You never really know what to expect from Madonna, but given the football theme of the video for her new single "Give Me All Your Luvin" and the presence of MIA and Nicki Minaj as guest stars, her halftime show during this year's Super Bowl seemed destined to be packed with pom palms, football helmets and marching bands. In the end she did offer that, but a whole lot more, from an army of Roman soldiers carrying her on to the stage to surprise appearances by Cee-Lo and LMFAO to "World Peace" scrawled out in gold on the field. You can see all of that, and much much more, in the full video of the performance embedded below.
As a solo performance, the show was pretty much just OK-- Madonna can clearly still move even after 50 years on this earth, but she was also obviously lip-synching, something you can't really help at a massive production like this but also taking away from the live performance aspect. But it's hard to know what tops this in terms of sheer spectacle. You've got the perfect backup dancers, you've got the stadium full of lights backing her up, you've got the dude flying up and down on the tightrope… and then you've got the truly magical effect that somehow turned the field into a giant projection screen, turning it into Vogue covers and speakers and anything else they wanted. Watching it on TV, with some truly well-chosen camera angles, it looked like she was performing on an actual stage, or in outer space somehow. I've really never seen anything like it.
Sure, it was a little awkward when the dopey-looking LMFAO turned up onstage, and "Gimme All Your Luvin" has got to be among Madonna's worst songs, and MIA looked unforgivably bored out there-- apparently if you look closely, you can even see her flipping the bird to the camera. But it's amazing to see this kind of stagecraft during a Super Bowl performance, and even if you don't care about Madonna at all, you've got to admit you're dying to know how they put that together. Feel free to float your own theories, or let us know what you thought of the performance in general, in the comments below.
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