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Justin Timberlake’s Halftime Superbowl Show At The U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN, February 4th, 2018, Reviewed

Finally, an unofficial holiday that is all about the music, the Grammys of not the Grammys and with a much bigger audience Superbowl returns the bodice ripping faux man of the woods Justin Timberlake in the place he always belonged, the love interest in “Friends With Benefits,” the Pepsi (yes, in case you forgot it is “Pepsi”) Super Bowl 52 Halftime Show.

But getting there is half the fun, and MassMutual using “I’ll Stand By You” made Chrissie Hynde a happy, rich woman today. The Massmutual commercial:

1- Has sod all to do with insurance.

and

2 – Is as yuckily pro-community as imaginable. Bikers drive a bullied child to school,  a club is formed so no student has to eat alone.

Then everybody, and I do mean everybody, sings a song that defines anodyne for a commercial that defines wretched.

Leslie Odom Jr (aka Aaron Burr in “Hamilton”) performed a fine “America The Beautiful,” before P!nk took her gum out of her mouth in front of 100 million people and belted the National Anthem.

And then… Prince, forced against his will, the extremely careful with his image late soul master duets with Justin Timberlake because Pepsi is now for all generations plus wasn’t Prince from around there somewhere? What the hell are these holograms? Prince looked like a projection on a bedsheet. Sorta, you know, sacrilegious. Maybe Justin needed a hit of controversy because before and after the Prince bedsheet, Justin is tastefully tasteful, hitting all the songs in an innocuous manner for thirty somethings. Not bad at all, “Filthy” is the second best song on his new album, and the best songs last night -“Senorita,” “Sexy Back,” “My Love,” and “Cry Me A River”- were performed in succession. And while my feelings about “Can’t Stop The Feeling” needs no more trolling, this is the best take he could do of it and at the end, running up the aisle of the stadium is something never done before, I wonder why no one ever thought of it?

If Justin wanted to make a believable case for his Arena tour, this should certainly do it, he is a married popstar nearing middle age, maybe a certain blamange acceptable fourteen years after he shock the world by exposing Janet’s bare boob. It’s just a pity he had to rope in Prince.

Grade: B+

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