The Super Bowl is a pretty foreign concept to me, but its relevance be-comes apparent with the hype that is the half time show. The show has seen acts such as Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and The Stones grace its stage. This year was the 50th Super Bowl and we saw a showdown between the music powers that are Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Coldplay. This huge face-off leads to the question “Who really won the su-per bowl?” The performance was a 13-min-ute slur of hyperactive musical heaven, which incorporated some of the biggest tracks of the past decade as well as a montage, which reminisced over the most memorable super bowl performances.
Coldplay were announced to be headlining the show in December, however this rather safe option was out shone by Mars and Beyoncé who man-aged to confirm their superiority by stealing the show from right under Coldplay’s noses. Martin and his entourage started off with a perfectly enjoyable set, which saw a progression through their past albums and ended up with their latest hit Adventure of a Lifetime. Their set provided everything we wanted, Martin’s eclectic dancing, a kaleidoscopic stage filled with dancing flowers and some of Coldplay’s biggest hits. The band made a nod to Glastonbury with their hippie style staging however the self-snapping teens were waiting for something a little more powerful to hold their attention. Bruno Mars interrupted this wholesome performance as he broke onto the stage with the speakers blaring “hold up”. This scream for attention worked a treat as Mars flanked by bin bag-esque dancers burst in with the 2.49 million times streamed Uptown Funk. Maybe it was the popularity of the track but the audience reacted to this performance with some form of ecstasy and the show really kicked off. With Mark Ronson by his side, the 90’s themed track set the stage for Knowles to literally storm the field with her one-day old track Formation.
This powerful performance, with a shot of sex appeal, a hint of menace and a whole load of political relevance took the stage and Internet by storm. Formation is all about declaring your identity and in this staging Beyoncé declared who she is and the power she has in today’s society. This is hugely juxtaposed against the music video where she illustrates the lack of influence black people had in past society. This statement was a fresh take on the half-time show and as she stormed onto stage to face her competition Mars started spinning off a 90’s version of her track, which acted as a back drop for one hell of a dance off. The performance di cause some controversy however, with some critics stating that Beyoncé’s costume and backing dancers were reminiscent of the militant group The Black Panthers due to their black berets and the formation of an ‘X’ symbol, which was the sign of the group. However, as it has been pain painstakingly pointed out on every form of social media, Beyoncé is black. The song is about black power; it’s the song of a strong black woman standing up for her race, her dancers weren’t a terrorist symbol, just a strong positive link to the message of the song.
While the tracks flicked between Uptown Funk and Crazy In Love, Mars and Beyoncé competed for attention and just as Coldplay started to seem like a past memory. The camera’s pulled back from the super-trio and a tear-jerking rendition Fix You was played while a montage made from intertwining footage of past shows was played. This mournful ballad created a triumphant finale as the audience held up cards with ‘Believe in Love’ written out on them yet that doesn’t highlight who won the musical showdown that is the half time show. Coldplay were set to be the stars of the show and being one of the most relevant pop-rock bands of our time, they could have easily made this an extremely memorable show, however being typical Brits, they were modest and with a serious lack of ego they let themselves be upstaged at their own Super Bowl show. Bruno Mars was upstaged by his own producer Mark Ronson and his track was purely exploited as a means to get the crowd grooving. Despite my undying love for Coldplay, it has to be said that Beyoncé completely won over the show with one of the most relevant performances of the year and she conquered each aspect of the show with her overwhelming presence.