Subtlety and a Super Bowl halftime show will never go hand in hand. But even by normal standards, Katy Perry's 2015 version pulled no punches in the loud and brash categories.
No other words could be more appropriate to describe the event, once Perry had entered the stadium atop a mechanical Lion. If, after that giant, glow-in the-dark clue, you still needed me to tell you "Roar" was the first song Perry performed, be ashamed. Be very ashamed.
A very brief rendition of "Dark Horse" soon followed as the stage went into chameleon overdrive around Perry.
It says a lot about the general tone of the set when Lenny Kravitz joining Perry to accompany "I Kissed A Girl" was its most low-key moment. But things soon became more outlandish in a performance Alex Needham of The Guardian described as "epic, lung-busting kitsch."
That description is very apt when recalling Perry performing "Teenage Dream" while surrounded by people dressed as Sharks, beach balls and waves. Whatever Perry was paid was almost worth it when she didn't lose focus or simply walk off stage in a futile attempt to rescue credibility due to the scene around her.
In particular, the performer simply known as "Left Shark" might have brought a greater sense of timing to the occasion, according to Jack de Menezes of The Independent. Perhaps it should read the artist formerly known as "Left Shark."
Still, Perry persevered, fitting in "California Gurls," before she was soon sharing the ever-changing tapestry of the stage with Missy Elliott. The two performed "Get Ur Freak On" and "Work It."
For the finale act, the stage yet again morphed into a new guise. This one was a nightscape-style light show that soon became fireworks. Still need a clue?
The performance wouldn't have been complete had it not been for Perry levitating on a hovering, star-emblazoned pedestal. And you thought the mechanical lion was too much.
On the whole, Perry earned positive reaction for her performance. USA Today For The Win writer Chris Chase felt she was the perfect choice for this event:
Perry is the world’s most followed Twitter user (64.3 million and counting) and a popular, energetic female pop star who sings songs with catchy hooks. She’s someone in the prime of her career and adored by the NFL’s target demographic: young people. Katy Perry is what a Super Bowl halftime show should be.
However, not everyone was impressed. Taylor Swift apparently only felt enthused by the support rather than the headline act, according to Hollywood Life reporter Christopher Rogers.
For some, the bigger talking point was: What exactly was Perry wearing? New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills certainly seemed confused:
By contrast, Saints backup passer Ryan Griffin was a little kinder:
Meanwhile, CNN and CBS correspondent Anderson Cooper was probably not alone in wishing he hadn't been subjected to that bizarre beach motif:
It's safe to assume we could have all lived without the dancing sharks and beach balls.
Overall, the general reaction for Perry's performance has been positive. Like all halftime shows, though, there was enough in there to make you stare in disbelief, as well as a few things that just about straddled the borderline between ridiculous and downright annoying.