Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl Halftime Show: 5 Things the TV Cameras Missed
The audience loved the Prince tribute, the on-field crowd is smaller than it looks and three more takeaways from a writer who saw the show in person.
After months of anticipation, Justin Timberlake fans were treated to a colorful, explosive 15-minute performance of 10 JT hits in between the New England Patriots-Philadelphia Eagles matchup in Super Bowl LII on Sunday night.
The show, as always, was a spectacle for those tuning in on TV — aside from the apparent sound issues — but what is it like to witness the biggest concert of the year from the stadium? Well, Billboard was on the scene in Minneapolis' U.S. Bank Stadium to catch Timberlake's performance, and let us tell you one thing: It's a whole different ball game (err, experience).
There is no denying that Timberlake absolutely rocked his first headlining Super Bowl opportunity, and above all, it was one hell of a show. If you're considering spending the money to catch a halftime show in person, here's some inside scoop on what you'll witness.
The on-field crowd is much smaller than it looks
The cameras do an awesome job at making the on-the-ground audience look like it covers almost the entire field. Even if there are 1,000 people in the crowd, from an aerial view it looks like a few hundred — understandable when there's 100 yards of football field around them, but it's still rather surprising when you're seeing it from a wider angle.
The sound quality is mediocre, but the view is unreal
As many questioned during and after Timberlake's performance, the vocals and music sounded a little off. It wasn't any better in the stadium, but that should probably be expected in a 70,000-person arena. And frankly, the movement of all the dancers and band members (and JT himself) on the field in such a short amount of time made up for it.
The Prince hologram was as awesome as it looked
After many rumors and even a shut-down by Sheila E., Timberlake really did have a hologram of the late Minnesota legend Prince. Surely seeing Prince's image cast behind Timberlake as he sang "I Would Die 4 U" was epic on a TV screen, but it was just as magical in person. The execution was simple, casting his image on a massive white sheet, but the roaring cheers alone made it clear that Minnesotans and visiting Super Bowl fans alike saw it as one of the coolest moments of the performance.
It's a made-for-TV experience
While you can't be too greedy when you get to be part of a Super Bowl and a halftime show featuring a musical legend, once you actually get to see it live you realize it's a much different experience. Unless you're on the field just feet away from the performer, you realize that the footage on the Jumbotron (which is likely similar to watching it on TV at home) is the best view. Nevertheless, it's still a pretty cool thing to see in person at least once in your life.
Timberlake made the most of the space he had
Whatever sound issues there may have been and whether it really was better to watch on TV, Timberlake's halftime show was undeniably mesmerizing. From starting on the sideline to making his way into the crowd for the ending — while an entire football field of dancers created a human rainbow — JT utilized every possible inch of U.S. Bank Stadium. As one fan in attendance said after the show was over, "He did the damn thing."
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.