ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR
With all due respect to Katy Perry, this column is dedicated to the underappreciated stars of the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Yes, I am looking at you, Mr. bright blue shark with two legs. And you, multi-colored beach ball with one tooth whose eyes make it hard to tell if you are happy or sad. And of course I cannot leave out the giant, golden lion that looked like it jumped out of Transformers or, for my 90s friends out there, the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers.
Many people will want to talk about Perry’s dynamic setlist or incredible live singing, but the performance alone does not do the show justice. Pepsi spared no expense and utilized the entire space magnificently, finally giving its audience a spectacle worthy of America’s greatest national stage. The company also let everyone know which brand was responsible, using inflatable, lit orbs of red, blue and white to make a huge Pepsi logo on the field.
However, that shameless product placement eventually gave way to the golden, metallic lion with glowing, red eyes that carried Perry to the stage during a rendition of her hit “Roar.” Despite the incredible size and metallic nature of it, the lion moved with incredible fluidity and grace. There were people dressed in all black who actually operated the individual limbs of the lion, showing unbelievable coordination and precision in moving something across the field that was likely 30 feet tall and 60 feet long.
The scene transitioned to a massive, three-dimensional video display beneath Perry that provided the perfect backdrop for 2014’s most watched YouTube song “Dark Horse.” Fully backed by a group of dancers dressed in all silver on top of a transforming chess board ground display, it looked like a blend of a hip-hop music video and Cirque du Soleil.
Perry then stepped into her “Teenage Dream” on a beach set complete with palm trees, sand, and backup dancers of sharks and beach balls. It was hard not to think of Google Chrome when staring at Perry’s dress, but luckily the dancing, walking beach balls were enough to avert the eyes.
Lastly, call me naive but I did not expect Perry to perform her closing number “Firework” on a sparking, shooting star platform that rose multiple stories off of the ground. Pepsi wrapped up the show with a full fireworks display above the stadium, against the night sky, while Perry sang her anthem above the crowds. So if you ever find yourself wondering who actually won Super Bowl 49, the answer is none other than Pepsi and all of us who got to watch it.