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).