Depending on what social network you logged into, news site you checked, or even who you were sitting next to, the Black Eyed Peas' performance last night during the Super Bowl Halftime Show was either regarded as the much-needed fresh air after years of classic rockers or simply the worst Super Bowl show ever. Here at The Amp, we sit somewhere between those two opinions. The Black Eyed Peas' show was bombastic and often careened towards disaster, yet it was still somehow better than last year's bar-lowering halftime performance by the Who, but obviously not on the level of past Super Bowl halftimes like Prince, Bruce Springsteen, or the Britney Spears all-star team in 2001.
Ask any diehard BEP fan, however, and they'll tell you the sound problems that group experienced at the onset weren't a big deal, that Fergie and Slash's off-key "Sweet Child o' Mine" wasn't sacrilegious, that the "V" in the "LOVE" stage wasn't supposed to light up fully, that the constantly shifting tempos in the medley weren't the least bit disconcerting, and that the onslaught of visuals and LED suits and TRON dancers didn't distract from the mind-numbing experience of hearing a half-dozen Black Eyed Peas songs in 10 minutes. They likely weren't bothered either that Usher spent more time descending to the stage than he actually spent onstage. For the rest of America, however, these were major problems, and it left us with some burning questions:
• What was Will.i.am, with his Max Headroom wig, trying to do with his cell phone? Attempting and failing (because of no service) to tweet during the halftime show. If history pinpoints the exact moment the downfall of Twitter began, it was this.
• How much were the Black Eyed Peas paid for their performance? Zero dollars and zero cents. You can't put a price tag on the kind of exposure you get from performing at the Super Bowl halftime show. In fact, we're surprised the Peas didn't pay out of their own pockets to do the halftime show at Cowboys Stadium.
• What was up with those TRON-inspired LED suits? Those high-tech outfits have become an award show and concert staple in recent years, but they reached a new pinnacle in popularity thanks to the Super Bowl show. "We experienced fashionology! A mix of technology and fashion," B. Akerlund, the LED suits' designer, told The Amp after the performance.
• Did I hear the Black Eyed Peas mention Obama at one point? Oh, you managed to hear that through the sound problems? Well done. During "Where is the Love?," a song that predates the Obama administration, Will.i.am added the line, "In America we need to get things straight, Obama, let's get these kids educated, create jobs so the country stays stimulated." Unfortunately, Fox cameras didn't get George W. Bush's reaction shot as he sat in the skybox.
The Black Eyed Peas had the unenviable task of helping the Super Bowl segue out of the classic rock era and into the 21st century. Now that that's out of the way, expect even bigger things when Lady Gaga inevitably performs at the Super Bowl next year.
[Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com]