After months of anticipation, Justin Timberlake fans were treated to a colorful, explosive 14-minute performance of 10 JT hits in between the New England Patriots – Philadelphia Eagles game Sunday night (Feb. 4).
The show, as always, was a spectacle for those tuning in on TV – aside from the apparent sound issues – but what is it like to witness the biggest concert of the year from the stadium? Well, Billboard was on the scene in Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium to catch Timberlake’s show, and let us tell you one thing: It’s a whole different ball game (err, experience).
There is no denying that Timberlake absolutely rocked his first headlining Super Bowl opportunity, and above all, it was one hell of a show. If you’re considering spending the money to catch a halftime show in person, here’s some inside scoop on what you’ll witness.
The on-field crowd is much smaller than it appears.
The cameras do an awesome job at making the on-the-ground audience look like it covers almost the entire field. Even if there are 1,000 people in the crowd, from an aerial view it looks like a few hundred — understandable when there’s 100 yards of football field around them, but it’s still rather surprising when you’re seeing it from a wider angle.
The sound quality is mediocre, but the view is unreal.
As many questioned during and after Timberlake’s performance, the vocals and music sounded a little off. It wasn’t any better in the stadium, but that should probably be expected in a 66,000-person arena. And frankly, the movement of all the dancers and band members (and JT himself) on the field in such a short amount of time made up for it.
The Prince tribute was as awesome as it looked.
After many rumors and even a shut-down by Sheila E., Timberlake did in fact pay homage to the late Minnesota legend Prince. Surely seeing Prince’s image cast behind Timberlake as he sang “I Would Die 4 U” was epic on a TV screen, but it was just as magical in person. The execution was simple, casting his image on a massive white screen, but the roaring cheers alone made it clear that Minnesotans and visiting Super Bowl fans alike saw it as one of the coolest moments of the performance.
It’s a made-for-TV experience.
While you can’t be too greedy when you get to be part of a Super Bowl and a halftime show featuring a music legend, once you actually get to see it live you realize it’s a much different experience. Unless you’re on the field just feet away from the performer, you realize that the footage on the jumbotron (which is likely similar to like you’re watching it at home) is the best view. Nevertheless, it’s still a pretty cool thing to see in person at least once in your life.
Justin made the most of the space he had.
Whatever sound issues there may have been and whether it really was better to watch on TV, Timberlake’s halftime show was undeniably mesmerizing. From starting in the concourse to making his way into the crowd (and making #SelfieKid an instant superstar) for the ending — while an entire football field of dancers created a human rainbow — JT utilized every possible inch of U.S. Bank Stadium. As one fan in attendance said after the show was over, “he did the damn thing.”