Black Eyed Peas a "mindless" fit for Super Bowl

LOS ANGELES Mon Feb 7, 2011 12:34am EST

The Black Eyed Peas perform during the halftime show at NFL's Super Bowl XLV football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers in Arlington, Texas, February 6, 2011. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

The Black Eyed Peas perform during the halftime show at NFL's Super Bowl XLV football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers in Arlington, Texas, February 6, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Hershorn

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Absurd, gauche and oddly appropriate.

Those were some of the begrudgingly positive reviews of the Black Eyed Peas' brief set at the Super Bowl halftime show in Dallas on Sunday.

The chart-topping foursome, famed for frustratingly catchy dance tunes such as "Let's Get It Started" and "I Gotta Feeling," took to the stage at Cowboys Stadium accompanied by hundreds of dancers wearing LED-covered suits.

Following in the footsteps of such venerable rock acts as The Who, Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones, the Black Eyed Peas were the first hip-hop act to take center stage at America's biggest sporting event.

Amid all the glitz, the event was plagued by the inevitable technical difficulties. But at least singer Fergie did not fall victim to the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" that exposed Janet Jackson's nipple during the disastrous 2004 installment.

Amid guest slots by former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash and scene-stealing R&B star Usher, critics appeared to give the Black Eyed Peas the benefit of the doubt.

"The Peas, love 'em or hate 'em, are the group this game of hype deserves," the Los Angeles Times said.

Sure, the band's music is aimed at "mindless partying," and Fergie's glittery top was "absurd and somewhat laughable," but the Peas had more relevance than previous baby boomer acts, wrote the paper's critic Todd Martens.

"The Peas of 2011 embrace all things commercial and ridiculous," he said. "Corny? Please. In the world of the Peas, nothing is too silly and everything is built for exaggeration."

The New York Times was also full of backhanded compliments, citing the group's "gauche taste" and "anonymous smash hits."

A spectacular piece of choreography by Usher, who leaped high over the head of kneeling singer will.i.am, and landed on the stage in a split "only ended up highlighting the headliners' weaknesses," said the paper's critic, Jon Caramanica.

The Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot said the Peas were "an oddly appropriate choice" for the big event.

"With lyrics like Madison Avenue slogans plastered over relentless beats, the quartet's big, proudly superficial music advertised and celebrated itself," he wrote.

But Entertainment Weekly said the foursome seemed "... well, as small as peas themselves," awkwardly static as illuminated, "Tron"-like dancers swirled around them.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Elaine Lies)

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Comments (20)
MonicaKey wrote:
I thought it was wonderful!

Feb 07, 2011 1:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
vietvet67 wrote:
I wonders how many of the people making these comments are black and/or fans of hip-hop. Costumes were strange and the sound system could have been better and WILL-I-AM could have left out what sound like political comments. As an older white male I would write that in general it was nice clean entertainment and much more relevant to a younger generation.

Feb 07, 2011 1:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
mdance86 wrote:
That was a horrible half time show. The worst I have seen from the Super Bowl yet. It sounded just as bad as it looked.

Feb 07, 2011 1:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
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