The trailer that announced Usher's Super Bowl LVIII Halftime show was titled "Usher: 30 Years in The Making." Usher's Halftime performance was indeed the result of 30 years of performing and hit-making. After a viral NPR Tiny Desk performance, a three-year Las Vegas residency, and his album Coming Home being released two days before the Super Bowl, Usher's Super Bowl performance solidifies his legendary status.
In his interview at Apple Music's Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show, Usher talks about his intentions for his performance.
"I was very mindful of my past, celebrating my present, which is here in Las Vegas, and thinking about where we're headed in the future... What songs do I feel people know me for? What songs have been a celebration of all of the journey of what life and love and emotion have been offered in my music..."- Usher
Usher's performance had several noteworthy moments. The performance opened with Usher singing "Caught Up," among a huge ensemble of performers. There were acrobats and dancers in sequined or feathered costumes, a nod to his residency in Las Vegas. This opening was an exciting feast for your eyes, it communicated the massiveness of the performance.
During his song "Love in This Club," Usher was joined by the Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South, a famous HBCU band that had performed with stars like Drake, Ciara, and Cedric the Entertainer. As the song ended, another familiar tune was being played on the piano. Usher led the camera to pan to a red piano with Alicia Keys playing her hit "If I Ain't Got You." Usher then joined her in singing their song "My Boo."
Jermaine Dupree came on stage to announce that it was the 20th anniversary of Usher's album Confessions. Usher serenaded the audience with songs from the album: "Confessions," "Burn," and "You Got It Bad." Towards the end of the set Usher took his sweat-drenched shirt off, compulsory choreography in an Usher performance. H.E.R. ended the song with an amazing electric guitar solo.
The most impressive moment of the performance was Usher roller skating while singing " Bad Girl" and "Oh My God." He glided effortlessly onstage, in control at all times.
Lil' Jon and Ludacris then joined Usher to end the night with their famous song "Yeah!." This rendition of "Yeah!" included samples of "Freak-a-leek," and "Get Low," both Lil Jon songs.
Usher's Super Bowl Halftime show was a walk down memory lane, he chose songs that captured the different eras of his career. Usher is not done though. We can expect more from Usher with his Past Present Future Tour starting in Washington D.C. on August 20th. You can also listen to his new album Coming Home.