Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers meld in Super Bowl halftime performance
By Kathryn Gittings, Contributing Writer
In 2004, the NFL’s Super Bowl half-time show experienced what can only be defined as an identity crisis. Minutes after Justin Timberlake gave America a good look at Janet Jackson’s fully exposed breast, the realization that the show needed a definitive personality came to light.
Since then, the NFL has played it safe with legends like Paul McCartney, Madonna and The Rolling Stones, and has also experimented with the new and the now by commissioning the likes of Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas. Ten years after the most widely publicized wardrobe malfunction in American history, the NFL made an unexpected choice in musical guests: Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
When I first heard that Bruno Mars would be performing at the halftime show during this year’s Super Bowl, I was not particularly thrilled, but when the press released information stating that the Red Hot Chili Peppers would accompany him, I was nothing short of skeptical.
While RHCP brings back fond memories of middle and high school, my twelve-year-old, Justin Bieber obsessed cousin was the only person I had spoken to who was excited to see Bruno Mars in action.
This raised the question of whether or not the two performers would be able to meld to create a viable show. In addition, Mars is not the type of performer who appeals to the Super Bowl-crazed demographic.
On the contrary, Mars comes off as the skinny-but-sensitive hipster type – nothing like the man whose eyes are religiously trained to ESPN an hour before kick-off. But when the time came to watch the performance, I was pleasantly surprised.
Dressed to dazzle, and accompanied by a slew of fireworks, lasers, heartfelt messages and somewhat sinister children, Mars’ performance oozed with American pride and infused the Super Bowl with an incredible energy that put the Broncos to shame. From an unforeseen drum solo at the outset to fantastic footwork during “Runaway Baby,” Mars kept the audience thoroughly engaged from beginning to end, refusing to allow his small stature to keep him from dominating the entire arena.
Even when Mars cleared the stage to make way for the ‘90s relic that is The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the rock-and-roll Hall of Famers easily kept the frenetic energy on a high; not necessarily a simple task for the band’s fifty one year-old lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, despite being equipped with space-age leggings and eight-pack abs.
For all those who expected Mars to be crooning songs about love lost into a microphone, or wondered whether the man who produced “The Lazy Song” could possibly meld with the men who put out “Under the Bridge,” the surprise was a pleasant one.
For those who asked “Who?” when the halftime performers were announced, there is little doubt that Mars’ name will be forgotten. He has successfully joined the legions of performers determined to entertain at one of the biggest live-performance spectacles in America, livening up one of the worst-played Super Bowls in history; and for that, he should be applauded.