Super Bowl LVIII halftime show: Did Usher live up to the hype?

Usher Raymond in September 2015. Photo credit: celebrityabc via Flickr
Usher Raymond in September 2015.
Usher Raymond in September 2015. Photo credit: celebrityabc via Flickr

Usher’s Super Bowl LVIII performance on Sunday, Feb. 11 left many fans disheartened. Perhaps the 2000s legend peaked 20 years ago.

Keep reading to find out if Usher’s 2024 halftime performance lived up to the hype.

Act I

Between the flashing cameras, the arrangement of performers on the football field and the many contortionists wearing extravagant costumes, the set-up looked like a scene from “The Greatest Showman.”

Usher kicked off his performance with the song “Caught Up,” creating a subtle, yet captivating introduction that heightened the crowd’s anticipation for the chart-topping classics to come later in his performance.

Rather than wear an early 2000s style, Usher opted for a refined, classier approach, adorning himself in a sophisticated 70’s disco look.

Embed from Getty Images

The dancing

Usher shocked audiences with his Michael Jackson dance moves, and even more so when he whipped out rollerblades and started gliding around the stage.

When Usher started singing “U Got It Bad,” the stunts became too excessive and nearly took away from the musical experience of the show.

“When did the Super Bowl halftime show become the Magic Mike show?,” said junior healthcare administration major Corinne Soffer.

Maybe Usher tried to overcompensate by showing the world that he is more than his 2000s hits.

“He thinks he’s the sexiest man in the world and wants everyone to think the same,” said Caroline Mueller, a junior legal studies major.

If his intention with headlining the Super Bowl were to show off his dancing, maybe “Dancing with the Stars” would have been a more suitable option.

The sound team

Who hired Usher’s sound team? Even after rewatching the halftime show on full volume, it was difficult to hear half of it.

The poor sound quality took away from his performance. Maybe it was an intentional choice to direct more attention toward his dancing but if not, his team did him dirty.

Embed from Getty Images

Disappointing song choices

The halftime show is about giving people what they want, so audiences were disappointed after the singer only performed a couple of his greatest hits. Ushers’ show was supposed to be a nostalgic trip back into the Y2K era, but his show barely went there.

“Where was ‘DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love?’” said Murphy Degan, a junior communications major. “I don’t know how his team let him miss that.”

Maybe these songs don’t resonate with Usher anymore, but people will remember him as one of the greatest artists of the early 2000s.

Final thoughts

Usher saved hits “Yeah” and “Get Low” for the finale, building up anticipation. However, just as the excitement peaked, the show abruptly came to an end. What seemed like a crescendo turned out to be the end of a swift, anticlimactic halftime show.

Usher’s music choices may have been due to his new album release and the desire to stray away from his 2000s image. However, his 2000s image is what made Usher, Usher. Once you become the face of the 2000’s, there is no going back.