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Opinion: Bruno Mars gives underwhelming performance in Super Bowl XLVIII halftime

Bruno Mars performs at the halftime show during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2.

Bruno Mars performs at the halftime show during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2. Courtesy of MCT.

It must be a performer’s dream: a big-budget lights and pyrotechnics display, a full-capacity crowd and millions more watching live on television.

That’s what you get when you’re the entertainment for a Super Bowl halftime show.

Bruno Mars, whose birth name is Peter Gene Hernandez, and Red Hot Chili Peppers — both pretty big names in the modern music industry — took the stage Sunday to live the dream.

But for all that, what the NFL repeatedly billed as the “biggest concert of the year” left me a little underwhelmed.

That’s not to say the artists didn’t perform well. Bruno Mars (or was that Janelle Monáe?) is certainly a qualified entertainer, and the appearance of the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a welcome addition.

But the whole thing was just … meh.

In any other concert circumstances, I’d have no complaints.

But this particular concert was the halftime show for the Super Bowl XLVIII. The expectation is that I’m going to be blown away. It should have been, well, super.

And though Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers were entertaining, nothing about their performances was memorable.

There were no nipple flashes. Destiny’s Child didn’t reunite onstage.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but c’mon, give me something more interesting than a standard rock set.

Even something as banal as M.I.A. flipping off the camera would have been nice.

Instead, there was a middle-aged man running around shirtless and a man whose blazer was so sparkly and hair so bouffant it’d probably make the cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” envious.

Again … meh.

As it stands, the commercial in which Bono announced one of U2’s songs was free on iTunes to raise money for charity was the more entertaining concert.

This year, it seems the biggest concert of the year turned out to be just another show.


  1. Sometimes I read articles in this paper and think “No wonder my child had to get the h@ out of back woods Columbus after graduation!!!” Bruno’s performance was GREAT and EVERYONE I talked to agrees……

  2. I disagree with this article. I understand it is a matter of opinion, but saying the super bowl should have had something way of the top is a little ridiculous. It was a very good performance, especially since the past few halftimes were extremely forgetable in my opinion (I didn’t remember Beyonce performed last year). While Bruno didn’t reinvent the wheel, he had a very tasteful, musical, and entertaining halftime. Saying it was underwhelming is a little absurd to me.

  3. love the the show. Mia flipping her finger is more entertaining for you? I rest my case.GO TO YAHOO FOR 99 percent of ther comment are positive. you are the minority.


  5. Bruno Mars half-time show was very good and family oriented. He is a very talented young man. Love the RHCP. It made be get up and dance. Very entertaining. Only wish it had been longer. Sounds like you were expecting something raunchy and vulgar.

  6. YOU wouldn’t know talent and a good show if it slapped you in your stupid head.

  7. Let’s be honest, Bruno sucks.

  8. Meh…same opinion as in _The Atlantic_. I don’t think the author here is wrong, just not that original.


  9. Who is this guy? Sure, people can have different opinions but come on… Bruno Mars was able to entertain millions of peoples without the Smoke & Mirrors.

    The author did however mention that he’d prefer a nipple slip to Bruno’s performance … Clearly, the author is an expert on musicality & performances.

    I’m not the biggest Bruno fan but he’s definitely a breath if fresh air and hands down killed that show!

    Red Hot Chili Peppers were icing in the cake. No BS just a good raw performance .

  10. Forgive the typos… Yikes

  11. How about RHCP?? that guy needed a shirt….
    but sure it wasn’t flashy but it was still good, just shoulda been wearing clothes…

  12. Such a stupid ass person you are
    if you want vulgar moments and unnecessary gimmicks then why don’t you watch porn or a circus instead

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