or just friends as they cuddled up very, very close to perform their 2004 single “My Boo.” 

Despite a voice-crack in the beginning, Keys had a stunning moment on stage performing, unfortunately she was only on stage for about two minutes. Adding her into the performance allowed for it to become more entertaining to a wider audience, and it would have been even better if she stayed on for a longer portion, or even finished out the whole sons.  

Following her exit, Jermaine Dupri introduced Usher to begin a string of songs: “Confessions Pt. II,” “Burn” and “U Got It Bad,” where he took center stage, quickly removed his jacket and shirt, and continued to dance. 

Following Usher’s shirt removal, H.E.R. took the stage with an electric guitar performance — playing a solo while Usher quickly left for a costume change. As he re-emerged in a blue sparkly outfit — while roller skating — he finally performed an upbeat song. Usher skated around the stage singing “OMG.”  

The blue outfit was definitely my favorite out of his multiple changes. His outfit fit the mood of the more energetic songs, in addition to his roller blading. I almost wished he had his blue outfit in the beginning and the white outfit at the end, that way his performance would’ve started with a bang.

As he continued to dance and skate, Lil’ Jon appeared on the field and performed “Turn Down for What,” which finally got me singing along. Closing out the performance, Usher and Lil ’Jon were joined by Ludacris to perform their 2004 hit “Yeah!” This had to be the best part of the entire performance. It was the most upbeat and energetic part, while also including one of their most well-known song. 

While the three united on stage, with women dancing on poles around them, Usher chanted “I turned the world to the A,” as the lights shined on him and the music faded. Despite his performance running for 13 minutes, with all the stage changes it seemed like a short performance ever. 

Despite speculation, many were left disappointed as Justin Bieber — who was in attendance — never took the stage to perform their hit “Somebody to Love,” as well as, left surprised that Usher didn’t perform some of his old hits like, “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love.” 

In spite of his performance being very short, I wasn’t left blown away. Usher only began to keep the momentum high about halfway through the performance with his dancing, roller skating and special guests. In addition to beginning his performance too slow, he left out some critical songs that could have made his performance that much more memorable and entertaining. 

This story was written by Sophie Goldstein. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Sophie Goldstein
Sophie Goldstein, Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sophie Goldstein is a junior from Glenview, Illinois studying journalism and is the Executive Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Marquette Wire for the second year in a row. Prior to this position, she served as the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Indiana Daily Student at Indiana University. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys spending time with friends, watching reality television and playing with her dog. She is excited to begin her journey at the Wire, while exploring the stories everyone has to share at Marquette.

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