Did They Meet Our Expectations? – Coldplay Performing During the Super Bowl Halftime Show

By NADIA BŁASZCZYK

On February 8th, over 140 million Americans sat in front of their TVs and for 4,5 hours watched the biggest sport event of the American culture – the Super Bowl. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Super Bowl 2016, organized by the National Football League, was a competition between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, the two best teams of the season. Yet, despite the game itself, one of the most awaited parts of the whole event was the halftime show, which is always a short concert of one of the most popular artists in the United States. Surprisingly, 2016 brought on stage not only an awesome band, Coldplay, but also Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, even though they both have had their own Super Bowl halftime shows within the last 5 years.

Coldplay was the main star of the evening. Or I would rather say, they were supposed to be THE star. However, the very next morning after Super Bowl, the Internet was not talking about Coldplay at all, it was all about Beyoncé: her new single, her announced world tour, and her performance. She caught the attention of the world in the best style and the best moment. While she just simply proved that she is Queen B, Bruno Mars demonstrated his great dancing skills, and hit the stage with his greatest hit “Uptown Funk.” Well, it was not such a big surprise then that both Bruno Mars and Beyoncé stole the show. As I read the day after: “Beyoncé can out-dance, out-dress, out-cool, out-hip pretty much anyone on the planet and Bruno Mars is a talented, dancing and singing mini version of Michael Jackson.” Their great performance led to questions if Coldplay used their chance to the fullest. Did they manage to prepare a show worth comparing with the literally flying Katy Perry in 2015? Did they meet the Super Bowl fans’ expectations? Were they a good choice for the Super Bowl halftime show? Too many questions and not enough objective, reasonable answers.

Trying to answer all those questions, we can argue that Coldplay did give a good performance, nevertheless, it was not a show that outshined those from previous years. They sang their biggest hit songs with the burst of colors all around them. But for many people, something was missing. “American kitsch” expected and seen every year in the Super Bowl halftime show was absent during this year’s performance. Not many surprising elements, just a simple band that we all know (and the one that we all love). Still, the show of the British band was different from other performances because it had a special meaning, it brought a message which, at the moment of broadcasting, was delivered to over 100 million people in America. The colors of Coldplay’s concert didn’t symbolize their new album but stood for the rainbow, the symbol of gay pride. Basically, the 2016 Super Bowl halftime show was a tribute to LGBT love, the unity of all people in the world, and equality. Furthermore, Beyoncé’s new song was a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Black Panthers, and the Black Power. It was all about the content, the message, and the after show speculations. Apparently, it worked very well, because the Internet was full of articles, analysis, and videos, all commenting on the Super Bowl halftime show (and I have also contributed to it with this little article).

Ask yourself all those questions and maybe you will see Coldplay in a different light than I did. Nevertheless, no matter what opinions you associate with in terms of the Super Bowl halftime show in 2016, it is evident that it will be remembered. At least, I will remember it for sure. Maybe not because of an outstanding performance of the main star of the evening (no flying artists, no naked boobs), but still, it will have its place in the Super Bowl history. Even though Coldplay might seem to not have been the best choice for such an event as Super Bowl, the band used its 12 minutes to the fullest to bring world’s attention to the Global Citizen project, LGBT issues, and global equality. I truly believe that their plan worked, and maybe they will become the trendsetters for the new type of Super Bowl halftime show. Maybe. I guess we will know the results within the next few years. See you next year, Super Bowl.

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