Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show impresses viewers

Jennifer Lopez and daughter Emme Maribel Muniz perform Sunday during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game.

By Parker Otto

The Pepsi Halftime Show of Super Bowl LIV proved one thing: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez are just as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. The duo’s performance was incredible and served as an tribute to Latin American culture, while completely demolishing any memories of last year’s disastrous excuse for a halftime show. 

The performance didn’t start slow. It was highly energized with Shakira’s performance of “She-Wolf.” Shakira and her team of dancers delivered quick movements and showed how over two decades of performing hasn’t slowed the Colombian pop star down.

During the song “Empire,” Shakira got to display her versatility on the electric guitar and showed her skills aren’t limited to vocalization and dance. 

Despite being centered on pop music, the set was bold enough to incorporate the instrumentals of classic stadium anthems like “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin and “Born In The U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen. This was exhilarating and was enough to induce chills. 

Shakira also got to perform one of her signature traits as a performer when she belly danced to the song “Ojos Asi.” This not only displayed the culture of her home country, but also established herself as one of the greatest female performers today.

Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny appeared in the set as he sang with Shakira on the songs “I Like It” and “Chantaje” and was a welcome addition to the set.

Unlike last year’s performance where the pop music of Maroon 5 didn’t connect with the work of Travis Scott and Big Boi, Bad Bunny and Shakira complemented each other perfectly, due to their Spanish lyrics and similar musical influences.

The use of a dancing horns section on “Chantaje” was also welcomed. By the time Shakira closed out her solo section with “Hips Don’t Lie,” the show could have ended then as one of the best Halftime shows ever.

However, Jennifer Lopez appeared with an assortment of backup dancers while hanging high on a stripper pole, which served as an homage to her Golden Globe nominated performance as Ramona Vega in the 2019 film “Hustlers.”

Lopez’s set started off with her hit song “Jenny From The Block” and continued with fast-paced choreography on “Ain’t It Funny” and “Get Right.” During the song, “Waiting for Tonight” Lopez showed off her skills from “Hustlers” by supporting herself on a stripper pole with only her legs, which was a feat that ought to defy modern physics.

Shakira and Lopez came together on the song “Let’s Get Loud” with Shakira showing her skills on drums and Lopez’s daughter Emme Maribel Muñiz leading on vocals. While Muñiz is 11-years-old, she already shows the talent of her mother with an incredible vocal range. 

Meanwhile, Lopez went full-Mick Jagger by donning an American Flag made of feathers, and her daughter sang the chorus of “Born In The U.S.A.” Lopez made a call to the world’s Latinos when she lifted the flag to reveal the Puerto Rican flag was on the other side of the American Flag. 

Not only did this display the heritage of Lopez, but the act represented a proud group of the world’s people. 

The set ended with Shakira and Lopez singing the song “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa),” which Shakira composed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The anthem was perfect for The Super Bowl and served as a good anthem to close out the Halftime show.

Overall, all elements of Super Bowl LIV were superior to Super Bowl LIII including the game itself and the commercials. But the Halftime show in particular stood out as an incredible 15 minutes that reminded everyone what the Halftime Show is meant to be: a performance. Anyone can play music before a crowd, but to energize them and create an experience is another thing entirely.