Surely I was not the only one to do a double take when I heard who would provide Sunday’s mid-game entertainment: Bruno Mars, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ support. The two artists seemed like they might mix into a combination as unappetizing as ice cream and pickles.
I suppose, though, that the Superbowl is about entertainment. And if a seemingly random musical pairing can add even more satisfaction to the American festivities of eating appetizers, drinking beer, and watching two groups of grown men in garish costume run at each other at full speed, then why complain?
First, there was Bruno Mars with his contagious grin, cheerful backup band, and eyebrow-raising lyrics. Admittedly, the retro sound of Bruno Mars’ latest hits (Locked Out of Heaven and Treasure) may not have been pleasing to all the die-hard football fans.
So, next, the rockers from the Red Hot Chili Peppers swarmed the stage. Lead singer Anthony Keidis may later regret his wardrobe choice (weird tights under shorts, no shirt), but at least he did a good job making sharing the stage with Bruno Mars look natural. Flea, the equally shirtless guitarist, looked at home in his own corner of the stage as Mars and Keidis sang into the camera.
We might have been confused about why Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were picked. This confusion even prompted Mark Quenzel, and NFL official, to comment, “There’s this perception, it is what it is, that we settled for Bruno Mars. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Tempting though it is to measure this performance by Beyonce’s crazed one last year, the two are too different. Bruno Mars has the pleasant, hip-thrust thing down, not really looking to compete with Beyonce’s wild antics. Ultimately, they both show that loud, blaring fun really is best, even in odd mixture.
Anyway, who watches the Superbowl for its subtlety?