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Beyonce rocks the Super Bowl half-time with superlative performance

Beyonce rocks the Super Bowl

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

To make sure, she opened with a blissfully sure acappella run, leading into ‘Crazy in Love’, one of her most assertive hits. Though the performance didn’t include a cameo from hubby Jay-Z, as does the studio version, it found the singer in bold form.

Then again, given both Beyonce’s persona and talent, only a fool would have bet against her at this particular event. It’s hard to think of a star better suited to the Super Bowl than she is.

From the start of her career, Beyonce’s songs have had the dynamics of a sporting event. The beats often have a militaristic power and discipline, the lyrics a triumphant spirit and her performances a take-no-prisoners zeal.

It makes sense she chose to feature a song like ‘End of Time’ in her taut, 13-minute set. The beat has an athletic force, which Beyonce’s all-female band delivered in sinewy style. The singer gave the guitarist a showcase in the song, with an instrument that spouted fireworks from both ends. The result did more than just provide a visual exclamation point. It allowed Beyonce to give her R&B pop songs some rock n roll punch.

Though Beyonce’s staging wasn’t as changeable, or as camp, as Madonna’s hysterical performance from last year, it found sufficient theatricality in her body movements alone. She’s got legs and she knows how to use them, as ZZ Top would have it. It didn’t hurt that the micro-dress, designed by Ruben Singer, showed as much of her gams as censors could allow.

Beyonce carved out a cameo for the trio that first catapulted her to fame – Destiny’s Child. Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams shot onto the stage like missiles launched from below, flanking Beyonce and matching her shimmy for shimmy.

Though, as a group, Destiny has been dissed as nothing more than a holding pattern for Beyonce before her inevitable ascent, the women have genuine musical chemistry. They proved it by braiding their voices in old hits like ‘Bootylicious’, or in their rendition of ‘Single Ladies’.

Before Beyonce was done, she showed she doesn’t have to sing defiant songs in order to make her point. She closed with ‘Halo’, a ballad, if an especially bold one. Like all the songs here, it allowed a woman who made a minor fumble a few weeks ago to score a clear musical touchdown.

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