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Beyoncé during last night's Super Bowl XLVII "reclaimed the halftime throne with a magnetic medley that was impossible not to love, a show that could be enjoyed by an entire Super Bowl party," according to Chris Strauss of USA TODAY. The "most impressive part of witnessing the show in person was the stage setup." It was "at least the best Super Bowl halftime show since Prince's" performance in '07 (USA TODAY, 2/4). In N.Y., Jon Caramanica writes Beyoncé "balanced explosions and humanity, imperiousness with warmth, an arena-ready sense of scale with a microscopic approach to the details of her vocals." She also "filled the television screen, a human pneumatic drill of intensity." This is part of what "set her apart from some past performers, whose songs were big enough, but whose attitude and presentation weren’t" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/4). The AP's Mesfin Fekadu writes Beyoncé "proved she is an exceptional performer." She was "ready to rock, and she did so like a pro." Beyoncé proved "she can also entertain on a stage as big as the Super Bowl's." She was "far better than Madonna, who sang to a backing track last year, and miles ahead of the Black Eyed Peas' disastrous set" in '11 (AP, 2/4). In Tampa, Sean Daly writes women "ruled the entertainment portion of Super Bowl XLVII in big-voiced, all-pro fashion, with Beyoncé and her Mad Maxine outfit leading the way with a robust, seemingly lip-sync-free halftime show." There were no "wardrobe malfunctions or profane slipups, but the star was professional and happy to be there, and there's nothing wrong with a good, earnest performance" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/4). ROLLING STONE's Rob Sheffield writes under the header, "The Night Belonged To Beyonce." Sheffield: "Now that was a halftime show, and that is a star. ... No special guests, no costume changes -- just Beyonce, her heels, her thighs, her leather-and-lace corset and a freewheeling romp through her songbook" (ROLLINGSTONE.com, 2/4).
SETTING THE STAGE: In Boston, Jed Gottlieb writes the show was a "brilliant package." It was "almost enough to make me forget Madonna, M.I.A.’s middle finger and that tightrope walker who kept bouncing on his groin from last year." Fans expect an "insane level of spectacle at the Super Bowl. Beyonce delivered" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/4). USA TODAY's Jerry Shriver writes the "force of nature that is Beyonce answered any and all questions about her commitment to authenticity with a dynamic" show. The long-rumored "reunion with former Destiny's Child mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams materialized to a joyous reception." The "regrouping was a highlight" (USA TODAY, 2/4). In New Orleans, Keith Spera wrote Beyoncé was "as fierce and engaged this year as Madonna was stiff and tentative last year." In her 12 minutes on stage, she "demonstrated why she was worthy of such a brilliant spotlight" (NOLA.com, 2/3). ABC’s Chris Connolly said the “sheer electricity of Beyonce’s halftime show didn’t cause this Super Bowl power outage, it just seemed that way" ("GMA," ABC, 2/4). NBC’s Janet Shamlian said, “She certainly wowed the crowd.” Record exec L.A. Reid said Beyoncé “took the lights out last night, literally” (“Today,” NBC, 2/4).
YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE....: In L.A., Randall Roberts wrote Beyoncé showcased a "selection of independent-minded pop specifically choreographed to silence detractors." Perhaps the most "important sound of her show, though, was unplanned." As she danced and "asked that the crowd clap along, her microphone hand made an audible thump." It was "loud and obvious." And it "proved something true: The mike was live, and our singer was too" (LATIMES.com, 2/3). In N.Y., Jim Farber writes Beyoncé "gave an absolutely live Super Bowl halftime performance that killed." It is "hard to think of a star better suited to the Super Bowl than she is" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/4). In Baltimore, Wesley Case writes if any "questions lingered about Beyonce's ability to sing live ... she answered them with force and grace." The fact that she "achieved this on the world's most-watched stage is unsurprising, because she has long-relished moments with the largest audiences" (Baltimore SUN, 2/4). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's David Rooney wrote Beyoncé "turned on a high-energy, sexually charged performance with exciting multimedia elements." She continued "in the vein of Madonna last year, steering the Super Bowl away from dad rock to embrace girl power" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 2/3).
BRINGING SEXY BACK: In DC, Chris Richards wrote her performance "may have been the most hyper-scrutinized halftime show of all time." Musically, Beyoncé’s performance was "serviceable, but physically, this was the sexiest Super Bowl halftime since 2004 when Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s notorious wardrobe malfunction ushered in six consecutive years of classic rock mini-concerts." Her performance "didn’t eclipse any of her rock-and-roll elders’, but it did improve on recent efforts from the Black Eyed Peas and Madonna" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/3). In Phoenix, Ed Masley wrote under the header, "Beyonce's Halftime Show Is Sexy, Confident And Hit-Filled" (AZCENTRAL.com, 2/3). QMI AGENCY's Steve Tilley wrote it was "hard not to be slightly mesmerized by the spectacle" of Beyoncé's halftime show (QMI AGENCY, 2/3). In Chicago, Thomas Conner wrote Beyonce "brought her A game to a performance that was literally and figuratively on fire." The set list "wasn't exciting." In the end, she "didn't topple Prince for best all-time Super Bowl halftime performance, but she certainly cemented her own stature" (SUNTIMES.com, 2/3). In San Jose, Jim Harrington writes Beyoncé "shimmered with pure star power throughout the show, delivering the kind of charisma and stage presence that Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Madonna and other dance-pop icons only wish they could summon." The lone "disappointment of the show was that Beyoncé's husband, Jay-Z, didn't join the festivities for 'Crazy in Love'" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/4).
WANTING MORE: In Detroit, Adam Graham writes while Beyoncé's performance "showed off the best technology has to offer, it lacked a golden moment to leave everyone breathless." Instead, it was Beyoncé "herself who sounded breathless, huffing and puffing into her microphone, proving she was at least singing live." Her show was a "whole lot of flash, but left you wanting more." It was a "stunner, but it wasn't quite Super" (DETROIT NEWS, 2/4). In Atlanta, Melissa Ruggieri wrote you could "barely hear her through the first half of the 12-minute show thanks to the crowd noise, a roar trapped by the Superdome roof." Was it a "memorable Super Bowl halftime performance, one that we’ll be talking about on Monday after the Twitter chatter has died down? Not in the least" (AJC.com, 2/3). The GUARDIAN's Emma Gilbey Keller wrote it was "clear the Super Bowl XLVII half-time show was less about musical quality than about visual effects." What it "lacked in spontaneity it made up for in pizazz" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 2/3).
Alicia Keys delivered a "dramatically different version of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'" prior to kickoff of Super Bowl XLVII, and her version was the "polar opposite of some of the high-flying vocal affairs of past Super Bowls," according to Jim Harrington of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The rendition was "sweet, soft and breathy, exuding a relaxed vibe that seemed nearly impossible for the occasion." It was, "without a doubt, one of the more memorable national anthems of recent years" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/4). In New Orleans, Keith Spera noted Keys gave an "elegant take on the National Anthem." She took "her time, easing into the arrangement studiously but not indulgent." She then "ratcheted up for the right words -- 'stars,' etc. -- but otherwise maintained an even keel, her voice strong and clear." Overall, she "managed to be true to both the anthem and herself" (NOLA.com, 2/3). In Phoenix, Ed Masley wrote Keys "took the National Anthem to a cozy little jazz club." That part she "tacked on at the end about living in the home of the brave was another bold decision that helped her make the song her own" (AZCENTRAL.com, 2/3). In Tampa, Sean Daly notes Keys "sat behind a white baby grand and delivered a somber, slightly jazzy version." Not the "best of all time, but still pretty darn good" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/4). In Detroit, Adam Graham writes Keys "didn't go for vocal fireworks; she took a more restrained approach to the anthem." It "won't go down as a game changer like Whitney Houston's classic version, but it was a tasteful, deliberate and strong rendition that worked to her strengths" (DETROIT NEWS, 2/4). In Milwaukee, Piet Levy writes Keys "avoided melodramatic embellishments, delivering a restrained but stirring version that brought multiple football players to tears" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 2/4).
A SOMBER MOMENT: In Charlotte, Joseph Person writes the NFL "doesn't always get it right," but having "students from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., sing 'America the Beautiful' with Jennifer Hudson was touching." Even "more so when CBS cameras showed" Ravens coach John Harbaugh "standing and watching with his daughter" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/4). ESPN.com's Greg Garber wrote Keys was "soulful and put her own unique stamp on the national anthem, but the Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus struck the perfect note" (ESPN.com, 2/3). The TAMPA BAY TIMES' Daly writes, "That sound you heard after was thousands of manly men sobbing into the bean dip." Daly: "What a nice, unexpected moment" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/4). In Hartford, Stagis & Marbella note some players on the field "appeared emotional as the smiling kids swayed in time behind Hudson and sang background vocals." U.S. Rep. (R-Conn.) Dan Carter said that he was "impressed by what the NFL has done to keep Newtown in the spotlight" (HARTFORD COURANT, 2/4). In N.Y., Mike Lupica writes the "kids were so much more than backup singers for Hudson -- they were the headliners." Lupica: "Less than two months after a madman shot up their school in Connecticut and killed so many of their friends, they weren't just making the country cheer; they were making the whole world cheer" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/4). In New Orleans, Ramon Antonio Vargas wrote the performance "moved many spectators." The reaction on social media "was equally complimentary" (NOLA.com, 2/3). The TIMES-PICAYUNE's Spera wrote "America the Beautiful" was as "affecting as the song can be" (NOLA.com, 2/3). SPORTS ON EARTH's Mike Tanier wrote "hearing and seeing the performance, even when we were emotionally steeled for it, induced something primal, a grief for the whole human condition" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 2/3).
There is currently "no plan" for a halftime show during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium because NFL officials "can't figure out how to stage the festivities in the frigid climate," according to sources cited by Josh Margolin of the N.Y. POST. A source said, "It’s not only the acts and the singers but the crews that have to put the stage together. You know, the assembly has to be done a certain way. It’s choreographed and rehearsed so it can be assembled and disassembled as fast as possible. And you just can’t assemble the stage and break it down fast enough in the cold. There’s no plan right now of what to do in its place." Sources said that the "logistical nightmares for 2014 have already started -- and are getting worse every day." Margolin also notes "lawyers, league bosses and TV execs are haggling over protocols for a weather emergency, like a heavy snowstorm" (N.Y. POST, 2/4). In N.Y., Gary Myers writes, "Here’s a suggestion for the Super Bowl XLVIII host committee: Put a clock in the middle of Times Square to count down the months, days, hours and minutes until kickoff at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2014. And while they’re at it, they should keep updating the latest weather forecast for kickoff." Some of the NFL’s "most memorable games have been played in awful conditions." Myers: "Remember the Ice Bowl? No game has ever been called the Controlled Climate Bowl." N.Y./N.J. Super Bowl Host Committee co-Chair Jon Tisch said, "We have 365 days to prove to the NFL owners that their decision to award Super Bowl XLVIII to the Giants and Jets was a wise one, and that the residents of both states will be wonderful hosts" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/4).
NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT: USA TODAY's Kevin Manahan writes N.Y./N.J. Host Committee CEO Al Kelly "has 12 months to solve all the riddles of a Super Bowl event staged on both sides of the Hudson River." Kelly, "figuring the host committee will need about $60 million to stage the Super Bowl, must raise the dough." While everything in New Orleans is within "walking distance," that is "not so in New Jersey and New York." That means "buses and shuttles and express lanes on the highways." Kelly said, "We're going to make geography a non-issue. We're going to make it so people don't have to worry about driving or drinking or the snow. We'll get them places" (USA TODAY, 2/4). In Newark, Steve Politi wrote, "All the worries seem to center on the potential for a winter storm, but whether it snows or is unseasonably warm, the hardest part will be following a city that knows how to turn a football game into a party." Former NFLer Archie Manning said that New Orleans is “so good at hosting events like this because of its experience as a host city, its love of the game and because it knows how to have a good time.” Politi wrote if next year’s Super Bowl is “a success, there will be dozens of politicians lining up to take credit.” If it fails, Kelly “will take most of the heat -- and any thought of the Meadowlands or another cold-weather site getting a crack at hosting the game will be lost” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/3).
NO MATTER THE WEATHER: On Long Island, Neil Best wrote the notion that the “logistics of hosting a Super Bowl -- weather-related or otherwise -- in New York and northern New Jersey will somehow overwhelm or intimidate us is comical.” The “real concern is the opposite: That unlike in most cities, where the Super Bowl is an all-consuming community extravaganza, it will be swallowed up by New York, a city forever with other things on its mind.” Best: “If the weather gods cooperate and the organizers get the light, scenic snow they openly are rooting for, no one will forget where Super Bowl XLVIII was played. Could the weather thing go all wrong, in the form of a wind-driven, 35-degree rain or sub-zero cold or a crippling blizzard? Sure.” It is “not a problem” to host “swank parties for rich and/or well-connected, well-dressed people even in the late January chill.” Best: “As powerful a brand as the Super Bowl is, after a half-century, it's gotten a tad stale. A cold slap in the face is just what it needs” (NEWSDAY, 2/3). Kelly said, “We certainly don’t want to be one and done." In New Jersey, Tara Sullivan wrote handling cold weather is “part of the DNA of the New York/New Jersey area,” unlike in Dallas two years ago, when a “freak snowstorm exploited the shortcomings of an unprepared city” (Bergen RECORD, 2/3). In N.Y., Ken Belson writes the Super Bowl "is not a typical playoff game." Many who attend are "guests of sponsors and other companies that do business with the NFL." But warm weather "is never guaranteed in New Orleans, Southern California or South Florida" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/4).
HOW DID WE DO? A New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE editorial stated the city "sparkled in its role as host city" of Super Bowl XLVII. The thousands of volunteers "roaming city streets and working Super Bowl venues have seemed to be on a mission to make sure that visitors have the best time they've ever had." So have "the bartenders, waiters and other service industry staffers." The city's host committee and Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration "deserves kudos," while the "hospitality and leadership" shown by Saints Owner Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle, "set the tone for the week" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 2/3).
CARROT & STICK: In Miami, Douglas Hanks wrote NFL teams have “long used” the Super Bowl “as a potential reward for communities funding stadium construction.” But Super Bowl L in ‘16 “presents a special case for South Florida.” Dolphins execs said that a “stadium upgrade will preserve South Florida’s Super Bowl edge for years to come, so a stadium plan approved after May would presumably make the region a strong contender for Super Bowls” after ‘16. But team execs said that a “delay would probably cost South Florida the benefits that come with the 50th game” (MIAMI HERALD, 2/2).
BAY VIEWS: In S.F., Matier & Ross reported the Bay Area Super Bowl bid committee recently “had its first meeting.” Attendees included former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former MLB Giants President Pat Gallagher, Silicon Valley Leadership Group President & CEO Carl Guardino and former Visa Head of Global Sponsorship Marketing Michael Lynch. Charles Schwab and former S.F. Mayor Willie Brown are “part of the group, but missed the meeting” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/3).
BACK FOR MORE: In Indianapolis, Erika Smith wrote as things stand, the city is “still going after” the Super Bowl for ‘18. But it “could end up being”’ ‘19 or ‘20, “depending on who wins bids over the next couple of years.” Former ’12 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee President & CEO and Indiana Sports Corp. President Allison Melangton said, “The idea is to bid in the year with the best chance of winning” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 2/3). Melangton, in a special to the INDIANAPOLIS STAR, wrote of the city hosting Super Bowl XLVI in ‘12, “While $176 million in direct economic impact and more than 250 hours of national and international television broadcasts from Indianapolis continue to pay dividends, perhaps the greatest legacy of Super Bowl XLVI is the civic pride and can-do spirit that has been energized these past 365 days.” It has “us thinking and talking about the next big thing, or making the next thing better” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 2/2).
DUMBO'S FLY PATTERN? In Orlando, Mike Bianchi wrote the Citrus Bowl following renovations “still will not match some of the NFL's more plush, palatial stadiums, but Orlando's other immense advantages far outweigh the stadium's lack of bells and whistles.” The city has “better weather, better hotels, better attractions, a better airport and a better and bigger convention center than every other city that has ever hosted a Super Bowl.” Bianchi wrote of Disney World, “It’s always amazed me why local politicians haven't aggressively pursued the Mouse about building a magnificent domed stadium out near the I-Drive corridor -- a place to host Super Bowls, Pro Bowls, Final Fours, BCS National Championship Games, neutral-site college football games, World Cup soccer matches, Democratic and Republican national conventions and anything else you can possibly imagine.” ESPN already has a “massive sport investment in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.” Bianchi: “Why not take it to the next level?” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/3).