Although the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show was supposed to be all Katy Perry’s, the pop singer enlisted a pair of musical veterans to up the ante during the 12-minute set.
The halftime show at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday was replete with eye-popping, colorful visual effects, illusions and lights.
The pop star kicked off the performance atop a robotic tiger, her outfit — one of four — covered in a flame design some likened to Will Ferrell’s skater outfit in “Blades of Glory.” She seemed ready to take the big stage, her voice strong over what sounded like a pre-recorded track of her hit “Roar.”
The stage turned to a futuristic vibe for the Southern, electro-flavored “Dark Horse” and into a beach complete with dancing sharks and surfboards and bobbing beach balls for “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls.” It came off like a music video.
Perry relied heavily on spectacle rather than her musical numbers. That was evident when Lenny Kravitz joined her for a rock-filled version of “I Kissed a Girl,” and he brought his signature guitar skills to the stage.
Hip hop artist Missy Elliott, who hasn’t released an album since 2005, then joined the performance to perform parts of three of her own hits.
Perry ended her set in a shimmery gown, as she rose in the air and slowed it down for the inspirational “Firework” as, appropriately, fireworks burst.
That wasn’t the only fiery moment: Before the game began, “Frozen” star Idina Menzel belted out a live rendition of the national anthem ahead of the big game in Phoenix.
Menzel was confident in all-black, singing what she assured would be live days before Super Bowl. After she sang the last note, she yelled in excitement: “Yes!”
“I didn’t want to rush,” Menzel said in an interview after the performance. “I wanted to take in the moment and connect to the song that I was singing, not get swept away by all the grandiosity and excitement, and connect. And sing from my heart.”
John Legend, in typical form, brought the soul when he sang “America the Beautiful.” He hit all the right notes while playing piano before the Seattle Seahawks took on the New England Patriots.
Kravitz said he was grateful for Perry’s call to join her onstage.
“This wasn’t my thing. She asked me to come and perform with her and I said, ‘Yes’ and it ended up being a really great experience,” he said in an interview.
The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks were tied at 14 when Perry took center stage. Seattle went into the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead, but New England rallied and won 28-24, claiming its first championship since 2005.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.