Rihanna’s Dancer Took A Scary Tumble, And 12 Other Things I Noticed Watching The Super Bowl Halftime Show In Person

9 months ago 11

Seeing RiRi live was something else.

Fam, I was live at Super Bowl LVII and got to watch Rihanna tear up the Apple Music Halftime Show!

Rihanna performs during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show at State Farm Stadium

Kevin Sabitus / Getty Images

RiRi did not disappoint! I mean, c'mon...performing on a glass platform in the sky while pregnant is legendary.

Rihanna performs at the Super Bowl Halftime show

Christopher Polk / Variety via Getty Images

Here are the 13 thoughts I had while watching Rihanna perform!

1. The stage was constructed in about three minutes, which was amazing to watch.

Karlton Jahmal Herman via BuzzFeed

The stage came out in many pieces with dozens of crew members assembling it. The base was constructed first, and it came out in several folded-up parts like a gigantic red lunchroom table. The crew members folded down the sides and then quickly got to setting up the floating platforms. I was amazed by how fast it was all done.

These platforms were so cool!

Watching the crew set up the stage for #Rihanna    was dope! Here they are testing the floating platforms before her #SuperBowl    #AppleMusicHalftime    performance!

02:19 AM - 14 Feb 2023

Twitter: @KarltonJahmal

2. Rihanna's stage was set up so it didn't damage the grass!

The NFL has spent two years preparing the grass for tonight's field at the Super Bowl. The grass was grown at a local sod farm in Phoenix. It was installed two weeks ago, and the field has been rolled out each morning for daily sunshine. Total cost = $800,000

04:58 PM - 12 Feb 2023

Twitter: @JoePompliano

So, the NFL made a HUGE deal about their $800,000 new grass field for Super Bowl LVII. Which, by the way, the players said was slippery as hell and some of the worst grass they've ever played on. Nonetheless, Rihanna's stage was constructed and set up so it didn't damage the expensive grass, something the crew told me before they set up. Watching all those individuals building the stage in real time, and also knowing they were given strict instructions on how to not damage the field, makes me respect those crew workers even more than I already did. You can read more about the logistics of that here.

3. Rihanna gives her fans the best energy.

Rihanna waves to the Super Bowl LVII crowd

Karlton Jahmal Herman via BuzzFeed

Before the performance began, Rihanna was happily waving to fans in the crowd. Her excitement and genuine happiness filled the stadium with a warm electricity only RiRi can deliver (without even performing yet, mind you). Last year, for Dr. Dre's legendary set, I don't recall any of the artists acknowledging the crowd before performing in this way. That's not a knock to Dre, Em, Kendrick, Snoop, or Mary J. It just shows the difference in energy and preparation between artists. And I don't care what anyone says...she was waving right at me when I took this picture and ONLY ME!

4. Is RiRi pregnant? I immediately wanted to know if she was pregnant after Rihanna started the show with a belly rub.

Twitter: @NFL

Rihanna started the Apple Music Halftime Show with "Bitch Better Have My Money" and a belly rub that immediately had EVERYONE in the stadium talking. I don't think there was one person next to me that didn't gasp or ask "Is she pregnant?!" at that moment. RiRi would go on to rub her belly again while singing "Diamonds," causing the stadium (or at least those around me) to come to an agreement that yes, Queen RiRi is pregnant. And after the performance, her reps confirmed it!

5. Where's A$AP Rocky?!

Twitter: @NFL

For some reason, I expected poppa Rocky to make some type of appearance. Definitely not a performance, but maybe placing a crown on Rihanna's head at the end or something magical and dope along those lines. But poppa Rocky was exactly where he should be...on the sidelines, cheering on one of the most talented artists in the industry and being a supportive partner.

6. There were no cameos or features, unfortunately.

Twitter: @KarltonJahmal

When Jay Z and Lil Uzi Vert entered the building (and walked right by me, mind you, along with Blue Ivy), I was sure Rihanna was going to bring out the GOAT. However, Jay didn't hit the stage during RiRi's set, in which she did perform her portions of tracks she has with the legendary rapper. I can't pretend I wasn't disappointed, especially after last year's star-studded event that featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent.

7. The dancer who almost fell had me shook for a second.

Twitter: @barstoolsports

It looked like those platforms were rocking a little bit, and at one point, one of Rihanna's dancers slipped. My heart skipped a beat, but they popped up instantly and kept going. Sheesh.

8. It was scary to watch RiRi up on that platform with only one strap holding her.

I caught a video of #Rihanna    getting her protective strap/harness situated before the performance. It's scary to think all she had was the one strap to keep her from falling! #AppleMusicHalftime    #SuperBowlLVII

02:53 AM - 14 Feb 2023

Twitter: @KarltonJahmal

Bruh. Rihanna had one strap separating her from doom, and I was nervous as all hell the entire time. I'm talking SWEATING. Thank the lord nothing happened, but I feel like this was not the safest harness/strap setup for such an expensive and prestigious event.

9. Rihanna sang her ass off!

Watching this live and hearing #Rihanna belt out her classics was LEGENDARY DAWG #AppleMusicHalftime #SuperBowlLVII

03:08 AM - 14 Feb 2023

Twitter: @KarltonJahmal

Although some backing vocals were used, especially while she was dancing, I was SO happy to hear Rihanna belt out her classics. Hearing her sing live really gave me goosebumps! Fun fact, halftime show and national anthem performers must prerecord their performance for the event, then they can sing over it as much or as little as they'd like! "We call it a protection track," longtime Super Bowl sound engineer Patrick Baltzell told the Verge back in 2018. "We always record a protection track for the halftime lead singer and for the national anthem."

10. The millenials and Zoomers were waaay more into it than the older generations.

Karlton Jahmal Herman via BuzzFeed

I'm a respectable 32 (almost 33) years old, and I'll say that the people having the most fun around me seemed to be about my age or younger. It's not that older generations weren't getting into it, several were. But I definitely got the "this isn't my type of halftime show" vibes from some of the Gen X and Baby Boomers. One white-haired gentleman with a bushy mustache in front of me was shaking his head in disgust when "Bitch Better Have My Money" dropped. Sorry bruv, this wasn't for you.

11. These dance moves seem kind of low-key for a Rihanna performance, but the choreography was definitely tailored to her pregnancy.

Rihanna and her dancers perform on a red stage

Karlton Jahmal Herman via BuzzFeed

While everyone in the audience was still questioning what the belly rub meant, it was blatantly obvious that the choreography was made to keep Rihanna from doing TOO much. As the rumors in the stadium swirled during her performance, I really couldn't help but feel that RiRi wasn't going full Bad Gal on stage. Where's the jumping around, intricate dance moves, flips, and all the other madness you'd expect from such a big performance? For a moment I thought, Maybe she's keeping her dance moves and energy more conservative because she's on a huge national stage, but then I remembered she probably wouldn't give a damn what people thought in that regard anyway. After her reps confirmed the pregnancy following her performance, it all made sense.

12. Rihanna's MM6 Maison Margiela x Salomon sneakers were my favorite part of her outfit.

Rihanna hit the halftime stage in the MM6 Maison Margiela x Salomon Read More: https://t.co/ATagDYrj8P

03:56 PM - 13 Feb 2023

Twitter: @ComplexSneakers

I have a sneaker problem...or at least that's how my fiancé feels. Rihanna's MM6 Maison Margiela x Salomon sneakers looked absolutely delicious, even from my viewing area. I kept saying to myself, "What are those shoes?!" and was forced to look them up the second her performance was done.

13. And finally, it wasn't as memorable as last year's Super Bowl halftime show, but it definitely ranks in the top five of my personal favorites I've seen.

Rihanna singing on a platform during the Halftime show

Karlton Jahmal Herman via BuzzFeed

Listen, it's gonna be hard to top Dr. Dre's ensemble last year, and I think everyone can agree Beyoncé had one of the best halftime show performances of all time. But Rihanna's performance still ranked top 5 for me. Now, this is based on halftime shows I've seen live (or on TV live). My memory gets kinda hazy before the early 2000s (although Michael Jackson's performance still survives in my memory in a distorted fashion), but I stand by RiRi being a top 5.

How did you feel about Rihanna's halftime show? Let me know in the comment section below!

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