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The Farr Side: Pink rules national anthem; Timberlake is hit-and-miss

The Farr Side: Pink rules national anthem; Timberlake is hit-and-miss

There’s something to be said about a singer like Pink. She rules. Her performance of the national anthem before Super Bowl LII was spectacular. She was even sick with the flu, but belted out the patriotic lyrics with such dignity and strength.

As for Justin Timberlake — he was just OK. I had big expectations when I heard Timberlake was scheduled as the halftime performer.

This performance marked his third Super Bowl appearance. In 2000, he appeared with NSYNC, along with Aerosmith. In 2004, he performed alongside Janet Jackson in an appearance that made bigger news than the Super Bowl itself. Jackson had a much-talked about wardrobe malfunction that drew major scrutiny.

Timberlake is one of the world’s biggest stars, so the hype and anticipation was high for this show. Would he reunite with his buddies from NSYNC? Would Janet Jackson come back to join Timberlake this time? Would Timberlake bring out his new music bud, country singer Chris Stapleton? These, and other questions, were heavily discussed over the past few weeks.

Well, none of those things happened. Timberlake was a one-man show, sort of. He opened his 12-minute performance with his newest single, “Filthy,” from latest album, “Man Of The Woods.”

I wasn’t impressed with the sound at all. The audio was not clear, so the vocalization on “Filthy” was not good. He appeared amid a flurry of streaming laser lights, which led me to believe the show would be highly technical and full of creative pyrotechnics. I was wrong.

He segued right into his first hit single post-NSYNC, “Rock Your Body.” That one was better, but the sound quality was still sub-par. He’s a much better entertainer than what he was delivering.

Where sound quality was lacking, he made up for in choreography. Timberlake is an incredible dancer. I was in awe of his moves. He and his entourage of dancers were fantastic.

The songs continued with “SexyBack” and “My Love” with the Tennessee Kids brass band. “Cry Me A River” was brief, as was his hit “Suit & Tie.“

Then, in honor of the Super Bowl being in Minneapolis, he paid homage to the late Prince. Timberlake honored The Purple One with a slowed-down performance of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U,” with visual images of Prince on a giant draping sheet backdrop. It was a cool thing to do. I had goosebumps when purple lights began shining throughout the city where Prince called home.

“Mirrors” was next, complete with hundreds of mirrors. Again, Timberlake was good, but not anywhere near his capability.

I was happy to hear “Can’t Stop The Feeling” close the show. It’s one of his best and definitely a crowd-pleaser. He danced off the stage, making his way through the fans on the field and into the stands. It was nice to see him one with the fans taking selfies and having a good time. It really think this what it’s all about.

Congrats to the Philadelphia Eagles and to Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles. What an amazing game.

— David T. Farr can be reached at farrboy@hotmail.com. You also can find The Farr Side on Facebook.

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