There has been much controversy brewing about Super Bowl XLVIII. This is not only because of how embarrassingly large the final score deficit was, but because of the half time performance put on by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It seems like every year has a different story to tell, or a different antic to criticize. In 2004, it was Just Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s wardrobe mishap. In 2012, M.I.A. stuck a supposedly “spiritual” middle finger up to her audience. This year, the Chili Peppers were of accused of miming, while Bruno Mars was guilty of what most people thought to be a generic sing-along pop performance.
As one of the most respected and renowned rock groups of all time, the Chili Peppers received harsh criticism after playing along to a prerecorded set on the half time stage. Bassist Flea released a statement through the band’s website on behalf of his members, discussing the situation:
“It was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums and guitar would be pre-recorded… there was not room for any argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period. “
Flea also went on to discuss the band’s history with miming and how they made a mockery of it the first time they were asked to do it. The band wound up getting thrown off the “Top of the Pops” television show for doing so.
The band has more than enough credibility to agree to play a show of that caliber and mime on stage in front of millions of people. Most importantly, they did not try to hide that they were miming, and instead explicitly revealed this to their audience by not plugging in their instruments. Flea goes on to claim, "It was like making a music video in front of a gazillion people, except with live vocals, and only one chance to rock it."
In regards to Mr. Mars, he put on one of the most energizing and genuine performances of the decade. Opening up with a drum solo, he revealed a multi-instrumentalist attribute that intertwines with his funky rhythmic influences. As an outstanding vocalist and even more impressive dancer, Bruno was a perfect pick for headlining the half time show. With a heartfelt and epic delivery of “Just the Way You Are” ending in a shower of fireworks, Bruno had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
Superb Bowl XVIII might not have been the most exciting game to watch, but the collaborative efforts of Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers set the bar high for all future half time performers. It was a perfect blend of head-banging and heartwarming numbers, mixed with hard drumming and jazzy instrumentation. It might have been the best thing about this year’s Super Bowl, next to the commercials of course.