Concert Reviews Music

Super Bowl LVII halftime show: Rihanna delivers

 Rihanna’s performance could have been perfect if only for one extra thing

Everyone tuned in to Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, not necessarily for the football game, but for Rihanna performing at the halftime show.

From the moment I heard she was going to perform, I knew it was going to be good, and so did everybody else. But that also came with high expectations, at least from my end, because well, it’s Rihanna. And after last year’s iconic show with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem, just to mention a few, I was ready to witness another flawless performance.

There were many speculations as to how the show would start, but Rihanna chose to open it with “B*tch Better Have My Money,” as she stood on a moving platform with lights that couldn’t have been any better. It gave everybody chills and set the tone for what would be an amazing show.

Rihanna has so many top hits that people were worried she wouldn’t be able to play their favourite songs, but the list of songs she performed was spot-on: banger after banger.

For me, the “O.M.G. Rihanna is performing and it’s absolutely iconic” moment hit when the intro to “Run This Town” started playing, and her ending the show with “Diamonds” was just the cherry on top.

But as much as I enjoyed her performance, something was lacking: a surprise guest.

There’s no denying that her baby being the surprise guest isn’t adorable, but a guest who could’ve performed with her (Drake, Jay-Z, where you at?) would have been the it factor that would have brought this show to the next level.

So when she transitioned from “Rude Boy” to “Work,” I was disappointed not seeing Drake appear on stage. It was the same when she started singing “Run This Town.” Having Jay-Z perform with her, followed by “Umbrella,” would have made the show as close to perfect as it could’ve been.

In the end, Rihanna still did it all. She sang, danced, performed, and levitated on platforms — all while being pregnant. The backup dancers and outfits really brought the whole thing together.

Overall, it was an enjoyable halftime show that gave everyone chills. And just like she always does, the queen delivered.


The most anticipated albums of 2020

2019 was an excellent year for music – can these 2020 releases top it?

Drake – TBD

As expected, the chart-topping king will return in 2020 after a fairly quiet 2019. Scorpion came and went in 2018 and despite its long run in Billboard’s charts, failed to resonate with most of its listeners. It was too long, too safe, and the number of bad songs outweighed the number of good ones. The year 2020 represents an opportunity to return to form. No longer shadowed by a deadly beef that kept criticisms of the rapper high, Drake can release an album on his terms with his own promotion.

“War,” the first new bit of Drake we’ve seen in a while, borrows elements from Chicago’s drill music and the UK’s grime scene, but ultimately wound up being just another passable moment in his lengthy discography. Let’s just hope the new album is less filler and more killer.


Frank Ocean – TBD

The elusive Frank Ocean has been confirmed to headline 2020’s Coachella after releasing two singles (and a few other snippets) in 2019. When Blonde came out, the R&B singer was difficult to track. Now, it seems he’s ready to embrace the fame a little bit more as he’s been sneaking in new songs at various events he’s hosted throughout the year. “In My Room” and “DHL” weren’t as well-received as his previous songs, but perhaps they’ll sound better in the context of the album.

We still have no indication of when the album will drop, but we do know it’s coming (eventually).


Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

The Slow Rush will end a five-year drought from the Australian music project, Tame Impala. Backed by a few singles like “Borderline” and “Posthumous Forgiveness,” the fourth studio album from Tame Impala is shaping up to be another strong entry to their already proven discography. Thankfully, the wait is almost over.


Rihanna – TBD

Look, this one’s been floating around since Anti dropped, and the hype for Rihanna’s newest album keeps growing as every Instagram post of hers has a wave of comments imploring her to release new music. Anti was stellar and whatever kind of project Rihanna decides to drop, we’ll be accepting it with open arms. Twenty-twenty needs this.


Kendrick Lamar – TBD

We all knew this one would be on the list. I mean, it’s been three years since DAMN. and we want more. The Black Panther soundtrack was passable and Lamar’s features continue to be subpar but we can all agree he has yet to release a bad album. His follow-up to the acclaimed 2017 project is expected to be an Album of the Year contender across the board. There is absolutely zero confirmation that an album is on the way this year, but one can only hope.

Lana Del Rey – White Hot Forever (tentative)

Immediately after releasing her best album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, Lana Del Rey announced she had another project in the works with an expected release in Fall 2020. The tentative title is White Hot Forever but she also stated that it could change. Del Rey reached new heights with NFR and expectations will undoubtedly be sky-high for this new record.

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