“Welcome to the TikTok Tailgate, everybody. This is my first show in about a year, and I couldn’t imagine a better way to do this than in Tampa, surrounded by healthcare heroes,” Cyrus told the crowd. “We are so appreciative of you and all your diligence. And for that, we’re going to rock hard!”
Opening with a rendition of Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey”, Cyrus peppered her set with other covers like Dolly Parton‘s “Jolene”, Nine Inch Nails‘ “Head Like a Hole”, Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl”, Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”, and even “White Wedding”, for which she brought out the song’s original singer, Billy Idol.
She also broke out some of her more recent hits from her latest album, Plastic Hearts, including singles “Midnight Sky” and “Prisoner”.
Later in the set, she resurfaced her 2013 track “We Can’t Stop”.
At another point, she brought out Joan Jett to join her for a performance of the duo’s joint track “Bad Karma”. The two then segued into a rendition of Jett’s 1980 hit “Bad Reputation”.
Changing into a football jersey, Cyrus again teamed up with Jett to sing The Blackhearts’ 1988 hit “I Hate Myself for Loving You”.
From home, fans cheered along on social media, and some pointed out the similarity her outfit bore to one she wore on her first USA arena tour in 2007.
“.@NFL it’s not too late to let Miley Cyrus perform the halftime show too,” wrote a fan.
.@NFL it’s not too late to let Miley Cyrus perform the halftime show too
— Frank Costa (@feistyfrank) February 7, 2021
ICYMI Miley Cyrus just sang Rebel Girl at the Superbowl pre-game show.
— Maggie Vail (@magicbeans) February 7, 2021
Near the end of the set, she broke into one of her earliest hits, 2009’s “Party in the USA”, which name-dropped Britney Spears (“We love Britney”, Cyrus said, perhaps hinting the ongoing #FreeBritney movement).
Cyrus’s pre-Super Bowl show welcomed a live audience of 7,500 vaccinated health care workers from around the country to Tampa.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the Super Bowl game – between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – will only admit a maximum of 22,000 in-person viewers to the venue, which would normally host up to 75,000 people.