The bar is on the floor
But here’s a palate cleanser
by Amanda Ross
Actually, no. The bar is in hell. And hell is on my timeline as local white boy after local white boy praises some mediocre male celebrity's performance. "He changed the game!" they screamed about Drake's concert, in which he just played a screen record video of some text messages. "No one's doing it like this!!!" about Matty Healy walking on a treadmill while he sings. "This dude raaawks," about Maroon 5, a collective of boiled potatoes equipped with some PlayStation Garage Band controllers. Somehow, it was even worse than last year's performance by Justin Timberlake, a silk vest brought to life with a wizard's spell.
Counter that with what the girlies are doing, at the Super Bowl and beyond: Gaga managed a series of outfit changes, acrobatic leaps and tricks, and impressive pyrotechnics all while belting a medley of her greatest hits and not missing a single note. We're still talking about Beyoncé's iconic, politics-infused performance (her second one, tea) of massive dance numbers and how she managed to make it amazing even though she was forced to share the stage with Bruno Mars and Chris Martin. (I can give Bruno a pass because he seems like a fun little guy, but Chris Martin looks like every Uber driver I've ever had and some crimes are unforgettable.) We even had Katy Perry, about whom I've said some truly terrible things, absolutely kill it as she rode into the stadium a atop gargantuan metal tiger.
The thought and effort and entertainment value of female performances are consistently way better than male offerings — because men don't have to try as hard. And of course, race skews things even more. This century, the only black female headliners have been Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, and two songs by Missy Elliot. You can barely find Beyoncé's 2016 performance on YouTube because of the ~controversy~, and we practically damned poor Janet Jackson to hell over a sexual humiliation that wasn't even her fault! And then we invited the guy who did it to her back again. And then we let Adam Levine expose his nasty nipples. Fabulous.
So if you're feeling as burnt out as I am, allow me to leave you with these palate cleansers. A series of ohmmmmygod performances by women, at the Super Bowl and beyond. And always remember, Adam Levine named his baby girl Dusty.