BEYONCE (flickr photo by Alex Johnson)

Beyonce took so much (well-deserved) heat after lip-syncing the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration that she vowed to sing live at last night’s Super Bowl halftime show.

Then she went overboard during her performance, grunting and yelling “clap your hands” and other inane patter repeatedly in an obvious attempt to prove she had a live mic in her hand.

Meanwhile, the show was visually stunning (I’ve got 99 problems but looking at Beyonce ain’t one). The sets, lights, choreography, costumes, and kaleidoscope camera work were impressive from start to finish.


Beyonce’s set consisted of typical dance club pop so lathered in musical layers and background vocals that she might as well have been lip syncing. What difference would it make? Still, this was a definite improvement over last year’s Madonna’s show.

Lip syncing the national anthem, however, is ludicrous, particularly when you’ve been invited to sing by the president on national TV.

As for grading her halftime show, I’d give Beyonce a B-plus. (I added a few points because she’s a Texan.)

And I give Alicia Keys an A-plus for her jazzy but simple and totally live rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the beginning of the game. Some critics are slamming Keys for her slow crawl on the song, but I found her rendition to be imaginative and powerful.