Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS -- Live, she was dead-on.
The force of nature that is Beyonce answered any and all questions about her commitment to authenticity with a dynamic Super Bowl XLVII halftime performance that apparently sucked all of the power out of the the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The R&B superstar, clad in a brief, black-leather outfit by little-known New York designer Rubin Singer (with boots by Proenza Schouler), opened with a brief medley of Love On Top, which led into 2003 smash Crazy In Love.
The opening salvo put to rest the now seemingly minor flap over her using a pre-recorded track of the national anthem for President Obama's second inauguration. (If anything, the audience in the cavernous, acoustically challenged dome might have benefited from pre-recorded tracks in this instance.)
The singer, who practiced with her band and dancers for several days this week under a vast tent space along the banks of the Mississippi River, looked polished and poised throughout as she strutted around a neon-rimmed stage, with the lights forming two facing profiles of her. A troupe of similarly clad all-female dancers mimicked her moves for End of Time and Baby Boy, then her producers pulled out visual tricks, including holograms and kaleidoscopes, that quadrupled her power.
The long-rumored reunion with former Destiny's Child mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams materialized to a joyous reception as they launched into the group's hits Bootylicious and Independent Woman, and Beyonce's solo smash Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It). Short and sweet, the regrouping was a highlight.
The show guaranteed a boost for Beyonce's busy spring: She's recording her fifth studio album, expected in 2013; she'll be the subject of a documentary profile, Life Is But a Dream, that premieres Feb. 16 on HBO; and she'll star as Queen Tara in the 3-D animated film Epic, out May 24. Her Mrs. Carter World Tour arrives at the Arena at Gwinnett on July 14. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m.
To close the 14-minute set, Beyonce regained the solo spotlight, kneeled on the stage and waved her long tresses for the emotional show-stopper Halo.
And with her final note, Mardi Gras, which put its schedule on hold for the big game, resumed in earnest.