By Jessica Murphy
Bruno Mars pulled off a great Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show. Now before you stop reading, hear me out.
I will be the first one to admit that I am not the biggest of Bruno Mars’ fans. Like many others, I was hoping for some good Jersey talent to grace the stage in East Rutherford——-Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi——-legends that would have done great.
I don’t think anyone was expecting a good halftime show with Bruno Mars, but many, including myself, were pleasantly surprised that he was both entertaining and engaging for all ages in the audience.
The unfortunate part for Bruno Mars is that he had to follow Beyonce’s outstanding performance last year. Of course, they were going to be compared and Mars would obviously lose that battle. No one can outperform Beyonce herself let alone a full-on reunion of Destiny’s Child. No matter who was performing at Sunday’s game, they were automatically at a disadvantage.
So I do not think it’s fair to completely write off Bruno Mars for not being as good as last year. Following Beyonce is tough, but when you look at Mars’ individual performance, he actually did a really great job.
He started off the show solo on the drums, proving that he actually is a talented musician. Not only can he sing, but he can play as well.
However, as Mars dove into the first song, his number-one hit “Locked out of Heaven,” the show really got going. The fun, upbeat tune got the audience on its feet, but it was the arrival of Mars’ band that made the difference.
Decked out in gold shiny jackets, the band, including Mars, was spread out along the stage with their respective instruments. The lively tune kept them all on their feet and their smooth dance moves made it fun to watch.
What I think made the greatest impression, however, was the pure fun Mars and his band were having up on stage. Sure, the synchronized oldie dance moves definitely added to the aesthetic, but the energy given off was far more recognizable.
Bruno and his band looked like they wanted to be there. All were smiling, laughing and dancing all the while delivering a great sounding performance. These small things really separated the performance from previous halftime shows, even from legendary artists like Prince and The Who.
All throughout the performance, Bruno and his band seemed very Jackson 5-esque, which Mars has been known to resemble. The overall retro style of the show seemed to pay off, which resonated with the older audience while satisfying the younger audience singing his own hits from today.
Mars moved right into his newer hit single “Treasure.” It gave off the same vibes as “Locked out of Heaven,” but no one was complaining because it was still very fun to watch.
He didn’t continue with “Treasure” for long though, as he swiftly changed to a lesser known “Runaway Baby” in a fresher, upbeat way than the original. He even threw in some lines from the Isley Brothers’ classic “Shout.” No matter what, “Shout” will always be a crowd pleaser. It may not have been needed necessarily, but it was a fun added touch of lines that everyone knew.
And then the Red Hot Chili Peppers came onstage.
No, I am not a dedicated Chili Peppers fan, but I like them enough to have them on my iPod, so you could say I was looking forward to their performance. I was equally curious to see just how the transition of bands would work because, I don’t know about you, but when I see Bruno and the Chili Peppers, I don’t see much similarity.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers just kind of crashed onto the stage, going into their song “Give it Away.” Even with the excessive head bobbing, the performance was dry and unentertaining—-all while Bruno stood awkwardly to the side.
The two bands did try to incorporate their two genres together towards the end, but the commotion of music did not really work out as well as one would hope. Seeing the shirtless, tattooed Peppers next to the shimmering, retro-looking Mars was quite the contrast. It looked cool briefly, but the whole time you were secretly hoping the former would leave.
Once the Red Hot Chili Peppers left, Bruno finished off the set with his mega-hit “Just the Way You Are.” The song showed servicemen and -women giving video dedications to friends and family, which was an added touch that was very much appreciated and respected.
For the ballad, Mars ended the show alone just like the beginning. The sheer simplicity of it paid off, and Mars sang impeccably as well. When the fireworks started going off, things got a little cheesy. The double shot of the fireworks with Mars looked like it was out of a bad ’80s movie, and to be honest I thought things were going downhill fast. However, Mars recovered and finished his performance with class and style.
Overall, Bruno Mars did a great job with his halftime show. At just 28 years old, fairly new to the music industry and with only just two albums, Mars managed to make a great show just by being entertaining to watch. Whether you love or hate Bruno Mars, it is undeniable he is a good performer who delivers.
He didn’t need any surprises or do any controversial things, and honestly, neither did the audience. The performance lasted 12 minutes, but it was 12 minutes of actual entertainment that did not disappoint. With a live-electricity feel in the air, Mars sang and danced with his band and that was enough to make a solid performance—–and a great halftime show as well.