Sunday, February 2, 2014

Live Review: Bruno Mars - Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show

It's that time of the year, time for one superstar performer to be in charge of entraining hundreds of millions of people across the globe for 12 minutes. Last year, the task fell to Beyoncé. This year, Bruno Mars was put in charge. With such a tough act to follow, did he live up to the expectations set before him? Let's find out.

Starting off with a choir of young children belting out his featured part on Billionaire (that belted out some glorious soprano notes), Bruno appeared in the center of the crowd on the field with just a drum set. The choir was a good choice, along with the epic prepare refrain, but the drumming? That hardly kept anyone's attention for 4.7 seconds. He was good, but it just wasn't flashy or epic.

Quickly though, Bruno segwayed into his stadium-filler smash, Locked Out of Heaven. This seemed like an obvious choice since it's one of his more upbeat smashes, and he milked that sucker for a good two minutes, fairly long for a song in the halftime show. This is where the show truly began. He brought out his classily and similarly dressed band, who of course blasted the heck out of the song. Safe choice, but an excellent one.

Next, his similarly funky Treasure. Here, he appealed to the older demographic, showing off just how timeless he sounds. Following up his synth pumped Locked out of Heaven with 60's funk Treasure was a quick way to show the older crowd that he isn't some punk who just got lucky enough to get this spot on the Halftime Show. He kept this song short but sweet.

His 3rd song was a lesser known album track, Runaway Baby. Less funky than it's predecessors, but much more rock infused. The energy level at this point had accumulated, and he had the stadium (and the world) in his hands like putty. His smooth dance moves really put his talent out there, and at this point you could tell Bruno was giving this show his all, and he was doing a damn good job at it.

Then, the shirtless Red Hot Chili Peppers emerged from behind the screen. Again, the energy? Insanely high. Millions of people across the planet shamelessly headbanged along with the guitar players to this duet made in heaven. The dancing became a bit spastic towards the middle with the drums just banging recklessly, but hey, in the heat of the moment, it didn't matter much.

Finally, the Just The Way You Are instrumental picked up, and as Bruno made his way to the middle of the field and the audience cleared, we see the faces of armed forces sending out messages to their loved ones. Classiest way to clear the audience and to move to center stage. Well done. Soon a spot light came on and Bruno passionately belted his face off to his lover as fireworks exploded all around the stadium. Now that must have been a powerful thing to watch in the stadium, but the fireworks overlaid next to Bruno came across as a bit cheesy. It was much more powerful watching the pyrotechnics behind him.

Overall, Bruno did the halftime show justice, and more. He was classy, he was energized, he was timeless. The NFL has nailed it 3 years in a row with their choices for the halftime show, and hopefully 2015 is just as promising. Bruno, go to your press conferences proud tonight, because even though there were some small decisions that should have been tweaked, you made a real name for yourself.

Overall: A