| Sports |

Why the Bruno Mars/Red Hot Chili Peppers Super Bowl Halftime Show Was Painful to Watch

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

For all of those fortunate enough to catch the Keyboard Cat playing Bruno Mars during the halftime of the Puppy Bowl on Sunday, I envy you. That's because I had to endure about 15 minutes of pure torture while watching the actual Bruno Mars performing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers during the bona fide Super Bowl halftime show. It was just so unbelievably politically correct that it hurt to watch.

The show began with a chorus line of children, wearing winter clothes that probably were too warm for the 50-degree conditions in which that the game was taking place, singing the Travie McCoy/Bruno Mars song "Billionaire."

Mars made his first appearance doing a drum solo, that, honestly, as it translates to television, was about as interesting as the rest of the game (which at that point was a 22-0 blowout favoring the Seattle Seahawks). The song began playing, probably over MetLife Stadium's PA system, because it didn't seem as though any of the performers was actually playing his instrument. (Plus, the song's actual singer, McCoy, wasn't on hand to perform.) And it did not get any better from there.

Mars followed up with "Locked Out of Heaven," and 2013's most annoying song sounded probably five times as bad with all the irritating "pageantry" that accompanies Super Bowl halftime shows.

It feels as though the Super Bowl's organizers have given up on trying to put on an intriguing halftime show. Ever since the above incident involving Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, which happened exactly a decade ago, the NFL has instead settled for the biggest "safe" celebrity mash up they can possibly afford.

It really seems like there are no lengths to which the NFL (a.k.a. "No Fun League") and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, will not go to ensure that the league is looked upon favorably by middle America. And the blandness of the halftime show the last several years is evidence of such.

Mars went with "Treasure" for the third song of the show, and for an instant, things started to become interesting. Bruno and his band were getting funky and the R&B/pop singer seemed to be channeling his inner "Godfather of Soul" with some authentic James Brown-like dance moves.

Toward the end of his next song, "Runaway Baby," Mars began singing the Red Hot Chili Peppers classic hit "Give it Away" while backed up by an appearance by Anthony Kiedis and Flea, and it seemed like perhaps the NFL was taking some risks. Well, if it was the early '90s, that is.

See also: How Much Will the Super Bowl Halftime Show Suck on a Scale of One to LMFAO?

Honestly, 20 years ago the sock-wearing-on-their-schlongs (on their album cover) Red Hot Chili Peppers would have exemplified provocative television. In 2014, however, RHCP has become nothing more than agreeable and safe classic rock. Kiedis' weird-ass man stockings and Flea's rocking the whole "I just escaped from prison and ditched my shirt" look were probably the wildest thing that happened.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers disappeared almost as quickly as they showed up, and their performance along with the NFL's ode to the troops gave Bruno enough time to make way for his secluded riser away from the stage to sing "Just the Way You Are," in honor of America's fighting men and women. Because obviously 10 minutes cannot go by on Super Bowl Sunday without somebody acknowledging war.

The show was just lackluster, and the bit "honoring" the troops was pandering at best, war-mongering at worst. Just chill out NFL, invite someone upbeat, fun, and maybe even groundbreak one day. Maybe next year, when the Super Bowl comes to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, perhaps could see what Matt and Kim might do with a Super Bowl halftime show.

Whatever happens, stop playing it safe.

9 Tips for Using A Fake ID To Get Into A Show Here's How Not to Approach a Journalist on Facebook The 10 Coolest, Scariest, Freakiest Songs About Heroin The 30 Most Disturbing Songs of All Time

Like Up on the Sun on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest local music news and conversation.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.